#WellnessWednesday: Staying Healthy Behind a Desk

It can easily be said that being healthy is easier said than done for most of us who end up behind a desk all day. While there are great days that will get you out of the office and on the move, more often than not your 9 to 5 is spent staring at a computer monitor and sitting in a relatively (un)comfortable office chair researching, chasing leads, and processing documents for your clients. But, just because you’re trapped in a chair doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stay unhealthy. There are ways to overcome it, and we’ve got a few tips here for you as well.

Extreme Desk Wellness (Don't try this at work)
Extreme Desk Wellness (Don’t try this at work)

Staying Physically Healthy

While you’re not going to be doing chin-ups and crunches at the desk, there are ways to stay fit while sitting at your desk. Taking a break to stretch every hour or so for 5 minutes can help keep you limber. Resistance bands (sold at sporting goods stores) can be attached to the arms of an office chair and can give you some “weights” to push around during your day. Designating an area away from your desk (if possible) that you do some kinds of work at force you to get up and move, if even a little bit. Every small bit helps (and that exercise can even help you stay more alert).

Staying Mentally Healthy

Health isn’t just about the 6-pack most of us (don’t) have. It’s about your cognitive abilities, too. Small doses of puzzles or other small mental activities can help keep us well and healthy. A simple algebra problem, a document on your desk that has a problem requiring a decision, even just a simple change of direction for a short while can all bring your mind back into full steam. While it might not seem “productive,” neither are the coffee breaks you’re taking either. Small changes can have big effects, and those big effects might be the difference between a regular 2pm slump or sustained productivity.

Staying Nutritionally Healthy

Your snacking habits can defeat you, too. Remember last Thanksgiving? We all do, usually bad memories of eating too much and wanting to sleep. Well, that works on a smaller scale too. If your work snack or lunch is really big, greasy, or starchy, you might end up in the same kind of slump that’ll make you want to fall asleep at your desk. When eating at the desk, remember to snack light and healthily—and avoid the potato chips and fried snacks! They’ll slow you down more than you know.

Even with all these tips, there are still more to be found. Necessity is the mother of invention, after all, and we’re always looking for new ways to stay healthy even if we can’t really leave the desk (even though AirBnb’s joke about AirBrb sounds like a great idea to us). What options have you considered to stay healthy at your desk?