Staying Healthy While Working in an Office

Sorry for the late posting this morning! But today’s morning post is about how I stay healthy and fit while spending 40 hours a week behind a computer at my office job. Yes, healthy and office can belong in the same sentence.

I, like many of you, spend my weekdays in front of the computer in a large office building. While it’s not my dream to spend my days like this, it’s my job, and it pays good money for now.

One thing about working in an office is it’s often hard to keep up a healthy lifestyle. There are many traps, temptations, and conveniences that could possible hinder an employee from being healthy:

  • Office workers are typically sedentary while working
  • Offices often have convenience foods readily available, whether it be from vending machines, office food days, or the cafeteria
  • Those who don’t have an office kitchen, could have a hard time planning healthy meals as it is

Obviously there are many more, but those are just a few examples. My job happens to fit all three of those categories. However I still manage to live a healthy life style and work behind a glowing screen all day long. Want to know the secret?

 

PLAN, PLAN, PLAN

I plan for the next day when I’m making dinner. It works out better in that I already have the cutting board and any necessary utensils or tools already out. Typically, I’ll either make an extra portion of what I’m already cooking for dinner to bring as leftovers, or I’ll whip up a sandwich or wrap.

My favorite quick lunches include a turkey, sprouts, spinach, and mustard wrap, and almond butter and banana sandwich, different kinds of soup, and pretty much any type of leftovers.

Additionally, when dinner is cooking, I’ll gather all the snacks I make for the day. Usually my snacks are 3 of the following:

  • Fruit
  • Bar (Lara Bar, Amazing Grass bar, Luna Bar, etc)
  • Greek yogurt + berries + granola
  • Peanut butter pretzels
  • Crackers and hummus/cheese

If I’m feeling extra motivated, I’ll cram all of my food for the next day into my lunch box, and stick it in the fridge.

 

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Come the next day, and I just stick in the component that holds it all together:

 

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Gotta have an icy cooler!

For those who don’t have an office kitchen, one of these babies is completely necessary. It keeps your meat and dairy cold!

Notice I haven’t mentioned breakfast yet. My usual routine in the morning goes: coffee when I wake up, green monster in the car, breakfast at work. I’ll usually either pack cereal or oatmeal to take to work to eat. Cereal is easy. Pour in a reusable bowl and go. Oatmeal is a little more complex. However, I have finally nailed down the most-streamlined way to cook oatmeal-and-go:

On-the-Go Oatmeal Routine

 

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The night before, measure out a half cup of oatmeal, and put it in a to-go bowl

In the morning, when ready to cook, grab a measuring cup, and pour half a cup of almond milk and half a cup of water in, then stir in pre-measured half cup of oats. Next, pop it in the microwave for 1 minute.

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While the oats are cooking, mash up a very ripe banana, and then stir it in the oats, and cook for another minute or minute and a half.

 

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Finally, pour the oatmeal back into the to-go bowl, add agave, peanut butter, blueberries, and flax (or whatever mix-ins suit your fancy) and GO!

 

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Another thing you can do to keep from making a mad dash to the vending machine while trying to finish a project for a tight deadline is keep a water bottle filled with ice water at your desk:

 

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This puppy has been a savior for me. It keeps me from snacking from boredom when I’m in my mid afternoon lull. Plus, it’s easily transportable from the office to the gym!

In addition to sipping on ice water all day, I also have “emergency snacks.” On the <s>seldom</s> many days my stomach turns into a hungry beast, I sometimes run out of snacks that I took with me, but still need MOAR. This is where my emergency snacks come in handy. I have the stashed in my desk because, well, desperate times call for desperate measures 😉

 

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Don’t think I’ll run out of peanuts anytime soon! haha

 

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Tea, peanut butter (because you never know when a bare apple or banana just won’t but it)

One last thing we can do to keep a healthy lifestyle while working in an office is move. Sitting for 8+ hours a day is not good on the body, so take every opportunity you can to move! Sometimes I set an alarm on my computer every hour so I’ll remember to go take a lap just to stretch my limbs. I also make it a habit of never going to the restroom on my floor. I always go one floor up, and use the stairs. It only takes about one minute extra. Getting up to take frequent walks will help you clear your mind and get some extra activity in your day. Along with walking, you could also do some at-your-desk yoga or stretching.

I find that after several hours, my neck and shoulder will start to tense up, and a good stretch will put them back in good shape.

What are your favorite go-to snacks or lunches you take to work with you?

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5 Responses

  1. Great post! Like you I work behind a desk all day. After a nice long walk during my lunch break I always feel worlds better. Thanks for all the tips!

    – Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  2. Great post! I love the oatmeal-on-the-go idea. Definitely going to try that.

    Love the ‘new’ blog, by the way!

  3. I take bars, fruit, cottage cheese and crackers, carrots – but nothing really kills the boredom of being in an office! Hey Paige, I updated your URL in my google reader a couple of times but I’m not getting your new posts except if I come to your site? Not sure if that is happening with anyone else?

  4. […] that can be prepped in advance either the night before or the Sunday before. I’ve posted my in-a-pinch oats to go before, but if possible, I like to make a big batch on Sunday for about 3-4 mornings worth. Plus, I […]

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