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21 tips to stay healthy at your desk

With the world becoming more and more based around computers, here's a list of ideas to keep healthy even if you're stuck at a desk or computer every day.

  1. Take a break at least once an hour. Every hour (set a timer on your computer if you need to), get up & take a quick walk somewhere (workmate’s desk, farthest restroom, photocopier, water cooler). Just get moving.
  2. Stretch and move where you sit. Can't go anywhere? Bend and touch your toes, walk or march on the spot a few minutes, rev it up with jumping jacks (who cares what the office thinks!).
  3. Mobile meetings. If you have a brainstorm session or meeting scheduled, do it on the move! Walk & win! It's not only good for fitness & health, but can help reduce stress & increases creativity!
  4. Elevators, escalators and moving walkways - Public Enemy #1! Maybe you work on the 40th story of a building, then maybe (and I say maybe) not. Otherwise elevators are your body's enemy. Same goes for escalators & walkways. Even if you're on story 40, consider taking the elevator to 35 and walking the rest - you don't need to ride the whole way.
  5. Starve the phone & email. Theis may not always be practical, but, instead of automatically reaching for the phone or the keyboard, get up once in a while and visit in person.
  6. Lunch-break or lunch-walk? Whatever time you have for lunch, use half to eat and half to walk. Try grabbing some colleagues and do it once a week, or more.
  7. Count, count, count. No, not Dracula! Try to clock 10,000 steps per day - get a pedometer and count your way to health!
  8. Carless days. Whenever practical, walk, bike, or run to work. Many of us live too far away to go the whole way. So, be creative, like in #4. Park a little way from your destination & walk the rest of the way. Or hop off the train/metro/bus several stops/stations early.
  9. Do some activity on the way home. Activity reduces stress & helps us unwind. Schedule a trip to the gym, the track, or a local simming complex before you head home.
  10. Rise & shine. Not all of us are morning larks, but the easiest way to get extra fitness into your day is with a DVD. Get energized before everyone else wakes up!
  11. Those whole fail to plan... Schedule what you will eat, & when and how you will exercise for the coming week on Sunday. Studies have shown this is the easiest way to stay on track for your healthy lifestyle. Write it down & refer to it!
  12. Warning, warning! Danger Will Robinson! Just like the robot in "Lost in Space", set warnings (alarms) for yourself on your computer or mobile device. Set for once an hour at work, it will remind you to take a break & stretch, walk or do some of those jumping jacks!
  13. Office organization. When you're filing, stand up & move around. Don’t use your chair to roll over to your filing cabinets.
  14. Walkie-talkie. As most people seem addicted to their mobile phones, practice getting up from your chair & walking about while talking.
  15. Tupperware? Isn't that dead? Cook a healthy meal at home, save some, then take it for a healthy work lunch the next day (that's where the Tupperware comes in!).
  16. Go nutty! Drop candy bars or “health” bars (most of which aren't). Instead, keep dry fruit or nuts handy.
  17. Jasmine, Moroccan Mint, or..... We all have "coffee breaks" which are, usually, coffee (often with unheathy tidbits). Instead of coffee, try sampling herbal teas: try red fruits, verbena, mint - there's a whole new world of taste awaiting.
  18. Glug, glug, glug. Grab a reusable water bottle and keep it close by. Drink at least 1 full bottle before lunch, and 1 more before the day's end. This keeps you fuller & less tempted to eat junk.
  19. Just say no! That's "NO!!" “No thanks.” When those treats get passed round: cakes, doughnuts, bagels, cookies, say "No" for your health's sake. Head for your healthier snacks from #16.
  20. Schedule meals. Schedule your fitness on Sunday night (see #11), decide on meal plans too. Both in and out of the office. And forget to include snacks.
  21. Restaurants - fun, but fattening. Restaurant food is, generally, a sugar & salt overload session. Reserve restaurant outings for special events or weekends. Better a simple homemade lunch. Sometimes, however, you can't avoid that lunch meeting, and you don't always get to choose the location. In that case, choose fresh, healthy salads or other foods when possible. Just watch the dressings on your salads.

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