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How to Avoid On-the-Job Weight Gain

Avoid Packing on Pounds Behind Your Desk

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I bring my food to work and eat that throughout the day. I make sure I space it out because I know that when it's gone... I'm done. I also make sure I make exercise a priority for evenings and weekends. Report
I have several things that I do so routinely I don't even think about them anymore: 1) park at the far end of the subway garage; 2) get off the subway a stop early; 3) take the long way to the cafeteria when I go for coffee; 4) get up and pace if I have a few minutes between activities; 5) keep water at my desk; 6) eat microwaveable low-calorie frozen meals for lunch; 8) carry fruit for snacks; and 7) squeeze in a lunch time walk or workout most days. Report
I have several things that I do so routinely I don't even think about them anymore: 1) park at the far end of the subway garage; 2) get off the subway a stop early; 3) take the long way to the cafeteria when I go for coffee; 4) get up and pace if I have a few minutes between activities; 5) keep water at my desk; 6) eat microwaveable low-calorie frozen meals for lunch; 8) carry fruit for snacks; and 7) squeeze in a lunch time walk or workout most days. Report
I have several things that I do so routinely I don't even think about them anymore: 1) park at the far end of the subway garage; 2) get off the subway a stop early; 3) take the long way to the cafeteria when I go for coffee; 4) get up and pace if I have a few minutes between activities; 5) keep water at my desk; 6) eat microwaveable low-calorie frozen meals for lunch; 8) carry fruit for snacks; and 7) squeeze in a lunch time walk or workout most days. Report
In many ways my job is sedentary, I am a special transportation van aide. I assist the driver with students on the van, in particular those who are in wheelchairs.

Bending and stretching to secure the wheelchairs gives me only a little exercise, so I try to make up for that during breaks. One thing I do is walking around the outside of the convenience store while the driver is inside getting coffee and a newspaper.

In between my morning and afternoon run I challenge myself with at least one physical activity at home. Lately, here in CT, it's been something to do with snow removal. If not that I seek out a household chore that involves some exertion, instead of avoiding it. Report
I completely agree with this -- I changed jobs from a lab researcher (which still spent a lot of time standing, but not moving around much) to a zookeeper, and I lost 5 lbs without making any other lifestyle changes. I'd had those extra 5 lbs for 8 years, during which time I'd also been a grad student and a teacher. Of course, I still have to make those extra changes for my health, but this career change was a great start for me. Report
I agree that those of us with desk jobs are more inclined to gain weight. My only issue is that I can't really implement any of the suggestions. I work in a small office, for a large corporation. All my friends are at various sites and are nowhere near where I work. All of my co-workers have absolutely no interest in doing anything athletic. I'm our "wellness champion" and I'm continually met with rolled eyes whenever I suggest healthier alternatives to things.

As someone who can only be away from my desk long enough to run to the restroom or take my lunch, it's hard to fit things in. And...when my manager starts feeling like our office isn't well represented by enough presence at my desk, my time away (even for lunch) goes down (I typically get an hour).

The majority of my exercise comes after work and on the weekends. I would love to be able to do more at work, but it's just not feasible right now. Report
This is so true and my biggest challenge - just making it through the day at work! My company provides breakfast and lunch (not to mention chips, pop & candy) all the time. It may sound great but believe me when you are trying to eat healthy it's not! I really have to stay at my desk just so I won't be tempted. Since I started working for this Employer almost 2 years ago I have gained 20 pounds (even working out) so I feel that now is the time to really step back and re-evaluate the situation. For 2009 I am really focusing in moving into the right direction. Report
As I read this article, I slid my chair out of the way, and raise the desk with my laptop to a comfortable level to stand behind. It's not perfect but standing burns more calories than sitting. I also find stationary yoga poses to do at the same time. Report
Heavens To Betsy am I ever able to relate to this article! Bravo Spark People for this well written, matter of fact piece of work, about how our jobs can affect us. After having been a hairdresser for 18 years, and ballooning from 150 lbs to 365 lbs, I knew changes needed to occur. While remaining in that same career, I started moving more, outside of work. Walking....alot. Eating more regular, instead of taking appointment after appointment, without pausing for my hunger. Managing to lower the scale peg to 260, it was finally time to face reality. Time for a career change~ : ). For the past 6 months I been cleaning homes and businesses....six days a week, 9-11 hours a day. Wow...The difference is night and day!!!! Hooray! Am not losing massive amounts of weight, but have added serious muscle, toning in areas that used to flap in the wind!!! ha! That muscle is going to start burning fat like corn and wood pellets disappear in a corn burning stove...sooner or later. Either works for me, just know I feel so much better moving and going from 6 am until my head hits the pillow around midnight. THanks for the great article. It is sooo full of truth. Happy Holidays To All : ) .

SmilinDi~ : ) Report
I can certainly vouch for this article. I work behind a computer for a majority of the day so it's easy for me to just eat mindlessly. I'm bringing more healthier snacks to work now - fruit, dried fruit, nuts, crackers low in fat, and veggies. It's working out so far plus my co-worker and I make it a point to walk at least 1.2 miles around our work at lunch! Report
DOLLYMOM2
I've incorporated exercise into my classes. I challenge the students to touch their toes, do push ups on the desk, and lunges. I do these exercises too, and we have a chart. Report
When people rib me about how much I exercise, or express concern that I exercise too much (I average 90-100 minutes a day), I remind them that I work a desk job and that my exercise time is my concentrated movement for the day M-F.
A friend who is an EMD (emergency dispacher) has upped the ante on the "smoke break". She goes out and runs a mile once a day and calls that her "smoke break". 13 minutes, close to 200 calories burned, and that's what she's doing during work hours. Brava, I say! Report
I agree with Mizblue. However, exercise balls as 'chairs' have been banned from our company for both "image" and "safety" concerns. As far as image is, I work for a service provider and potential clients are given tours of the work areas, and exer-balls are met with negative feedback. As far as safety, we had some one horsing around on one and became injured.

I try to take walks during the day, and pretend that there are no alternatives to the stairs. Report
GREAT ADVICE!! I also advocate sitting on a 65mm exercise ball instead of a chair, so you must stretch and excercise the core torso muscles...

KEEP WATER by your side, also! Report

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