By now, we’ve all heard how sitting for prolonged periods of time is nearly as bad for you as smoking—but what are you supposed to do if your job requires long hours at a desk? Spending a large chunk of your day at work may be unavoidable, but luckily, there are small changes you can incorporate to make your job more heart healthy.
Here are six heart healthy work tips to try out this week.
1. Take your meetings on the go
Need to have a brainstorming session with a co-worker? Don’t bother booking a conference room. Instead, meet up for a walk around the block and let the creative juices flow while you get in a little movement away from your desk.
2. Brown-bag it
If you work in an office, it’s easy to fall into the routine of going out to lunch or enjoying break room treats. By packing your own lunch, you can ensure you always have something heart healthy and nutritious to eat during your workday.
3. Take a stand
Standing desks have become quite popular, but you don’t have to invest in an expensive new desk to switch up your sitting routine. Try simply elevating your computer and alternating periods of standing and sitting throughout the day.
4. Drink up
Staying hydrated is important for a long list of reasons—not only will drinking plenty of water help your body run better in general, it also can help you stay more focused and efficient at work. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll also need to take extra bathroom breaks, which helps remind you to stand up and move around periodically throughout your day.
5. Use your vacation time
No matter how busy your job gets, it’s still important to find a balance. Taking a vacation can help reduce your stress levels, which is important for your long-term heart health.
6. Stretch it out
Even if a standing desk isn’t your thing, you can still combat the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle by taking stretching breaks. Simply standing up from your desk for a few minutes each hour and going through a short series of stretches can make a world of difference.
Of course, one of the most important things you can do to make your job heart healthy is to ensure you’re practicing heart healthy habits during the rest of your time as well. Prioritizing exercise, feeding your body well and getting plenty of rest should be daily goals—both at work and at home.
Think you’re too busy to eat healthy? Think again. Download “Your Guide to Eating Healthy on a Busy Schedule” here.