Do you have Office Body?
As Business owner working from home, I’m pretty much glued to my computer most of the time, so when my vacation week finally arrived, I couldn’t have been happier. Sounded like heaven. And it was. Until I put on my swimsuit. That’s when I realized the scary truth. I have Office Bod—hunched-over posture, a flat behind, a paunchy midsection, and thigh spread. That’s what happens when you spend hours at your desk. It’s not ideal.
Ten years ago even, leaving the office for lunch or stepping out for an errand, were pretty normal. Now that whole work culture has changed, it’s affecting our health and our bodies. The lunch hour has become a relic (we all eat at our desks). Going on an errand in the middle of the workday is seen as an interruption (supposedly this is what online shopping is for). Plus, we are all addicted to our screens (if I go offline for long, I risk missing earth-shattering news like Gisele getting an eye-lift).
It’s not just a superficial thing; recent studies have proved that sedentary lifestyle increases the rates of type 2 diabetes (if you sit for between eight and 12 hours, your risk increase by 90 percent), cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
When the term Dad Bod emerged this spring, my 50-something friends and I laughed endlessly about it. After all, over the years we have watched (weeping) as once-studly guys transformed into paunchy, pasty middle-aged Dad Bods. Sure, we had Mom Bods after having babies, but the craziness of watching our bodies morph with pregnancy made many of us that much more committed to fitness Some of us not all! Dad Bod, which was originally coined for 20-something guys who were forgoing gym time in favor of keg time, was supposedly appealing to certain girls. I don’t see the same thing happening for Office Bod.
When we move from being a full time mom, an as for me a nurse it’s been a huge change in a dozen ways, but the most obvious of which is my body. Walking literally miles a day on the hospital floor, school pickups, shopping, cooking was just part of my day. Now, though I walk around the block once a day, my fingers get the most exercise as they dance around my keyboard. Previously, when I needed to get in shape, I would join a gym, walk a little more, do some more weights, a few extra crunches and things fell back in line. Until now. So the question is, in a culture of sitting, how do you banish Office Bod for good? I turned to experts for advice.
Set a timer to move: The most important thing is to be sitting as little as possible throughout the day, Beachbody coaches. Whether you make a plan to move every 30, 45, or 60 minutes, do it consistently. Even if it is just five minutes of walking, it will make a difference. Setting an alarm on your phone, or committing to move with a co-worker and a consistent time, can help you keep it up. Legally your job has to give you a lunch break, plus two 15-minute breaks. We suggests using those breaks to walk rather than hanging out by the water cooler.
Being a Health coach has now gotten my fitness under control. Not all people can have a job where fitness it their work but there is help for everyone.
Get a standing desk: Working in a standing position offers multiple benefits including better overall alignment and increased calorie burning. People often slouch or create improper movement pattern when they are sitting. Your hip flexors are also tightening up, and you are putting more strain on your back, says fitness coach for Beachbody. Also, because standing is less comfortable than sitting, We believe you are less likely to stay in one position for hours.
Focus on strength training: “If you are sitting for long periods of time, you need to be smarter with your workouts, explains Golden. “You are automatically more susceptible to injury because you are less active, so tailor your workouts to your body with a trainer.” Or better yet save money and Train at home on Demand. Check out Beachbody on Demand. Many workouts for balance, strength training and cardio. Beachbody believes in 30 minutes a day 6 days a week for over all good health. Note: We even have a 10 minute workout for those that don’t have much time. With BOD(Beachbody On Demand) you can take it to work if you have a place to do them. Most offices don’t have the room.
Counter Office Bod with these moves: It turns out that specific fitness moves are needed to tackle Office Bod. My go-tos of running and crunches are, according to many trainers, the opposite of what I should be doing. When you are sitting, you are shortening your midsection, and crunches you will shorten your midsection even more. Instead, do moves that strengthen the lower back like Superman, Strengthening your lower back muscles will lengthen and reverse the natural hunching that occurs and pull your shoulder blades back., Sitting also makes your hamstrings shorten. Hip thrusts are also key: You are so busy being folded all day, but hip thrusts will open your hips along with strengthening your glutes while lengthening your midsection and backside.
Don’t try to work out at your desk: While this seems like it could be some sort of multitasking solution, it’s a fast track to getting injured. Doing random squats won’t make you healthier or leaner. Instead you will end up with tendinitis. Apparently not warming up and randomly doing exercises here and there won’t succeed. You create inflammation and damaged tissues, and the muscles won’t change in a positive way. There are exercises to relieve stress and tight muscle. Look for that article coming soon on this site.
Commit to moving with your co-workers: Group fitness goals are often more motivating than individual ones. When you are tired, or inclined to skip working out, having someone waiting for you is key. Put together office exercise groups. Some commit to parking their cars a mile from the office each morning and they all walk in together. Others go for short. Makes it harder if you work from home. Have a buddy you can call or will call you to get you up and moving. Give each other challenges. Team Beachbody provides support groups, accountability, and fitness coaches who will help you through tough spots.
Invest in a fitness tracker: You’ll see how much, or how little, you are moving, he says. We recommends 10,000 steps a day (roughly five miles) just to maintain health. To lose weight, go with 12,000. To be really fit, keep counting. Knowing your steps can help motivate you to move more.
Exercise in the morning: If you schedule your workouts in the evening, you are bound to cancel, thanks to extra work, plans with friends, or simple exhaustion. Instead, make sure to move every morning. It can be as short as 10 minutes, we recommends doing at least one resistance exercise each day. Five to 10 minutes a day, targeting a different body part each day, will ultimately lead to a full-body workout at the end of the week.
Say no to unhealthy snacks: Nutritionist advises that you change your approach to food at the office, something that will definitely be a challenge. The office is really tough; you are sitting all day, and there is always unhealthy food around. The first two weeks of establishing a new habit is the hardest. But if you get through that, then you will stick with it. You will have to say no to whatever your obvious temptations are, like bagels or candy or chips, and be really strict with yourself for two weeks knowing it will be a lot easier when you are through that time. Working from home can be a little harder and if you have kids even harder.
Bring your own snacks: We recommend bringing healthy options from home, especially if your office is stocked with things like chips, soda, and candy. A bite of dark chocolate will quell a sweet craving when there are cupcakes or sweets around. We also would suggest you take a healthy Shake that is good for your skin with all the protein and minerals. That is if you have a place to make it. I know my husband brings a small cooler with his magic bullet and all his ingredients in the cup, except for the ice which you can get anywhere. We suggest bringing carrot, celery sticks, or cut up peppers in containers for snacking and having an appetizing dip to go along with it. Think salsa, salad dressing, hummus, or guacamole. For drinks, we advises steering clear of diet soda which is bad for your skin. Go towards plain water with lemon, hot water with lemon (“great for your skin”), or green tea (“a healthy alternative to coffee).
Watch for more articles on staying healthy and fit wherever you are or what you do for work. Will be adding a children section.
Your Partner in Health,