Posted by Accountemps on Monday, August 1, 2016 - 08:00 | Follow me
If you’re an accounting and finance professional who spends more than six hours a day at a desk job, read on (unless you already work at a standing desk and consider the exercise bicycle and elliptical trainer your friends).
We’ve assembled five tips for eliminating your aches, toning your core, getting adequate nutrition and rest, and elevating your fitness so you feel more resilient at your desk job.
1. Break up sedentary time at your desk job
Get up from your chair and stretch every 30-minutes-to-an-hour for a minute or two before returning to your demanding desk job.
We understand accounting and finance deadlines, but if your blood pressure is persistently high, if you’re having trouble concentrating at work or sleeping at night, or if you’re out of breath after taking the stairs in the parking garage, then it’s time for a change.
Get up from your chair and stretch every 30-minutes-to-an-hour for a minute or two before returning to your desk job.
Walk to the restroom or the water fountain, or meet a colleague instead of emailing or calling. That will counteract eye strain and improve your circulation.
Take the stairs, not the elevator.
Stand during your conference calls, try a standup workstation and keep a small set of weights or a hand exercise ball at your desk.
2. Stretch and use your core muscles
Use your core muscles (abdominals and lower back) when you sit, stand or walk.
The human body is designed to lift, push, pull and stretch. By applying more thought to your movements — whether it’s climbing stairs, standing up from your chair or twisting to reach for a file box — you can make the most of your muscles, joints, tendons, ligaments and organs. Here are some tips:
Activity draws blood and oxygen to areas of your body in use. When you stand up from your cubicle, think of blood rushing to your lower back and upper thighs like city lights turning on after a power outage.
Sitting in one place has the opposite effect. Blood tends to isolate in areas of the body. Your muscles become deprived of oxygen, and it doesn’t take long for you to begin feeling sore or weak.
Use your core muscles (abdominals and lower back) when you sit, stand or walk. Maintain good posture at all times. Stretch your spine by leaning forward toward your lap. Stretch your hands and wrists by flexing upward, backward and downward. Rotate clockwise and counterclockwise.
Want to avoid desk job burnout? Here are 15 office exercises you can do at your desk.
3. Eat nutrient-rich foods throughout the day
Keep healthy snacks on hand — almonds, cashews, carrots, dried cranberries, sliced apples or oranges.
How you nourish your body affects how you feel. The next time you’re making your grocery list or choosing your meal at the office cafeteria, remember these facts:
Food is fuel. You must burn as much as you put into your body to maintain leanness.
Protein builds muscle — the leaner the better.
Complex carbohydrates give you energy — brown rice, whole-grain breads and pastas, black beans, kidney beans, quinoa, baked potatoes.
Eat green vegetables — the greener or more vibrant the color, the better it is for you.
Lean muscle burns fat — better to have four-to-six small meals a day than a large breakfast or dinner.
Keep healthy snacks on hand — almonds, cashews, carrots, dried cranberries, sliced apples or oranges. That’s handy if you’re having trouble getting away from your desk job.
Drink plenty of water — eight to 12 eight-ounce glasses a day will do.
4. Limit sugar, alcohol, salty foods and tobacco
It’s fine to allow yourself a treat now and then. Just don’t fool yourself into thinking that that caramel macchiato and a glazed doughnut or diet cola and a bag of Doritos are a meal. The body treats alcohol the same way it does the doughnut: Sugar into fat. And tobacco, of course, takes its toll. Bottom line: Don’t overdo it.
Read more about maintaining a healthy work-life balance on the Accountemps blog.
5. Get adequate sleep and consider a mid-day nap
The more active you are during the day, the more tired you’ll feel when you go to bed. Balancing your sedentary desk job with activity will allow your brain to reach a restorative state of sleep. If you’re feeling tired at work mid-day, find a quiet place away from your desk job to meditate or take a 15-to-20-minute nap, if possible.
It’s within your reach to be healthy while having a demanding accounting and finance desk job. With a few healthy lifestyle changes, you’ll be on your way to more productive days at work and more enjoyable time off, too.
More articles about staying healthy with a desk job
- Productivity Bite: Healthy Snacks to Increase Stamina at Work
- Let It Go! 10 Ways to Relax at Work
- Renewing Your Motivation at Work