2080 is the number of hours in the average work year.
14 is the number of years I have been sitting the vast majority of the day on the job. Before that, I generally had jobs that required a much greater amount of moving around and physical activity.
This means that over the past 14 years I have sat somewhere around 29,120 hours. That's 3.324 years people, not including time seated at my desk thus far in the current year.
Office jobs are notorious for being unhealthy, sitting all day year after year just isn't good for the body and lately I have been mulling over what I could do to be less sedentary on the job, especially with articles popping up like Sitting will kill you, even if you exercise.
Administrative and other jobs that require large amounts of time at a desk or table are killing those of us who do them. I don't want to settle for unhealthiness I can prevent so I recently implemented a few strategies to see if I can improve my odds of being healthier longer.
- I swapped my watch for a Garmin VivoSmart activity tracker and pay attention to the analytics (I wear a small but it also comes in large).
- Began using free Garmin's activity tracking app Garmin Connect on my LG G4 Android (also comes in iOS and blackBerry)
- Started tracking my nutrition and calories with MyFitnessPal - Free web / app.
- I chose to refocus on eating a healthier plant based diet.
- I began using a standing desk.
I have looked at every make and model of smartwatch and can't find one that will work for my small wrist. I can't deal with how large the device faces are. The VivoSmart is the right size, comfortable and has many of the features a smartwatch offers. I purchased the basic black model and it goes well with everything dress up to dress down. I set my profile up as low activity - because that's where I have been at these past 14 years, and it started by giving me a goal of around 5,000 steps per day. I'm currently at just under 8,000 steps per day and I can see where this is going, it is gradually edging me to a goal of 10,000.
Since I am not going to go for a 3-5 mile walk in cold or hot or rainy - ok, really any kind of weather, because I have way too many excuses to do that - I pulled out the elliptical machine I had been using as a coat tree basically since I bought it about 12 years ago. It has an electronic display, but the Vivosmart counts my glides or steps or whatever they are called, and I get in a mile in the morning when I get up, and the balance of what I do not manage to walk during the day, while watching TV in the evening.
The Garmin Connect app feeds the MyFitnessPal app to chart my caloric output and adjust my recommended caloric intake daily. I took a firm step and gave myself some nutritional goals. Calories per day is one of them. MyFitnessPal has enough features for a post of its own - so to be brief, I'll just say you enter what you ate and it populates the nutritional details for calories, fat, sugar, carbs, sodium, protein, etc. It also stores your foods for easy reference if you eat the same things frequently. There's a water tracker too so you don't dehydrate to death.
I have strayed from eating the right way, and recognize my weakness in life could be called cake. In order to eat healthier while consuming less calories, I joined my co-worker Mike in bringing plant based protein shakes to work for lunch. We were happy with Garden of Life Raw Meal (not available at the moment due to a recall - I hope it comes back!) and now are using Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder (why buy 1lb when you can buy 5lb at a better per pound price?). It's convenient, low calorie, high protein (26 grams), and tasty! I can't tell you how many times if I wasn't eating a nutritional wreck of a lunch I skipped it completely because I was in the middle of something - now there is no excuse. I'm not a breakfast person either so many days I would just eat dinner. Now, I am also at least eating a Luna Bar with coffee in the morning at my desk.
Talking about my desk... I'm not sitting much anymore!
And now I'm off to workout on the elliptical while I watch the Democratic Town Hall and Nevada Republican presidential caucus on CNN.
Please share your tips for keeping fit at work!
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