Four healthy habits to adopt at work

In today’s world it’s the norm to stay chained to your desk for the majority of the day. Unfortunately although you’re working hard, more desk time and increasingly sedentary lifestyles are causing an increase in major health issues. In fact, according to research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, around a third of British adults spend more than six hours sitting down each day! Never fear – experts are on hand to offer their tips for healthy habits you can adopt for those long days at work.

1. Re-think your meal deal

Most of us opt for a meal deal at some point during the week, they’re quick, easy and cost effective- so why wouldn’t you! However, not all meal deals are created equal and making healthier swaps is a simple way to implement a healthier lunch habit at work. London’s leading nutritionist, Lily Soutter, shares what she would choose from the (iconic) Boots meal deal.

“For the main I would go for the Deli Egg & Avocado, this is a good source of vegetarian protein (22g) and even fibre (8g). It can be hard to find grab and go sandwiches which contain adequate amounts of these two macronutrients. This sandwich is also low in saturated fat, yet the avocado provides a good dose of heart healthy monounsaturated fats.

“For the snack part of the meal deal I would choose Quinoa waves, per portion these quinoa waves are in lower calories in comparison to regular crisps. Drinkwise, I would choose the Multi Vit Apple & Elderflower, extremely low in calories with only 5 kcal and 0.1g sugar per serving – this drink choice would be a good option in comparison to high sugar beverages and can play a positive role on dental health but also our waistline.”

Lily continues: “The combo provides moderate amount of calories 460 kcal, a good dose of protein 22.8g as well as fibre 8.32g and lastly a low sugar 3.6g and salt 1.6g content. Both protein and especially fibre promotes satiety, decreases hunger and thus helps provide a feeling of fullness. Both these aspects are key role in portion control and keeping energy stable all afternoon long.”

2. Ditch the threat of diabetes

As we now know, sitting for long periods of time can have a detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing. Dr Sarah Brewer offers her advice to minimise your risk of obtaining the ‘lifestyle disease’.

“If you work in an office, there’s a good chance you spend a large part of your day seated at a desk. Sitting for long periods of time during the day is linked with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, and premature death. Stand and walk around at least every 20 to 30 minutes. Build regular exercise into every day – for example, walking to and from work, or at least part of the way.

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“Stand as much as possible – there is a growing trend for standing desks, for example, and for walking meetings! As well as this, avoid temptation of cakes and biscuits by taking in healthy snacks – fruit, hummus and carrots, for example. It is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to maintain hydration. Ultimately, you should walk as much as possible – walk to a local park to eat your healthy packed lunch, brisk walking for at least 30 minutes (and preferably an hour) on most days is ideal.”

3. Have a workout buddy

Sometimes the thought of spending your precious lunch break at the gym is enough to put you off for life. Sadly, with office culture being so immobile, squeezing in a lunchtime workout can really boost your health.

“Grab your colleague and go to a fitness class on your lunch break- having a work out buddy or a fitness class that you love, so that exercising isn’t thought of as a chore. Exercising on your own, whether it’s working out in the gym or going for a run, can be a joyless experience – but exercising with others in a class can be motivating and much more fun, especially if there’s great music too,” recommends nutritionist and fitness instructor, Cassandra Barns.

4. Make lists and prioritise

Taking care of your mental health at work is also is crucial for your health and wellbeing. It might sound obvious to make lists, but your mind can be going at a million miles an hour whilst you’re at work with so many things to do and writing things down can really help.

Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Dieting explains: “Remember that your health is the most important thing in your life.

“Being assertive is invigorating and empowering. It also helps to make lists of what is, or is not a priority, and to tackle the priority tasks first. This will help give you a sense of control over your life.”

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