This is a Special Guest Post, Hooray!
It's by Ali Hale of The Office Diet. Have you visited there yet? It's a great resource for busy full-time office workers who still have the nerve to want to stay healthy. There are all kinds of sneaky tips and recipes and such. (Plus, she's funny!) Ali is also a contributor to Diet Blog.
How to Keep Healthy and Stay Sane if you’re a Grumpy Office Worker
Nothing induces crankiness quite like being stuck behind a desk all day, in a room full of people whose presence you’re indifferent about at best, doing a job that makes you seriously consider whether watching kettles boil and paint dry would be more stimulating
Welcome to the world of Grumpy Office Workers, who face various challenges in maintaining some semblance of health and fitness in an environment tailor-made for comfort-biscuit-scoffing and slumping in front of a computer screen for eight hours straight.
The real world came as a cruel shock to me after a degree in English literature (when nine am was deemed “really early”, afternoon naps were almost mandatory and lectures were optional.) After a year and a half in tech support I
Escaping from your desk – move those legs!
If, when you stand up, you see dazzled spots dancing before your eyes, and your legs wobble, you just might have been sitting still for too long. The routinely ignored advice for computer-facing workers is to take a break every hour. Boring, right? But it’s a good excuse to slack off, wander around for a natter with a colleague, and accomplish the twin goals of “being the most popular person in the office” and “being the thinnest” by offering round cakes (see below).
You may suspect that your boss will be irked by seeing you meandering around in an un-busy sort of way. In this case, I suggest briskly striding up and down the corridors with a determined gleam in your eye, as though heading off on some company-crucial mission.
And as a side benefit, you actually fit in some activity that doesn’t feel like exercise. Bonus.
Insist on your full lunch hour and get away from your desk
When lunchtime finally rolls around, many Grumpy Office Workers want nothing more than a decent sandwich and a chance to chortle over Crabby and Merry’s latest post without having to constantly Alt-Tab at the sound of the boss’s footsteps.
However, spending your lunch hour at your desk guarantees a successive stream of clueless co-workers asking “Do you remember where we put the Very Important File?”, “Have you got a few minutes to spare today to fit in a teeny weeny extra task?” and “Is that the third cookie you’ve eaten today?” The second-best answer to such questions starts with N, ends with O, and has two letters. (The best starts with F and ends with Off....)
Rather than lingering at your desk, like the smell from your colleague’s egg sandwich, drag yourself out of the building at lunchtime. Escape to the quiet forest, the green hills, the peaceful lakes … or if, like most Grumpy Office Workers, your surroundings consist of the local high street, escape to the gym.
Yes, I get a nice intense half-hour workout in, and yes, I go back to the office feeling totally de-stressed (until I fire up Outlook again) – but the real reason I am known as the company’s “gym bunny” is because it’s darn peaceful there. No-one from the office has ever bothered trekking to the gym to accost me on a treadmill and ask an “urgent” question.
Cookies, cakes, chocolate and other office goodies
There’s something about free food, especially free fat-and-sugar-laden food that makes it nigh on impossible to resist. Even when it’s the stale cookies left over from yesterday’s meeting, the dubious looking sweets that someone’s brought back from holiday, or the gooey chocolatey Easter cupcakes dotted with mini eggs……wait. That last one was me.
Because my advice here is not “practise some restraint and ask yourself if you really want that sorry excuse for a treat” but instead “fatten up all your colleagues by taking in gorgeous baked goods to sabotage their diets.” You might still be chubby, but they’ll be even bigger: so what if you have to resort to somewhat sneaky means to be the slimmest in the office?