5 Lunchtime Alternatives

Sitting at your desk all day can be mentally and physically draining, and when you work in an office environment, it may seem difficult to promote mental and physical health.

If you put in extensive hours at the office, you may have never given any thought to how you can utilize your work space, but no worries—we’re here to help! Even the smallest movements or the slightest changes to your routine can help reduce stress and increase productivity. Check out our five lunchtime alternatives for a happier, healthier work day!

1. Exercise at your desk
Exercise often becomes a scheduled even that you have to squeeze in before or after work, but you can do simple exercises right from your desk! Even moderate levels of movement throughout the day promote heart health and decrease the risks commonly associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

  • Waiting for a large document to print? Don’t just stand there! Try some low-impact calf raises by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and raising up on your toes. Hold the pose for a few seconds, and then lower yourself back down. Repeat this exercise until the document is finished!
  • While seated at your desk, straighten one or both legs out in front of you, and hold them in place for 10 seconds. Then raise your legs as high as you can for five more seconds. For added difficulty, hang your purse or something else with a little weight around your legs. You should feel this exercise in your calves and glutes.
  • For exercise and stress relief, sit with your feet flat on the floor, and clasp your hands together like you’re giving yourself a handshake. Pull your arms in opposite directions without letting go. The resistance should be felt in your biceps, but it’s also a great way to release a little tension. Hold it for 15 seconds, release and repeat

2. Stretch
Simple stretches for your neck, back and shoulders can do wonders for your productivity! If you’re tense due to stress, try keeping a stress ball at your desk, taking a lap around the office or stepping outside for a moment to get some fresh air.

3. Pack your lunch at home
It is a lot easier to stick to your guns about eating healthier when you pack your own meals. Throw in a wrap, fruits, vegetables and snacks like cheese, nuts and granola. Fast food is quick and cheap, but it will cost you a lot of money over time—not to mention your health. If you don’t have time to pack your lunch, try ordering the salad or another healthy option from the menu.

4. Take a walk
Depending on the length of your lunch break, try taking a walk. If you have an hour lunch, a leisurely walk can promote health and help clear your mind. If you only have 30 minutes, try a brisk walk around the office or parking lot to stretch your legs and jump start your productivity.

5. Socialize
Sitting in your cube or office alone all day staring at your computer can take a toll on your mind and cause you to lose momentum. Socialize with your coworkers during breaks or at lunch to bolster your motivation.

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