7 Tips To Keep Your Job From Killing You

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Photo from Alex Proimos

America is becoming less and less blue collar when it comes to full-time employment. While that does present some benefits — namely fewer on-the-job injuries, better pay/benefits, and improved technological processes to ramp up productivity — it can also result in a sedentary lifestyle. Numerous studies over the last few years have revealed the dangers of this, particularly when it comes to office workers or anyone who sits in front of a computer six or more hours per day. One of the biggest threats to sedentary workers is that of colorectal cancer, but they can also be at risk for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease due to the lack of activity.

If this sounds like your work situation, then we have some tips to help keep your job from killing you. Let’s get started.


Do Things The Hard Way

By this, we mean don’t park right in front of the door. Choose a back space on the parking lot and walk as far as you can. Instead of taking short cuts through the building, find ways to add steps between the water fountain and your cubicle. Use stairs instead of an elevator. Once you get a feel for doing things the hard way, the opportunities to do so will be more available.


Use An Activity Monitor

Some people prefer wearing a pedometer. I love the Breeze app on my iPhone. If you’re an Android user, there are any number of activity monitors that, like Breeze, tap in to your phone’s accelerometer. In so doing, you can get a more accurate depiction of your movements throughout the day. It’s also much easier to track your progress over time. Shoot for 10,000 steps per day, but if that’s too hard to start with, cut it in half and work up from there.


‘Friend’ A Real Person

This may be more difficult if you hate your job and the people you work with, but typically, it’s easy to find at least one work friend. Instead of spending your whole lunch break sitting in a booth at the restaurant across the street, get back as early as you can and squeeze in a walk before break time is over. There is strength in numbers, even if “numbers” means only two people.


Utilize Your Resources

If you work for a company that provides health insurance, you may have access to free health screenings or discounts at parks and fitness centers. Even if you don’t, there are community resources where you can go for a checkup. Make use of the health tracking tools that you have at your disposal.


Make A Lunch Schedule

If you don’t plan your lunches for the week and prepare them ahead of time the night before, then we’re 99 percent sure you’ll get roped in to an office potluck or a meal out. In both cases, you’re more likely to eat too many calories, and those calories are usually represented by the wrong types of food. By planning, preparing, and bringing your lunches with you, you’re in a better position to monitor nutritional info.


Don’t Fall Out Of Your Routine On Vacation

Most jobs afford their employees at least two weeks of vacation each year. If you just have to “get away from it all,” make sure the “all” you’re getting away from doesn’t include fitness routines. By bringing along the aforementioned activity monitors, it’s much easier to stay on top of this because it becomes like a game instead of a dreaded chore.


Create Mini Fitness Schedules

One of the most recent studies regarding the dangers of sitting showed that even if you’re working out routinely, it does not decrease your risk of potentially fatal diseases so long as you remain planted in that chair six hours per day. However, even light motion and standing every 30 minutes can decrease your risks. That’s why I set my work timer for 30 minutes and then switch to the recommended four and a half minutes for motion time. I may still do work while in motion, but I do it standing up. (Bonus recommendation: buy or make a standing work station to help with this.)


In Summary

By taking care of yourself on the job, you are eliminating much of the risk involved with sedentary professions. Doing so will have a substantial impact on your life insurance eligibility, your health insurance premiums, medical bills, and even your car insurance, since good health is often calculated as less of a risk factor. Examine how active you are during the day and take steps to improve.

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