The 9 to 5 desk job can be dangerous for your health—physically and mentally. Why? Here’s 5 reasons:

Being inactive for up to8+ hours each weekday limits your body’s ability to metabolize, combat illness, circulate blood efficiently, and maintain and build muscle strength.

Unhealthy In-Office Food:
Donuts, pastries or other high-carb-high-fat treats often offered in cafeterias or during office meetings. Such food options makes eating healthy merely impossible. The donuts smell and look delicious and you’re hungry because maybe you didn’t make time for breakfast or simply have a sudden sugar craving. As your coworkers all chow and sip vigorously, you, too, figure, why not!

Desk Lunches:
If sitting at your desk for up to 8+ hours a day isn’t bad enough, Americans regularly remain at their desks even while eating lunch. If you forget to pack a lunch, which typically is healthier, you order in or pick up from nearby fast food restaurant chains, like Jimmy John’s or Chik-fil-A, because it is convenient, economic and perhaps tasty. But, remember, such food options are very unhealthy.

The stress associated with a career is taxing. You worry about performing well to either keep your job, guarantee a promotion in the upcoming months, or meet your boss’ expectations and deadlines. When stressed and consumed by work, most people reach for quick snacks that are often unwholesome. When overwhelmed by deadlines, bills, and employee reviews, most people make no time for exercise.

Stale Air:
Clean, fresh air fills your lungs and circulates your blood more readily, allowing your brain and body to function at its peak levels. However, the atmosphere in an office does not compare to that of nature; therefore, an 8+ hour work day stunts the body’s functionalities because you are not feeding your blood fresh oxygen.

Incorporating exercise, routine breaks to walk outside for fresh air, and nutritious packed lunches and snacks can immensely kickstart a healthier lifestyle. Suggest serving apples and almonds and the like as opposed to pastries during staff meetings. Suggest walking with co-workers to a nearby farmers market for lunch. Commit yourself to being aware of these 5 hazards of an office job and to combating these hazards, step by step.

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Relieve Stress by Keeping Active Throughout the Work Day

Have you ever spent endless hours at your desk, mulling over a contract, or a lesson plan, or a closing argument, or which stocks in which to invest? As each hour passes, your body hunches more, your eyes get droopier, your concentration wavers, your patience becomes void. The flickering harsh lights of the office floor act as a reminder of your imposing deadline, causing more stress and angst.

Pile on the fact that you may be missing your child’s parent-teacher conference, or the cancer benefit event, or your weekly spinning class. Your mind screams for relief. The stress boils over with nowhere to spill…because you must remain professional.

Physical activity releases endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. When released into your blood stream, endorphins lighten your mood, and help you feel more balanced and overall happier. No matter if you are running, swimming, playing basketball, holding yoga poses, walking to lunch instead of driving, or using bands or free weights to do bicep curls, the sheer act of physical movement produces this chemical reaction. Use this knowledge to your benefit: keeping active throughout the work day is imperative to stay productive and creative.

Your metabolism will kick up, encouraging you to eat a healthy meal; your dedication to exercise at your desk will inspire your co-workers to do the same, positively affecting the work atmosphere; you will no longer feel so sluggish, but instead rejuvenated and de-stressed. Your work will shine.

In today’s world, many Americans value appearance and health. Therefore, keeping up with your physical body’s needs through exercise will limit your level of stress. People are infamous for making excuses why they do not have time to exercise and eat properly. Empower yourself to stay “on track” and exercise.