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Work Is Fattening

Por Carola Sixto -

Most jobs are sedentary. If we add low physical activity due to lack of time and unhealthy eating habits that include fast food and snacks, the equation is simple: more calories consumed, less calories burned.

Sedentarism is closely related to technological advances: in 1900, 80% of jobs demanded physical tasks, while 20% were "brain" work." In contrast, according to the report "Obesity: Facts, Figures and Directives" of the West Virginia Health Statistic Center, it is estimated that by the year 2020, 80% of all jobs will be "brain" work, while only 20% will be "manual."

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend all adults that lead a sedentary lifestyle to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per day. To achieve this goal and also lose weight, some options are:

Walk to Work Walking vigorously for 30 minutes or doing three 10-minute walks is an accessible alternative for almost everyone. This is especially true if your goal is to perform an activity that will last over time. If you usually drive to work, park it as far as you can, in order to walk more. If you take the bus or train, get down one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way. Also, avoid using the elevator; use the stairs instead.

Take your own food
Instead of buying a sandwich or a hamburger, begin to take your own food to work. Besides saving money, you'll be eating healthier, fat-free food.

Forget about snacks
At mid-morning or in the afternoon, it's almost impossible not to crave for a snack. Cheese chips, for example, have about 160 calories per serving. If you're hungry between meals, you can replace them with:

  • Nuts: although they're not low in calories or fat, they'll keep you satisfied for a long time as they provide you with fiber.
  • Apples: this is one of the best snack choices.
  • Homemade snacks with cheese: in a plastic container, place some cottage cheese with diced carrots, celery, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, or zucchini. You'll have a light, well-balanced snack.
  • Yogurt and fruit: low-fat yogurt with fruit or granola is a great choice to satisfy your hunger.
  • Crackers with cheese: you can have 4 or 5 crackers with feta cheese. 
  • Edamame sauce and crackers: soy is a great source of vegetable protein. If you combine it with whole-wheat crackers, you'll get a highly nutritious snack.

Don't eat at your desk If you put a package of cookies on your desktop, you'll realize you'll end up eating it up without even noticing—while sending e-mails, making phone calls, or organizing papers. If you're really hungry, take a few minutes to eat a low-calorie snack.

Exercise at work
Conference calls, e-mail, and text messages are unquestionably comfortable. You can communicate with whoever you want, without leaving your workplace. That's exactly the problem if you want to lose weight! Leave technology aside every once in a while, and get up each time you need to talk to someone in your office! You'll achieve health... and efficiency.

During lunch time, don't stay in the office
Lunch time is a great opportunity to do some physical activity. After eating your homemade lunch, put on some comfortable tennis shoes and go out for a walk! You will not only burn calories, but also reduce stress.


Snacking smart at work, published at

Obesity: facts, figures, guidelines, published by West Virginia Health Statistic Center


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