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Work Habits That Make You Fat and Sick

I am not a workaholic, but I strive to become a superstar employee. You know, the one who is always there to answer a question, who is willing to take additional responsibilities, help a co-worker with a project after hours, and who never fails to show up at work with a dashing smile ready to conquer the day. It sounds exhausting, doesn’t it? But it is not just grueling, it is also not healthy.
Over time while trying to become a superstar employee, I have developed some bad habits with good intentions in mind, but bad habits none the less.

Habit #1

All day long I sit at my desk and stare at the computer screen. My work is not physical, and it does not require any physical activity except to file documents or walk from one office to another. While I am not moving around a lot, by the end of the day I feel more exhausted physically as if I had moved around more.

How I fix it: Instead of sending an email or placing a phone call, I try to go and talk to a person. First, it is always nice to make a personal connection. Second, I force myself to move around a little bit more. I work in a five story building. I never ever use the elevator but always use the stairs. Moving around helps me to clear my mind and I come back to my desk feeling better about myself. So, take your butt off that chair and move around!

Habit #2

I noticed that I eat a majority of my lunches at my desk. From one side, it is good because it saves me money. However, on days like this, I feel less satisfied with food and I crave sweets. When I go out to lunch or at least leave my desk and go eat in the break room, I feel less hungry and don’t have visions of cakes, pies and ice cream floating through my head in the afternoon. I don’t have a strong will, so when those visions start floating in my mind, I tend to satisfy my sweet urges.

How I Fix It: I try to get out of my cubicle, give myself a break and go eat my lunch somewhere else. I have less afternoon cravings and therefore, I consume less calories. After all, I’d rather save those calories for the weekend!

Habit #3

I hate when people show up sick to work. They sneeze, they cough, they can barely talk and they spread germs around. It is called presenteeism which is a perfect name for it because all these people are doing is being present at work. Efficiency is not great. How can you be efficient when all you can think of is your need to close your eyes, put your head on the keyboard and take a nap. I am very guilty of presenteeism as well. I drag myself to work for the sake of getting work done. In the end, I do not get work done, I go home early and I am sick longer.

How You and I Can Fix It: It is an easy fix. When you are sick, please stay home.

This is a guest post from Aloysa at My Broken Coin! Aloysa rejoins the financial blogging world after taking a break. Speaking of breaks, I might need to take one from sitting on my fat arse in front of a computer all day, and you probably do too.

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13 thoughts on “Work Habits That Make You Fat and Sick

  • I’m in front of my computer all day long too. It is not good for the body in the long term. Now that the gym closed down, I can’t even go at lunch anymore. I’m taking long walks instead, but I can’t wait until the gym reopen in 2012.

  • Amen to all that. Taking a healthy lunch is usually better than anything I can get from the vending machines or cafeteria. Also, I work on the 4th floor and still hoof it up the stairs. I used to take the elevator, but I got so annoyed when people take elevators to the 2nd or 3rd floors, so it actually shortens my time from ground floor to my office. And I get exercise before becoming a cubicle zombie all day.

    Good stuff. Cube-dwellers unite … to stay healthy!

  • I feel you, Aloysa. I make sure that I take an hour out of day to run, when possible. Sometimes I just have to tell myself, if I can “play” on the computer for an hour, then I can run for an hour. It’s all mental. Really. It is.

  • Sometimes I concentrate way too hard on my screen. Our work says take a microbreak every 20 minutes at least – look away from the screen, stretch, focus on something far away.

    Of course, I find myself staring at an xterm for an hour plus all the time. Gotta stop doing that, haha.

  • Getting up to talk to people is a good tip. It’s so funny when we email each other from across the hall.

    I try to shut off all stimulus during the time when I’m eating (try being the operative word), and eat slowly. It helps me feel more satisfied and like I got an actual break. I also try to get outside and take a quick walk around the building when weather permits.

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