If my first experience in the corporate world has taught me one thing, it’s that maintaining healthy habits in the office is tough. As an intern at Dell, I work with over 50 people across various teams. There always seems to be a celebratory lunch or a birthday cake sitting in the break room, and multiple coffee meetings throughout the day start to add up.
After a full day of work, the last thing I want to do when you get home is exercise, which consumes even more energy. Here are a few tips on making healthier choices that I learned while interning at Dell.
Take your calls on the go.
If your job requires spending a lot of time on the phone, invest in a headset so you can walk around while on a call. This allows you to get work done and get some exercise in at the same time. I usually make at least one call each day on my headset and make a couple laps around the office or even take a stroll outside while on the call. This may seem like a small change, but I’ve found that it makes me feel more energized and accomplished. I recommend walking during calls scheduled for early afternoon, when post-lunch fatigue starts to set in.
If you’re not able to take calls on the go, try standing up during some of your calls to help improve circulation.
Track your water from your desk.
It’s commonly suggested that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day, which means you’ll need to refill a standard 16-ounce water bottle four times a day. I tried to keep to that, but when the water fountain is two whole cubicles further than the vending machine, I’ll usually just go for the soda (don’t judge, we’ve all been there).
I’ve found that keeping tally of every time I fill up my water bottle works great for motivating me to drink water. There are two key components to this method:
- Make it visual. Post the tally somewhere you (and others) can see as a constant reminder to stay hydrated. I keep my tally posted on the white board beside my desk so that I see it constantly.
- Set up a reward system. Set a goal for your weekly water tally and treat yourself when you reach it. For example, if I get at least 18 tallies in a week, I treat myself to the vending machine drink that taunts me every day.
Find fitness pals.
Having a group of co-workers to hold me accountable to the healthy choices I’m trying to make helps keep me on track and turn these choices into long-term habits. At Dell, the interns hang out and do things together. I feel more motivated to drink more water or take the stairs instead of the elevator when my co-workers are doing the same. It’s also a great way to build positive, friendly relationships with colleagues.
Need some office fitspiration? Here are a few ideas:
- Form a healthy lunch club and share a meal once a week. Yes, there are other lunch options than fast food.
- Share your favorite healthy recipes via email.
- Have a walking meeting.
- Ask healthy-minded co-workers to push each other to take the stairs or park further away from the building.
- Take short breaks to “deskercize” – stretch or do a few exercises at your desk.
By Andrew Stowe (BSBA ’16)
This post has been adapted and republished with permission from the author. View the original post here.