15 Jan THE 9-5 LIFESTYLE AND ITS EFFECTS
The traditional 9-5 lifestyle entails about 40 hours of sedentary sitting per work week.
Put into perspective, the long and short term effect that this may have on your mental and physical health is obvious. Here are some harmful results of living the 9-5 lifestyle, and what you can do to combat them.
1. THE PHYSICAL
The most well known drawback of working a desk bound job is of course, obesity.
But why does this happen?
In simple terms, the human body is not meant to be still and seated for a majority of the day. It is designed to move around.
As you move, your body burns consumes the energy you provide it through food intake, ensuring a stable weight level is maintained.
However, if all you’re doing is intaking food, but not providing your body with enough movement to utilize and burn through it, the obvious will happen = weight gain.
Another obvious effect of a 9-5 that you are almost definitely experiencing is poor posture. There is a high chance that a large majority of your aches and pains are a result of it. Sitting through 8 hours with a heavily rounded spine, hunched shoulders and a compressed neck can negatively affect not only these areas, but also your hips as well .
Internally, due to constant pressure on the abdomen, indigestion and heartburn could quickly arise as well.
In the long term, the effects of all of these issues combined could leave you with a cocktail of heart disease, diabetes and other chronic conditions.
A simple way to combat this is through finding opportunities for movement throughout your day.
If walking to work is an option, do it.
If possible, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator at your office building. Setting timers every hour for a 1-2 minute stretch is another great way to alleviate the pressure your body is under from constant sitting.
Steady, small and mindful changes will be highly effective, as well as achievable if your schedule is rigid.
2. EATING HABITS
Having an early start to your day is great in many ways – IF you develop a healthy morning routine to go with it.
A common practice with 9-5 workers is skipping breakfast altogether due to a lack of time. This seemingly insignificant choice shouldn’t be too disruptive right?
Skipping breakfast could cause overeating when it comes to your later meals due to sustained hunger, as well as excessive snacking in between meals.
Eating a balanced breakfast sets you up for a full day of meals with reasonable portions, as well as decreasing the chances of unsteady blood sugar levels – ensuring that you have sufficient energy to get through your day (from the right kind of food sources!).
A simple way to set up a great diet for yourself is through meal prepping for the work week. Set aside an hour or two on a sunday to plan out your meals for the week, purchase the ingredients and prepare them in airtight containers.
This will minimize the time and mental energy it takes to have breakfast, or any other meal you may be used to skipping due to your 9-5 schedule. It’s also a great way to be more mindful about the ingredients you use in your meals, leading to a better diet overall!
3. THE MENTAL
Taking everything that your 9-5 entails into consideration, this includes commuting to and from, getting ready for work, etc – the average person will spend at least 66% of their time doing work related activities.
This leaves very little time for the other priorities in your life including your friends, family, health and hobbies.
Slowly but surely, this lack of a work-life balance will take a toll on your mental health, leading to extreme dissatisfaction with life, irritability and possibly depression.
A great way to begin to combat this is to ensure that you squeeze in as much social interaction as you can into your work days. Instead of emailing a coworker about a question, opt for a face to face conversation or meeting. Take your colleagues out to lunch instead of eating at your desk alone. Improving the social aspect of your work life is sure to make your job seem less monotonous, decreasing the mental toll of being there.
If you’ve made it this far and have successfully identified that your 9-5 is affecting your health, but are still unsure about how to live a healthy life alongside your job, don’t hesitate to book a consultation with us here at Fitness in Motion – and we’ll help you make a start”