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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office? 372

Posted by Soulskill
from the five-pushups-for-every-non-work-related-pageload dept.
Kochnekov writes "This week I started my first co-op job as a chemical engineering student. I work in an R&D lab, but in between daily tasks there is a lot of downtime, which I spend at my desk, staring at my computer. I know Slashdot is used mostly by IT professionals and desk jockeys, so chances are you've all encountered the draining effects of sedentary office life: joint and back pain, weight gain, heart health risks, etc. What are some ways to counteract the negative health effects of a desk job, both during and after work?"
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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Fit In the Office?

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  • Nearest Gym (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rogueippacket (1977626) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:49PM (#42568821)
    Ask your colleagues, I bet a good number of them go there during lunch or at some other predetermined hour, several times per week. And don't feel even a little bit bad about leaving your desk - it's a great way to network within the company and develop camaraderie, which can ultimately lead to full-time employment and higher moral.
    Alternatively, if you are working some place fairly isolated, you can bike to/from work one or many days per week, weather permitting.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:55PM (#42568861)

    Get strong. There are really good 3x a week strength training programs targeted at beginners. Starting Strength and Stronglifts 5x5 are two of the most widely used and effective examples.

    Join a team sport to keep you motivated about strength gains.

    Switch to a standing desk. At the least, this will prevent slouching and keep your hip flexors more loose than they are right now.

  • by blahplusplus (757119) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:55PM (#42568865)

    ... walking believe it or not. Walking steadily for multiple half hour to one hour stints over the entire day adds up. I lost 40lbs walking 4 hours a day/7 days a week for 4 months. It's all about commitment, don't make excuses when it comes to your health. Without your health nothing else matters. Take it from someone fairly aged, as you get older you're not as energetic as when you're younger so get it done ASAP. People tend to under-estimate how important it is to prioritize health over everything else. IMHO health should come even _before_ your job because without it you're just digging yourself a whole that is harder to climb out of as you get older.

    But before you even begin to exercise DO find out how much you are eating or exercise is pointless. A great site is fitday, for the first week or so monitor religiously and input data on everything you eat including days you over-eat.

    http://www.fitday.com/ [fitday.com]

    In my opinion if you eat a lot of unhealthy foods you should start to remove some of the worst from your life and replace it with something healthy. You don't have to go all health nut but eating better goes a long way when coupled with exercise. Take it from someone who has been there, done that.

  • by sillivalley (411349) <.sillivalley. .at. .comcast.net.> on Saturday January 12, 2013 @01:56PM (#42568869)
    If you have a printer in your cube, get rid of it -- use one that makes you get up and walk.

    Use stairs rather than elevators -- use a loo on a different floor to get more use of stairs,

    If you drive to work, don't park next to the building, park where you get to walk some.

    Rather than eating lunch one or more days during the week, take a walk locally instead.
  • by rwa2 (4391) * on Saturday January 12, 2013 @02:03PM (#42568941) Homepage Journal

    I've been doing Tae Kwon Do most of my life, and it works pretty well for nerds. I found a school with lots of scientists and engineers, and the emphasis was more on personal growth than competitive sparring.

    There's a lot of geometry and physics to think about while you're practicing your drills, and you spend a lot of time thinking about optimizing the various systems in your body. And you get to collect a lot of tools and hacks, various things you can do with your body and other people. Also, I learned a bit of Korean, and get conditioned with some of the exotic cultural protocol as well.

    So it might be a good option to check into if you find gyms boring and team sports out of your league.

  • by candeoastrum (1262256) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @02:12PM (#42569013)
    Intermittent Fasting has been my savior. Between the commute and spending time with the family I don't have much time for working out so IF (eating every other day) has been a godsend for me. It may not work for you but to each his own.
  • Run or bike to work (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jon Abbott (723) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @03:18PM (#42569507) Homepage

    Live close enough to work that you can run or bike to and from work. If it snows or gets icy where you live, get Microspikes [rei.com] for your shoes so you can keep running in the winter. Problem solved!

  • by The Dancing Panda (1321121) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @03:40PM (#42569613)
    I'm an Aikido guy (2nd Degree Black belt). It's fairly useful in a fight (depending on your teacher, I guess). Mostly for teaching you how to get around one, or making it look like all self defense. My Dad (4th Degree, owns his own club) has taught SWAT teams and Police forces, because it's pretty good for subduing attackers without a lot of blood.
  • by pioneerX (830117) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @05:14PM (#42570259)
    Some V-brakes come with power modulators to stop inexperienced rides from locking the wheels. It's like having stretchy brake cables.
  • by Runaway1956 (1322357) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @07:48PM (#42571229) Homepage Journal

    People do deteriorate when confined to a wheelchair. People who are aware of that fact can do something about it.

    Jim was a UDT/Frogman. (Note, he wasn't a SEAL, they didn't have SEALS when he served.) Long after his discharge, Jim discovered that he was diabetic. Long story short, he lost both legs to diabetes. When his legs were cut off, he woke up in a recovery room with another guy who had the same problem, same amputation.

    Jim resisted efforts to sell him an electrically powered wheelchair. His room mate bought a high dollar powered wheel chair.

    The old sailor lived for decades, powering his own wheelchair with his own arms. His room mate only made it about 7 years. Each year, that room mate gained more weight, grew weaker, got lazier and lazier, and finally died.

    You're right, studies are needed, but you're most certainly on the right track with your guesses.

  • by datavirtue (1104259) on Saturday January 12, 2013 @08:37PM (#42571487)

    The 30-30 rule: After 30 minutes of sitting you must get up for at least 30 seconds and stretch. Look up ergonomics for the office and practice good eating habits. I recently sat with an ergonomics expert and nutritionist. I was feeling dead at the end of the day--taking naps when I got home--and generally run down and old. At 34 I knew this wasn't right so I brought it up to him. He said I was running out of gas because I wasn't eating enough! I was essentially starving myself by only eating twice a day which was preventing me from losing weight (I work out at the gym 2-3 times a week) and it was making me feel dead. As soon as I started eating small protein rich meals every two hours with a cutoff of 7pm per his recommendations I came to life instantly. He said It would make me feel like crap the first week or two but it didn't. I started dropping weight immediately, visiting the restroom more often and I felt like and still feel like a warrior. Complete change. He told me that everyone who works in an office sits wrong, far too long, and they eat horrible diets. Stay away from fast food and heavy meals all together. Don't forget to hit the gym or strap on the running shoes a few times a week!

  • Re:Doughnuts (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 12, 2013 @08:53PM (#42571587)

    That little round-bellied guy that everyone thinks is Buddha is actually a Chinese Buddhist sage. Buddha himself is never depicted that way; he was thin, north Indian not Chinese, and is not traditionally depicted with his stomach hanging out. Not that Buddhists would be easily offended by such a depiction; we tend to just smile.

I'd rather be led to hell than managed to heavan.

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