Most people in America work in an office, sitting in front of a computer or behind a desk. However, humans were really not designed to be seated for long hours, but unfortunately we are frequently faced with having to do so. “Some things you can do while you are at work can really help you burn more calories per day and make a difference in your weight and even energy level,” according to Amy Lee, M.D., physician at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Here are tips on how to lose those pounds:
Get at least eight hours of sleep. You can burn approximately 100 calories per hour while you sleep. So eight hours of sleep is 800 calories a night. That’s 5,600 calories a week or equivalent to 1.8 pounds a week!
Use stairs when you can. On average, you burn five to 10 calories per flight or 13 steps for a standard American stairwell. So for instance, if there are two flights for each floor that equals to 10 to 20 calories per floor. If you go up four floors, you can burn up to 40 to 80 calories and if you take the stairs three times a day for five days you can potentially burn 600 to 1,200 calories in one work week, and that’s almost ¼ to 1/2 a pounds per week!
Stand. If you’re like most people you sit at work most of the time. You sit to write notes, answer phones or chat with your colleagues. Why sit when you can stand and potentially lose weight? You can burn approximately 100 calories an hour just by standing. How? Because you are working on the muscles related to the lower leg movement: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, adductor longus and maximax glutieus.
Walk. In general, you can burn about 75 calories per mile. 2,000 steps are equivalent to one mile. So if you do 10,000 steps a day (that’s the national average), you could expend up to 375 calories a day! So, get that $10 pedometer and count your steps! Instead of driving to lunch, walk! That is equivalent to 1,875 calories a week and that’s 0.6 pounds a week!
Eat. Don’t skip meals. The motto of “eat to lose weight” holds true. If you eat only one meal a day, your body will start conserving energy, meaning it will increase storage. As a result, you force the body to burn fewer calories per hour, which then defeats the whole purpose of weight loss.
Relax. Stress is one thing, but stress eating can get you in trouble. The stress hormone cortisol is released from adipose tissue (body fat) and also induces localized fat cells to accumulate especially in the belly area. So it is important that you implement some kind of activity that could relieve your stress like a massage, meditation or even just a nap in the middle of the day.
Drink. Water, that is! Water nourishes your body, helps with your skin complexion and also gives you a temporary sense of fullness especially if you drink a glass of water before each meal. It helps you avoid overeating during meals and could potentially save you from eating that additional 100 calories, which in a week could add up 700 calories or ¼ pounds a week!
For more information on how to lose weight or for a referral to a Good Samaritan Hospital physician, please call 1 (800) GS-CARES.