Now I know what you might be thinking: “Um, you’re a student, what could you possibly know about the workplace?” And granted, I haven’t spent years working in an office, but I have done placements in a solid 12 different workplaces over the past few years, and I’ve realised offices can be a nightmare for the health-conscious employee.From my experience, it seems people tend to bring in treats all the time, and there’s always a reason to celebrate something. With food, naturally. To be fair, I probably don’t help by bringing home-baked goods, but apparently one TV newsroom does remember me for my cookies, so that’s always good.Some of the magazines I’ve been lucky enough to work at have been the worst/best, as the journalists are always being sent all sorts of yummy goodies from PRs and the like. Of course, this is a major perk, but if you don’t want to turn into the office heifer it does mean a sizeable amount of willpower is required.
And it’s all very well saying “Oh, just bring your own healthy snacks to work,” but realistically, if someone holds the Krispy Kreme box out to you, you’re not going to say “No thanks, I’ve got my raisins here.” Well, I’m not anyway.The trouble is, I find that no matter how engrossed in your work you are, when you’re just sitting still at a computer all day the temptation to liven up the monotony with snacks is hard to fight. I’ve just eaten a fairy cake as I type. Case in point.And when you’re a student suddenly thrown into a 9-5 job for a week or two, it can be totally exhausting. Intentions to go for an evening jog can often crumble just as you do on the sofa after a long day. So, I’ve worked out some little tips and tricks to (hopefully) help keep you slim and trim despite working in an office:
1. Walk. Everywhere.
There are so many pros to walking your commute (or at least part of it). On my most recent placement at the Mail Online in London, I took the bus and the tube on the first morning, but decided that was ridiculous and replaced the bus with walking from then on. The walk was only 20 minutes, and the bus took about 5-10 minutes itself because of rush hour traffic. By walking, I saved nearly £5 a day, got to see more of London – there are always interesting things to look at – and burned some extra calories. Win-win-win.I also find that travelling by tube all the time means I don’t really get a sense of how different areas join up. Walking is the absolute best way to explore and get to know a city, it’s free and counts as exercise.
2. Take the stairs.
Unless your office is on a silly high floor, why not take the stairs instead of the lift – at least down them anyway? Equally, when you’re powing round the tube, walk the escalators instead of just standing there. You’ll get there quicker and feel like someone very important off to somewhere even more important.
3. Go out for your lunch-break.
It baffles me that pretty much all office workers eat lunch al desko. Sure, you may have lots of work to do, but a break is good for the brain, and more often than not I see people on ASOS or the Mail Online as they munch (no judgement on choices of website, of course.)I, however, would encourage you to leave the office and refresh yourself on many a level. Sitting still all day gives me horrible back ache (I’m only 20, awks.) Go and explore the area, see what’s out there, find a nice park to stroll round. Even going for a spot of lunchtime retail therapy is better than continuous sitting in front of a screen at a desk.You can do more than you think in an hour. I don’t like the idea of going for a jog and coming back sweaty, but I recently rented a Boris Bike on my lunch-break and went for a half an hour cycle through Kensington Palace Gardens and Hyde Park. It was lovely, and allowed me to see so much more than I would’ve done on foot. Successfully combining interning with being a tourist.
4. Keep drinking.
No, not that kind of drinking. I don’t know about you but I always like to have something to hand to sip or nibble at while I’m working, and obviously I can’t just graze my way through the day. Copious amounts of tea, squash, diet soft drinks and perpetually refilling my water bottle see me through. I know fizzy drinks are supposedly the devil and all, but I love them, and I’m not suggesting multiple cans a day or anything.So, now we can all be skinny minnies in the office. Well, we can try anyway. Does anyone have any of their own tips to share? I’d love to hear them!