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Stay healthy and eat nutritiously in a high pressure desk job

Kathy Gruver, PhD Host of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and author of three books on health Alternative Medicine Cabinet

We know how hard it can be to maintain healthy weight and nutrition when we’re stuck behind a desk all day. Not to mention the afternoon slump and the stress that often goes with a high pressure office job. Being a 9-5er doesn’t have to take it’s toll. Use this advice to maintain your health while also earning a living.


Do eat breakfast

It’s this meal that sets the scene for the rest of the day. Make sure you’re getting all the needed food groups of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. It’s really easy to grab a muffin or cup of coffee and call it breakfast. But protein is actually the most important first thing in the morning. Carbs may give you an initial boost, but it’s the slow-burning fats and proteins that will sustain you for the whole day. If you don’t have time to cook a full breakfast, keep some hard boiled eggs on hand or a piece of lean meat and cheese. Don’t skimp on this important meal.

Do drink water

It’s easy to go through your day forgetting to drink enough water. But we need it, not only for overall health, but also for energy. If you hit that low energy spot in the middle of the day, try reaching for a glass of water before the caffeinated beverage. Often times you just need some H2O. And water helps flush fat and toxins from the body too.

Do stretch

It’s recommended that you get up and stretch at least once every hour. With the advent of computers, it’s easy to park it all day at your desk and not move at all. But especially with computer work, stretching out your arms, neck and shoulders will keep the repetitive stress injuries at bay. And it will help keep you energized throughout the day too.

Do take a vitamin and mineral

No matter how well we think we eat, we are deficient in needed nutrients. Adding in a high quality vitamin and mineral supplement will help keep us at optimum health. And vitamins like the B’s help with energy and sleep. Don’t take them too late in the day or they could cause sleeplessness.

Do breathe

Just like we need water to maintain our energy throughout the day, we also have to remember to breathe. Deep breathing (especially outside) will help boost our energy and keep us going efficiently throughout the day.


Do not rely on caffeine

It’s a quick fix to reach for the coffee or other caffeinated beverage when we’re feeling tired and energyless. Being weary is not a caffeine deficiency. Many people become addicted to caffeine and it can keep you up at night. It’s also dehydrating. Try the above suggestions of a vitamin/mineral, air and water. Don’t overload the carbs either as they can cause a crash later.

Do not skimp on the sleep

Hand in hand with deadlines and caffeine is not getting enough rest. Every once in a while, we might just need to burn the midnight oil, but when it becomes a lifestyle is has real health consequences. Studies link poor sleep to more accidents, weight gain and immune issues. If you are having trouble sleeping, don’t just rely on pharmaceuticals to get your through. Meditation, herbs, massage and so many other natural things can help you sleep.

Do not miss your exercise

Just because you’re at work all day doesn’t mean you can skip your workout. We still have to wait for things to load or print and it’s during those times that we move our bodies. If you’re on a conference call, put it on speaker phone or use a headset to take advantage of some light exercise. Using theraband, or arm weights in your few minutes of spare time can do wonders.

Do not use the kitchen as your oasis

Many offices stock their kitchen with cookies, donuts and candy. When you do take a break, don’t run to the sugary snacks. They will lead to weight gain, especially in combination with the sedentariness of a desk job and it will cause a crash later. If you want a break, take a quick walk outside. Adding that to the breathing and the water will give you energy to get through the day.

Do not stuff your emotions

Let’s be honest, work can be very stressful and we can’t always let the people around us know how we feel. But whether it’s disenchantment with the boss or a conflict with a co-worker, you can’t just stuff the emotions away. Talk to a trusted friend, spouse or clergyperson to make sure the emotions are being expressed somehow. If you hide them away they’ll just show up later, usually in your body as illness or disease.

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Use these tips to help you get through your busy day with more energy and less stress. Here’s to many vacation days and a big raise!

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Kathy Gruver, PhDHost of The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and author of three books on health

Dr. Kathy Gruver is the host of the national TV show based on her first award winning book, The Alternative Medicine Cabinet and has earned her PhD in Natural Health. Kathy was featured on Lifetime Television’s The Balancing Act in 2011 speaking...

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