Booming IT (Information Technology)/software industry in India has brought tremendous employment opportunities for young educated folks. However, at the same time, the sedentary lifestyle associated with the IT industry has started showing unwanted effects on the health.
The side effect which stands out prominently is the obesity and belly fat. They not only lead to other disorders such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, etc. but also have social implications. Earlier people considered potbelly as indicator of wealth and prosperity. But it does not carry that status any more. IT professionals increasingly regard a head full of hair and a flat stomach as the factors associated with a good life and envy those who have them.
There has been increasing awareness among the IT professionals but it is extremely difficult to achieve results. I have been part of this industry since many years and observed many daily habits of the techies. Erratic eating habits, irregular sleep, lack of exercise and stress are the prime culprits. Addressing them will go a long way in staying healthy and fit. However, below hacks will make it easier to lose weight or that persistent belly fat:
- Avoid Email and Phone Overuse: This habit has been prevalent in many IT professionals. Emails, phone and office chats are great channels of communication of recent years. But they have been overused and we have forgotten to connect with a real person. I have observed IT professionals emailing back and forth with their cubicle neighbors. A better and a healthier option is to walk over to someone’s desk. This will improve the personal rapport too. Start with a small talk and have a laugh while discussing official things.
- Incorporate Strength Training: Many folks have been doing cardio such as running or walking. Nevertheless, a little strength training will go a long way in improving the fitness. Strength training provides lean muscle which burn fat for a longer period. A combination of cardio and strength training will be ideal.
- Replace Junk Food: Office cafeterias are notorious for junk food – oily samosas, burgers, donuts, etc. Plan your snacks beforehand – carry fruits (apple, bananas, etc.), nuts, whole wheat or millet cookies, etc. Stash them in your desk cupboard if you can and replenish them every week. Easy availability will ensure that you eat healthy snacks
- Skip Sugary Drinks: Coffee breaks are great stress busters in the IT industry and help in networking with the colleagues. However, the sugar content in the coffee and tea silently adds inches to your stomach over the years. Skip the sugar or ask for a sugarless coffee or tea. An even better step would be to replace the umpteen sugary coffee and teas with green tea. You could carry a green tea bag and use it with the hot water available in the cafeteria.
- Get More Active
- Avoid sitting for too long. There are many applications or phone apps, which give regular reminders to look away from the screen, drink water or just stand up and stretch.
- Stand up or walk when you are speaking on phone. This has been a habit for me and I stand up unconsciously for the phone conversations.
- Take the stairs and walk as much as possible
These hacks will supplement your healthy lifestyle and make sure that you have a long successful career in the IT industry. What are the hacks that you have been using? Leave your comments.