How to Not Get Fat and Go Broke While Working

As anyone who has ever done it can tell you, working is hazardous to your health. It’s also damned expensive, what with having to buy clothes that haven’t been in your closet since the first Bush administration and/or don’t have holes in them and having to get your body from home to workplace five days a week. I don’t know where you folks work, but parking in downtown Seattle costs about as much per month as renting an apartment in some less spendy metropolises.

Historically, any increase in my work hours has caused me to gain weight. This is not surprising, since time spent writing = time spent with butt on chair. In the past I’ve used a yoga ball instead of a desk chair so that my legs, abs, and back had to be engaged to prevent me from falling over, but I’m not sure it made any difference. Once I got used to it, no real effort seemed to be required.

There’s nothing I can do about the clothing expense—I’ve gotten by with my decrepit coffee-shop wardrobe for a good long while and the time has come to jettison much of it. But the sheer costliness of parking will help prevent the butt-on-chair weight gain, because the bus is much cheaper and doesn’t go all that close to the office. So, instead of walking from house to car and from parking spot to office, I walk from house to bus stop (1/4 mile), from bus stop to office (about ¾ mile), and the reverse on the way home.

Never mind about the big bowl o’ chocolates on my desk. That’s to help me make friends. I don’t eat it.


17 thoughts on “How to Not Get Fat and Go Broke While Working

  1. I’ve heard that working at a sedentary job is more unhealthy than smoking cigarettes. Myself, I walk two miles two and from work each day and I go to the gym 3X/week and I still feel icky from sitting all day. I would totally sit on an exercise ball, but someone else in my office had one and it popped while he was sitting on it and he is still mocked for it.

  2. I sit so much. 😦 I try many things to force myself to move. I have a two hour timer on my computer to remind me to get up and move. I do sit on a giant stability ball and occasionally roll around. I am lucky because my job is casual so I can go wander our office building occasionally, or like today walk a mile at lunch time. I do not know what is worse for my weight, sitting so much or being over 40.

  3. Clever! Sitting for prolonged periods of time is definitely NOT a part of my job description. I am sure I will have to figure out how to manage that challenge at some point, though. Go public transit! You can also read on the bus, too, which sounds heavenly. Congrats on your job, if i haven’t said it. I know the job hunt was a challenging process.

    • I don’t tend to read on the bus. In the morning I’m almost always standing because the bus is oversubscribed. In the evening I usually get a seat but spend the ride scrolling through the devil facebook on my phone.

  4. I have absolutely gained weight since starting my job last year, despite early morning and weekend workouts. My metabolism sucks. I have just ordered a standing desk, though, which I hear helps a lot. Ergonomics in my current set up, even w yoga ball, are awful. My nonprofit will pay for an “Ikea hack” standing desk, and does actually pay for parking a few blocks from office.

  5. I’d never thought of using bait to catch friends. That’s brilliant. I can learn from you.
    Apparently there was a huge downturn in the public health when Americans stopped walking to work, so you’ve got two birds with one stone. You are just killing this being awesome thing! And I know you made that point about the healthy walk to work, but I am way too tired to make points right now so I am latching onto yours.

  6. Totally not shilling, BUT have you ever heard of Fitness Blender online? They have short, intense workouts you can do after a long day at work, and I always feel better afterwards.

  7. It NEVER occurred to me to put out chocolate to make friends! You’re a genius. I am too sedentary because my work involves sitting at the computer. I have considered a standing desk. I almost bought one, but then I realized I’d have to stand up all day. I’m not sure I’m willing to do that. I might be willing to stand up all day on SOME occasions, but exchanging desks on a regular basis seems impractical.

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