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Article Mar 23

10 simple tips on what you can do in the office against excess weight

What effects being overweight has on your health and what you can do about it in the workplace.

The vice of our affluent society: we are getting fatter and fatter. A piece of chocolate here, a piece of cake there, a cup of cappuccino there, taking the elevator in the morning, and preferably traveling by car. It doesn't take long to put a few kilos too many on your hips. Do you know this?

And you're not alone. 53 percent of women in Germany are overweight, and the figure for men is over 67 percent (including obesity).* A person is considered overweight if he or she has a Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25. Obesity begins at a BMI of 30.

BMI is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters multiplied by yourself. E.G.: Body weight 60, height 1.65 m = 60 : (1.65 x 1.65) = 22.

However, the question "Do I need to lose weight?" should not be based on BMI alone, because this does not take into account how the fat is distributed. Belly fat is much more dangerous than fat on the thighs and buttocks. It produces various hormones that greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack or stroke. That is why physicians consider the Abdominal girth as more meaningful than the BMI.

The abdominal circumference should be less than 88 centimeters for women and 102 centimeters for men. The best way to measure it is with a normal tape measure in the morning and at navel height in the exhaled state.

You can also compare the abdominal girth with the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) (abdominal girth divided by hip girth) and also the waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) (abdominal girth divided by height). For those under 40, overweight starts at a value of 0.51. Those over 40 can have 0.01 points more per year of life, up to a maximum value of 0.61.

The extra fat cells that are formed when we are overweight are unfortunately pure poison for our bodies and increase the risk of chronic diseases. Life expectancy can also be reduced by years. So, as your weight increases, so does your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, gout, heart attack, metabolic syndrome, etc. And of course for disorders of your musculoskeletal system (knee, hip, spine, etc.).

 Abdominal circumference more meaningful than BMI in determining overweight.

The cause: too much energy - too little exercise

Dr. Stefanie Gerlach of the German Obesity Society makes it clear that the increasing obesity in Germany and Europe is a "biological response to a living environment that promotes obesity. "** There are, of course, individual causes (genetic factors, family socialization), but the main causes are an unhealthy diet, too little exercise, chronic stress and insomnia.

This means that in most cases overweight is caused by a positive energy balance. So when you take in more energy than you consume, your body stores the excess energy "for times of need" in the form of fat tissue. 7000 excess calories the body turns into about 1 kg of fatty tissue!

Your body has a certain Basal metabolic rate, which is an amount of energy it needs to survive, even when you're sleeping or not moving. This caloric need must be satisfied or your body cannot maintain its functions. Your total caloric need (total metabolic rate) is then the energy you consume through exercise and work in addition to your basal metabolic rate.

Daily caloric needs vary greatly from person to person and depend on age, gender, size, and exercise habits.

The rule of thumb for calorie consumption at rest(basal metabolic rate)for men is: Basal metabolic rate = [body weight in kg] x 24 x1.0. For women: Basal metabolic rate = [body weight in kg] x24 x0.9.

In terms of total metabolic rate, for example, a female office worker weighing 60 kg consumes about 2,000 calories in 24 hours, while her male counterpart weighing 80 kg consumes 2,800 calories. However, if this man does a lot of sports in his free time, he may consume significantly more calories per day, because muscle mass consumes more calories than fat.

 Plenty of fruits and vegetables and whole grains as a healthy meal at the office.

The solution: eat healthier - move more

A healthy diet is therefore one of the main factors in combating excess weight. But that doesn't mean you have to run around with a growling stomach. Quite the opposite. Because that's when the cravings hit and you're more likely to opt for a high-calorie snack than a healthy meal.

Rather, it's about making sure you choose the right foods. This is because foods stimulate fat metabolism and digestion very differently, and also always have a different effect on our sense of hunger, hormones, or even how many calories we burn. Healthy foods contain lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber and little sugar, saturated fat and salt. In general, the following foods are good for weight loss:

  • Leafy vegetables like spinach arugula, kale or iceberg lettuce
  • Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Avocado
  • Cottage cheese, low fat curd
  • Whole-grain products such as whole-grain pasta, whole-grain rice or whole-grain bread
  • Beans and legumes such as lentils, chickpeas,
  • Salmon, tuna
  • Chicken and lean beef
  • Nuts
  • Grapefruit

  • In a balanced diet, the three main sources of energy - protein, fat and carbohydrates - should be on the menu in approximately this ratio: 15% protein, 30% fat and 55% carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight, a daily deficit of 200 to 250 calories is enough. In this way you can lose about 1 kilo in a week.

     Aeris Tip for healthy snacks in the office: nuts.

    Tricks & tips for a healthy diet in the office

  • Planning is key! If you don't have the opportunity or desire to go to a restaurant or use a food delivery service every day during your lunch break, you should prepare your meals at home. Advantage: You know exactly what's in your meals. A weekly meal plan makes it easier for you to prepare for shopping and cooking.(Recipe ideas)
  • Breakfast! Breakfast is actually the most important meal of the day. Therefore, eat a sufficient, nutritious breakfast at your leisure - ideally before you go to work.
  • Snack between meals! Small snacks help to maintain your concentration and avoid cravings. It's best to prepare small fruit and vegetable sticks, e.g. carrots, peppers, kohlrabi or apples, in small boxes. Nuts or natural yogurt are also very good for the small hunger in between. So you don't have to reach for a chocolate bar or a bag of chips when things get stressful.
  • Drink enough! Drinking is often neglected in the office. It is important that you drink enough fluids to supply the body with sufficient nutrients and to activate the metabolism. Water or unsweetened tea are suitable for this purpose, and if you like it a bit fruitier, you can also spice up your water with lemon or orange slices. To ensure that you are always reminded to drink, it is best to place a full water bottle on your desk first thing in the morning and refill it regularly. Avoid sugary drinks like soda, cola, iced teas, etc. at all costs.
  • Take your time when eating! That is, you should not eat your lunch in front of the screen, but take a break and consciously focus on the food.


    With the double desk Aeris Active Office Desk  you integrate intuitive movement sequences into your everyday work.

    Tricks & tips for more movement in the office

    The second component through which you can actively influence your energy balance is the complex of muscles and movement. We move far too little, sit too long, and moreover, we move incorrectly.

    Every movement consumes energy. Sports activities are therefore ideal to help you burn more calories, boost your metabolism and reduce fat deposits. In addition, sports help to build muscle. Muscle is the number one fat killer, and each muscle fiber increases your basal metabolic rate, which is the amount of energy your body needs at rest to maintain all its functions. This is called "losing weight while you sleep".

    But what can you do in the office to move more and activate your muscles?

  • Stand-sit desk: A stand-sit desk, such as the Aeris Active Office Desk, can be a great way to incorporate more movement into your workday. The dual desk consists of a standing and a sitting work surface. This allows you to intuitively switch between standing and sitting without interrupting your work. This way you achieve a healthy standing-sitting dynamic and stay in constant motion. It's best to change your position every 20 minutes or so. For example, you can organize your work in such a way that you make phone calls while standing, write while sitting, etc.
  • Active seating: Some office chairs and stools are designed to encourage movement and activate your muscles, such as the Aeris Swopper work stool. The chair allows you to move in all directions (forward, vertical as well as sideways) thanks to its 3D technology. The Aeris Swopper follows every movement of your body and not the other way around. By sitting on the Swopper in 3D motion, you can burn up to 300 extra calories. No wonder: because studies have shown that when sitting on the Aeris Swopper, you move more than twice as much as on conventional office chairs. And as a nice side effect, the oxygen supply to the brain also increases and with it the ability to perform and concentrate.
  • Short movement breaks: Try to take a short movement break every 30 minutes if possible. Just walk around the office or your home, or do some light stretching. Here you can find some suggestions
  • Active workstation: Make sure things you use frequently during the workday, such as printers, trash cans, snacks, or filing cabinets, are far away so you have to keep getting up and moving around. So don't get too comfortable at your workstation.
  • Otherwise, the old recipes apply: Use the stairs instead of the elevator, hold meetings while standing or walking, make phone calls while standing or walking, take a walk during your lunch break, park your car farther away from work or ride your bike to work.

  • So there's no need to embark on a huge sports program. Smaller, regular exercise sessions and active office furniture also boost your metabolism, activate your muscles and help you burn more calories and stay fit. Give it a try!

    Disclaimer: Please note that we are not physicians and do not offer medical advice. The content contained in this article is for general information only and cannot replace a specialist diagnosis and treatment. If you have any doubts or questions, always consult your treating physician.


    With office stool Aeris Swopper makes a lot of movement in the home office or office possible



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