Empowering Urban Indian Women to Manage ‘9-5 Job Routine’ Toward Healthy and Energetic Living

Posted on: March 16th, 2020 by Arogya World


A woman’s health is highly dependent on many social determinants, like income, education, employment, social connections, community, and safety. On top of it, women even bear the heavier burden when it comes to caring for their family and children. They are the last to eat and usually the least as they look after the nutritional needs of the family first.  With every second woman anemic, every third woman with low body mass index (BMI) and every fourth child born with low birth weight, the malnutrition situation in India is staggering.


Today’s educated urban Indian woman plays the dual role of balancing her personal and professional life. She is ambitious to grow at the same time sacrifices everything for the wellbeing of her family. With hectic schedules and imminent deadlines hanging over her, health is the last thing she thinks about at the office. And as many of us with desk jobs will know, spending hours sitting still with poor nutrition can take a toll on our wellbeing.


Over the time, this stress can lead to poor posture that takes a serious toll on a woman’s spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. In fact, not having a healthy lifestyle can lead to back and joint pain, reduced flexibility in the limbs, and strained muscles. By her 30s, bone and muscle loss sets in. The metabolism slows down increasing the risk of osteoporosis and other chronic degenerative disorders like hypertension, cardiovascular disorders and cancers.


Observational studies provide compelling evidence that good nutrition and regular physical activity are associated with a reduced risk of premature death. Enhanced musculoskeletal fitness is positively associated with functional independence, mobility, bone health, psychological well-being and overall quality of life and is negatively associated with the risk of falls, illness and premature death.


While it’s easier to practice healthier habits at home, doing the same at your workplace, where you spend a majority of your time can get difficult when there are deadlines to keep. But remember, looking after your body pays off positively in the long run more than your job would. The problem is that while people might try healthy habits at home, they struggle to transfer them to the place they spend most of their waking hours: the office. No matter how much you love your job or need to spend extra time working, your health should be your top priority.

So how can women juggle all the responsibilities and stay fit at the same time?

Make it simple for yourself. Try making small, workable changes to your everyday routine that you can adapt to. Remember that you know best what works for you.

Incorporating small, realistic changes to your everyday routine can make all the difference. Let’s check it out.


Diet and Nutrition

1. Start the day with a nutritious breakfast  

Drinking to-go coffee isn’t enough to jumpstart your day. What you need in the morning is a boost to help you achieve your highest performance till lunch. Your breakfast should be rich in proteins, complex carbs, fibre and vitamins. Go for eggs, milk, oats, idli/dosa, veg sandwich, mix dal / veg parathas, veg poha. Give some ten minutes before you hit the bed for the next day’s breakfast meal.

2.Keep Healthy Snacks Handy

While food delivery apps make it easier for us to just order a dish and get back to work, these foods are high in calories, fats, salt and sugar. Carry a handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, peanuts, seeds) and a fruit to keep you going till lunch. Do not visit the vending machine for a cup of coffee/tea.


  1. Carry your lunch tiffin / opt for healthier meal options at the canteen

Keep a watch on not just what is in your plate but also on how much is the portion. Have a balanced meal containing chapati, vegetable, dal / egg / fish / meat, curd and salad. Veg pullav with boiled chana and curd also makes a balanced meal. Try including all food groups. Avoid sweets (jalebi, halwa, pastry, gulab jamun) and opt for a fruit bowl. Try avoiding fried papad, chutneys and pickles as they are high in fat and salt.


  1. Limit access to sodas, junk food and caffeine

Go for nimbu pani, coconut water, buttermilk or green tea in place of tea, coffee or aerated drinks. Encourage serving nuts or fruits in place of cookies during meetings. Still can’t resist the caffeine? Treat yourself to a single cup of coffee in the morning to prevent having a caffeine crash when you need it the least. Also, you can omit the use of sugar and cream in your coffee, to cut those calories.


  1. Stay hydrated

You sometimes tend to lose track of the amount of water you consume during office hours. Dehydration can cause ill effects, such as drowsiness, fatigue, loss of focus and mood swings. Try finishing one liter of water before lunch and one before you leave office. Juices, milk shakes, buttermilk, coconut water also are a good way to beat dehydration.


Physical fitness


1.Walk or cycle to Work

Walking is the easiest type of exercise! If your office isn’t too far away, try meeting up with the closest colleague and walking to work instead. Set your timer and try to get 30 minutes in everyday and the both of you will reach the office energized for a new day of work!


  1. Desk-ercise!

Keep yourself entertained by doing exercises like paper pushups, book press, shoulder blade squeezes, stretches, chair yoga. Form a group, involve your coworkers and take some breaks during the day. The idea is to rejuvenate and be more productive.


  1. Stop sitting

“Sitting is the new smoking”.  On an average a person sits 9.3 hours per day compared to 7.7 hours per day of sleep, which wreaks havoc on our health, wellness and state of mind. Encourage standing or walking meetings. Walk while you talk on the phone, take the stairs.  This not only burns calories but also increases oxygen flow in the blood putting you in a more dynamic and positive state of mind.


Mental Wellbeing

  1. Adequate Rest and Sleep

Ensure you get 7-8 hours of good sleep every day.


2. Learn to manage stress

Spend time with family and friends, and at the same time give time to yourself (read, relax, meditate, join a yoga class).


And finally, don’t forget the most important thing: Love Yourself. “Remember that your perspective of the world says a lot more about you than it does about the world. If you don’t think highly of yourself, you simply won’t think highly of others. Take care of yourself.”