The only thing I gained from working a nine-to-five job was weight.

I thought having the nine-to-five routine at two fantastic companies for my internship would make me more productive, and for the most part, it did. I got more work done than if I had worked on my own hours. But the major downside is the harm it does to our bodies over time, and for me, that was losing muscle and gaining fat.

Just a month prior to starting my desk job, I was on my feet doing something every day that required me to be on the go. The contrast between being active every day and sitting at a desk was harsh, and the side effects weren’t immediate.

Gaining weight is a slow process. I was eating well, packing my own lunches and doing my best to get some sort of exercise in once a week.

But that wasn’t enough.

I was at this point where I was sitting for sometimes over 40 hours per week at a desk with little to no activity. I started to feel more sluggish than usual. I was doing less with my time outside of work and just wanted to go home, sit on my couch and watch Netflix with popcorn.

An article from the New York Times suggests that even if we work out daily either before or after work, the act of sitting for a large part of the day still harms our health and metabolism — which, as a result, does way more damage to our bodies than we think.

When our body feels the consequence, we spend the money we earned for a gym membership or $30 Orangetheory classes to make up for it. It’s a constant cycle.

I don’t regret working those jobs because it’s what I needed to do and ultimately they were genuinely great experiences. And for me, I felt the consequences only after five months. I couldn’t imagine the toll this lifestyle would take on my body after a year or more. Regardless, I’m determined to get my health back in shape.

Is my health going to suffer for another desk job that we are told is necessary after graduation?

I really hope not.

Janine Maral is lifestyle photographer and culture writer with interests in sustainable fashion and linguistics. When Janine’s not writing, she’s planning her next trip, listening to a podcast, or making guacamole. You can follow her travels @JanineMaral.

Leave a Reply

  • (not be published)