For those who are manual laborers, have outdoor jobs, or more active work hours, staying fit and improving your health isn’t too difficult. However, for those of us with a sedentary job that often involves long hours sitting at the work desk, keeping fit is more of a challenge.

Yo-yo diets and strange ‘desk exercise’ trends might bring results in the short term, but it’s necessary to come up with a long-term solution and implement habits that actually work.

Work on Accountability

Walter Fisher is a successful poker player on almost all of the main online poker sites, as well as real-world poker tables. While he’s seen great professional success, one thing he always really struggled with was his tendency to snack on unhealthy food at his work desk.

He had tried and failed at dieting too many times to count, but appropriately, a bold bet truly turned his life around. His friend wagered him $100,000 that he couldn’t get fit in 6 months and it turned out that this bet finally set Walter straight. He succeeded in the challenge of improving his health and has never looked back.

For a poker player, a large bet was the perfect way to keep accountable. He knew that there would be consequences if he didn’t succeed, as well as a reward if he did. Not all of us have a friend that’s brave enough to stake $100,000 on our failure, but most of us have a friend who’d accompany us to the gym in the morning or after work.

Making plans to exercise with a friend 3 or 4 times per week will help you stick to the exercise plan for longer. The pressure of not wanting to cancel on your friend will usually outweigh the temptation to grab an extra hour in bed.

Think Long and Hard About the Vending Machine

Although there’s a tendency to blame everything on our ‘slow metabolism’, the fact of the matter is, most of us could probably look a little closer into our day-to-day diets. The mid-afternoon slump is a classic ‘reach for a snack’ time and chances are you don’t opt for a piece of fruit at least a few days a week.

The office vending machine is a diet disaster waiting to happen. It’s generally full of chocolate, chips, and soda, the three cardinal unhealthy foods. Jennifer Aniston has a simple rule to follow, if your body craves something then satisfy that craving, but do it healthily while improving your health. Before giving in to something sugary, salty or fatty, identify what you’re craving. If it’s chocolate, then go for a sweet piece of fruit, if it’s fries, then try a handful of nuts and if it’s salt, then hummus is an excellent substitute. Although our body is telling us it needs the nasty stuff, it’s actually just craving something from one food group over the others.

Invest in a Better Working Environment

Some companies provide stand up desks and ergonomically designed chairs for their offices, and some don’t. If you happen to be working in an office from the latter camp, then ask yourself if it might be worth investing in an upgrade with your own money.

A standing desk will help you burn more calories than sitting, as well as improving your posture. If there isn’t the space for a standing desk, then a kneeling chair will help to improve your posture and slightly engage your core.

Little adjustments like these don’t require a great deal of effort but do produce tangible results improving your health. Having a complete life overhaul is rarely the way to achieve sustainable change, but making tweaks here and there could genuinely help you change your life.