Typically, office environments aren’t conducive to healthy living. If you have an office job, you probably know how easy it is to remain desk-bound, staring at a computer screen all day. Let’s just say that work is usually not an environment suitable for staying rejuvenated and healthy. In fact, your work life probably wreaks havoc on any healthy living plan that you set out at home.
But, it isn’t all doom and gloom. There are some very straightforward and effective tips for staying healthy during your 9 to 5. Sure, it will take a bit of effort and pre-planning, but the benefits are absolutely worth it. Commit yourself to being healthy and your body will thank you for it.
Before we go any further, it’s probably worth mentioning one of the most common misconceptions when it comes to unhealthy office environments. Many people believe that sitting is the problem, but in reality this not the case. Sitting is merely a symptom of the problem. The real problem is the sedentary lifestyle that a desk job entails. Essentially, while sitting for prolonged periods of time isn’t good for you, neither is standing.
It’s all about finding a balance and incorporating a few standard “tricks” into your day to ensure that you keep your body healthy in the workplace. Here are a few of our top suggestions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle while at work.
Embrace a standing desk
Too much of anything can be a bad thing, and as we have already briefly mentioned, this includes standing. However, this doesn’t mean that standing is completely out of the question. Standing desks are one of the latest trends to hit the working class and are a great way to mix things up in the workplace.
Have you ever heard of the Pomodoro technique? This is a time management method developed in the late 1980s, with the purpose of breaking work down into intervals. It traditionally involves 25 minute work intervals, separated by short breaks. This is a great technique to use for changing up your environment throughout the day. You could stand for an hour, take a quick break, and then sit for half an hour to finish a task. You could implement this technique throughout the day.
We’ve all heard that we supposed to be drinking eight glasses of water a day. But how many of us actually do this? It’s easy to forget to drink your daily supply when you’re sitting immobile for most of the day. Keep a water bottle at your desk to make sure that you’re staying hydrated. Also, drinking more water means that you will need to use the toilet more often which means that you will be moving those legs more regularly. So essentially you are staying fit and healthy.
If you don’t particularly like water, you can add lemon or fruits like raspberries to add a bit of flavour. Dehydration reduces productivity, causes irritability and confusion, and also results in fatigue, which is why it is so important to keep hydrated.
An active office environment is essential
It may seem pretty obvious but you would be surprised at how many people tend to neglect staying active in the office. For instance, if you work in a large office environment, use the stairs instead of the elevator. Or use a kitchen or bathroom that isn’t close to your desk – to get that body moving.
But, aside from these simple steps, you should also incorporate sitting, standing, stretching, and moving into your daily office routine. Staying active doesn’t only improve your fitness but it will also increase productivity. Here are a few great exercises that you can do while you stay seated at your desk:
- Extend legs
- Toe touches
- Tap your feet
- Shrug shoulders
- Stretch wrists by putting pressure on one hand, bending it backward and forward
- Move your arms in a circular motion
These are all great ways to get your blood flowing and to keep your body moving without even having to leave the comfort of your desk.
Snack mindfully and healthily
The effects of food on the human body can’t be overstated. The food we eat keeps us alert, changes our mood, ensures we remain productive, and perhaps most importantly, keeps us healthy. When you’re sitting at a desk all day, it’s very easy to get into the bad habit of snacking continuously. Snacking isn’t all that bad, as long as it’s healthy snacks. Ditch the chocolate bars and crisps and be sure to keep healthy snacks like fruit and vegetables around.
Mindlessly snacking on office snacks all day long can wreak havoc on your health and wellness goals. But naturally, it’s not just snacking, it’s also your food choices. Try to avoid eating out at lunch and rather implement meal prepping for healthy food options. There are some wonderful and tasty healthy lunch ideas that are sure to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
Aside from the abovementioned tips, there are a few other things that you should also keep in mind for healthy living in the workplace. Remember to take breaks from your computer screen every hour or so. The water cooler is a great place to take a breather and maybe chat to your co-workers for a few minutes.
There are a multitude of ways that you can keep health and wellness alive in the workplace. You will discover that some tips may work better for you than others. At the end of the day, all that matters is that you are implementing the necessary steps to living a healthy lifestyle.