If you work in an office, you’re likely spending 8+ hours a day in a cubicle or room under artificial lighting and sitting for the majority of your day. On top of that, you probably have people around you bringing in donuts and snacks, or you keep snacks in your drawer to combat the stress of your day. Generally speaking, office environments can be detrimental to your overall health.
Offices Are Becoming a Danger to Our Health
Human beings are not made for this environment, and it’s not good for our health and it’s probably even making us sick. We need sunlight. We should be moving and active. We should be enjoying our food and eating for energy and health, not staring at a computer screen and eating processed junk food under stress.
More and more studies are published every day showing us that sitting at desks is killing us slowly , , . Some companies are beginning to recognize that better health increases work productivity, and are offering their employees incentives for getting in shape through insurance discounts, gym memberships, and employee wellness programs.
Maybe you work out every day and think that you don’t need to worry about your health. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Even daily workouts are not enough to counteract the damage that sitting in an unnatural environment all day long causes to our bodies and mental health.
A Little Change Can Go A Long Way
But just a few simple changes can keep you healthy, even if you’re in an office all day. These may not seem like much, but try just a few and you’ll see that they make all the difference in the world. Here are 21 tips for staying healthy at work:
- Take the stairs as often as you can.
- Set a timer to remind you to get up and move, stretch, walk, or even just stand for 5 minutes every 30 minutes to an hour. I’ve been using StandApp and have really liked it.
- Get outside for a walk at lunch or at one of your breaks.
- Eat your lunch outdoors on nice days for a dose of sunshine/Vitamin D. Avoid eating at your desk whenever possible.
- Make a rule not to eat when you are stressed. Practice deep breathing instead.
- On the weekend, prepare healthy lunches and snacks for yourself for every day of the work week. Put them in individual glass or plastic containers, grab and go. You can also make large batches of your healthy dinners, portion, and freeze for your own microwave meal. Read more about the weekly ritual of meal prepping here.
- For client or corporate lunches out, check the menu ahead of time online and have a plan for ordering the best option so you’re not making quick and compulsive decisions on the spot. Read more about how to eat healthy at restaurants here.
- If you’re rushed for time in the mornings, make your breakfasts in large batches too. Example: You can make a week’s worth of breakfast tacos using whole wheat tortillas and eggs; freeze and reheat.
- Start a group in your office for people who want to establish healthy habits. The more support you have around you, the easier it will be. And you could make a big difference in someone else’s life!
- Smile at your co-workers, even the difficult ones. You’ll feel awesome and your positivity will be contagious.
- Keep a water bottle at your desk and full of water. I use this bottle and it helps me to drink more water than I normally would. Yes, you may need more bathroom breaks, but think of them as built-in reminders to get up and move!
- Try to get up early and exercise before work. The endorphins will give you energy and help you combat stress all day long, and will make you a more productive worker.
- Get 8 hours of sleep every night. We rid ourselves of the stress hormones during sleep, so the more you can get, the better you will feel. Read more about sleep and weight loss here.
- Wear a pedometer and make it a goal to get at least 10,000 steps per day. If you don’t have a pedometer, many smartphones have free pedometer apps.
- Do as much work as you can while standing or walking. Ask yourself, can I do this while standing? Can I meet with this person and walk at the same time? My husband and I have our best meetings while on our daily 3.5 mile walk.
- Watch your posture, and try to sit up straight. Adjust your desk, screen, and keyboard so that you are not slumped over to be able to see well.
- If water is boring for you, you can sip healthy drinks at your desk too. Here is a list of 8 healthy drinks besides water for added taste bud stimulation (although red wine is probably not the best choice for work 😉 )
- Avoiding procrastination is a great way to combat stress. Meet your deadlines early, start projects as soon as you get your hands on them.
- Park your car in the back of the lot to add some extra steps.
- Make smart choices at happy hours – 1 or 2 glasses of wine is the best choice, clear liquors with a splash of juice or soda water is next best. Learn more about alcohol and weight gain here.
- Schedule your workouts and breaks in your planner or calendar, just like you do your meetings.
What do you do at work to keep yourself healthy? Any tips or tricks to share?