Spending five days a week, eight hours a day in front of a computer can be taxing on the body. It’s easy to overlook taking care of yourself, especially when you’re working long hours at a demanding job. Here are 9 tips to help you stay healthy at work.
1. Bring healthy snacks and avoid sweets.
The sweets your coworkers so thoughtfully leave out for everyone will sink your daily diet if you indulge. If you want to stay healthy at work, avoid those treats and keep food like cherries or grapes nearby.
If you’re having trouble avoiding temptation, start bringing healthy snacks for everyone to enjoy. Chances are your coworkers will also prefer an office fruit bowl or veggie tray instead of the sugary sweets.
2. Get plenty of water throughout the day.
Everyone knows that drinking enough water (8-10 glasses daily) can help you stay hydrated. However, did you know there are other ways to hydrate your body? Oranges, grapefruit, grapes, melons, and apples are all good sources of water and can help keep you hydrated at work.
Without enough water, you risk dehydration, which can cause an afternoon slump and decrease productivity at work. If you are struggling to stay hydrated, bring a water bottle to keep with you throughout the day. Aim to drink and refill it every 3 hours and you’ll finish 3 bottles by the time you head home.
Setting a goal to drink an ample amount of water will help keep you fresh and alert. And between drinking more water and eating some fruit throughout the day, you’re sure to stay hydrated.
3. Get moving!
Exercise is one of the best things you can do during the day to keep fit and healthy. To help you stay healthy at work, look for various ways to get in some exercise throughout the day. For example, walking during lunch is a great way to get yourself moving.
Ask a colleague to be your walking partner so you have someone to keep you accountable. In addition to burning calories and de-stressing, you’ll get in some friendly conversation between work assignments.
If your office building has multiple floors, take the stairs instead of the elevator. You can also park your vehicle farther away from the office door to get in some additional steps before and after work.
4. Eat a healthy lunch.
Eating in moderation is good for your health. Therefore, eat a nutritious lunch, but watch your portions. Most of the time, it’s not the food, it’s the quantity that causes the problems.
For example, pizza isn’t fundamentally terrible. However, people often eat three or four slices too many. Instead, split the pizza with a few other coworkers and have a veggie-packed salad along with it.
5. Get the proper equipment for better posture.
Tension neck syndrome or TNS occurs when the neck and upper shoulders are maintained in an unnatural position for long periods of time. It can happen to folks who spend all day on the phone or typing.
TNS causes shoulder, neck, and muscle pain. To avoid these problems, try using a shoulder cradle, speakerphone, or headset when using the phone. Taking stand-and-stretch breaks throughout the day can also be helpful, or you might invest in a standing desk.
6. Take care of your eyes while working.
Eyestrain is another issue that might arise when using a computer. It can induce headaches, concentrating issues, and increased light sensitivity.
Your eyes should always be an arm’s length away from the screen. At that distance, you’ll still be able to read your screen, while protecting your eyes at the same time. If you can’t read your computer screen at arm’s length, adjust the settings to increase the text size.
7. A healthy work-life balance requires time off.
A good recommendation we all like to hear is that vacations are vital for work-life balance. When you are overworked, it’s easy to become stressed and lose focus. Additionally, stress weakens the immune system and increases your chances of getting sick.
Make sure to schedule some time to help you recharge and relieve tension. You’ll come back from vacation rejuvenated and ready to take on new projects with enthusiasm.
8. Avoid extended workdays.
Health is sometimes overlooked when individuals are focused on a job for long periods of time. They may not realize how much stress they are under until it is hurting their relationships and everyday mood.
This form of stress is often referred to as burnout and can affect your sleep, immune system, and concentration. To avoid burnout, don’t keep working past your regular work hours. If you work from home, be sure to set specific working hours and stick to them.
9. Know your limitations.
To stay healthy at work, you must be conscious of your own needs and limitations. If taking the stairs leaves you exhausted to start your day, you might just stick with a lunchtime walk. If you’re always tempted by the sweet treats in the break room, allow yourself to have a few.
Getting down on yourself for eating an extra treat or slacking on your daily exercise only adds more stress. Try your best to maintain a healthy attitude about your needs and limitations.
Most importantly, knowing your limits means knowing when to take a break. Staying in tune with your body and your needs will give you an advantage, both physically and emotionally. And you’ll find yourself happier and more confident at work and home.
Image Credit: Sarah Chai; Pexels; Thank you!