Eight hours a day, five days a week can take a toll on any employee. Plus, if you sit at a desk in front of a computer screen all day, trying to stay healthy at work can be especially tricky. Luckily, there are things you can do to establish a well-rounded routine at the office and keep your brain and body in tip-top shape.
One of the best ways to take care of your body at work is to make smart decisions concerning food. That means passing up the brownies in the breakroom and the candy in the vending machine. These sugary snacks may give you an energy boost, but the crash shortly after isn’t worth the calories. Instead, eat a balanced breakfast and pack a healthy lunch. Keep nutritious snacks on hand as well to ward of cravings throughout the day.
If you can’t imagine working without a warm cup of joe in your hand, limiting your caffeine intake may be challenging. However, there are health benefits to doing so. While coffee may boost your energy levels, it can also lead to fatigue when the effects wear off. This tiredness may lead you to drink more, which could end up keeping you awake at night and leaving you even more tired and coffee-dependent the following day. Limit your intake to one or two cups early in the morning to minimize the side effects.
Drinking plenty of water is essential to good health, both in and out of the office. It’s easy to get lost in piles of paperwork when you’re at work, which means it’s just as easy to forget to stay hydrated. Bring a water bottle along and make it your goal to drink the whole thing before your break. Then, refill it at lunch and drink the rest before you head home. Staying hydrated will give you the energy to get through your day.
Brain and body breaks are essential for staying healthy at work. Instead of working eight hours straight, get up and take a short walk, eat lunch, do some yoga or scroll through social media. If you’re a diligent, task-oriented individual, you may think of breaks as wasted time, but they actually allow you to work to your fullest potential, increasing your productivity, efficiency and creativity. Get up, stretch and take a breather for a happier, healthier you.
Practice Good Posture
Tension in your neck, back and shoulders could be signs of poor posture at work, especially if you sit hours at a time in front of a computer screen. Combat this bad habit by consciously sitting up straight and keeping your computer screen an arm’s length away. Use a headset or speakerphone when you make long calls. You might even try standing and working for a bit to give your neck and back some relief.
If you’re healthy and want to stay that way, this tip makes plenty of sense. Sanitize your office space regularly by wiping down your keyboard, phone, desk and other items. Plus, keep hand sanitizer on your desk in case you run into a sick co-worker and can’t run to the bathroom to wash your hands right away. Keeping your space and hands clean will ward off germs, bacteria and sickness all year long.
Wear Appropriate PPE
In certain work environments, it could be essential to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). This could include facemasks to prevent you from breathing in toxins or gloves if you have to handle chemicals. Some employers may make it compulsory to wear PPE, however in other work environments it may be optional. Weigh up the risks and determine whether you should be wearing PPE.
Manage Stress Wisely and Stay Healthy
While the aforementioned tips and tricks will keep your body in prime physical condition, your brain needs just as much care and attention. If your mind is stressed out and tired, your whole body will follow suit.
If work feels hectic, take some time for yourself. Wake up early and meditate or journal. Get your nails done, visit a spa or spend time with your family. Find what works, stick with it and you’ll remain healthier and happier both in and out of the office.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.