Let’s face it, we are all so busy and overworked lately we cannot afford to let our guards down when it comes to our health and wellbeing. All too often, we hear that our sedentary working lifestyles will – quite literally – be the death of us.
That doesn’t have to be the case. It’s easier than you think to have an office job and a healthy lifestyle and here are some tips:
Plan in exercise
Walk for at least 15 minutes of your everyday commute. Get on and off your bus or train one stop early, or park your car a little further away. Take a midday break with some exercise and fresh air – it will make you far more productive in the afternoon than staying put and slogging through. Spend half an hour going for a brisk walk or a run and the other half hour eating your lunch.
The truth is humans were designed to move about, not sit down. Take regular breaks from long periods of sitting down by talking face-to-face with colleagues, rather than sending an email, and use a smaller bottle for water so you need to make more trips to the kitchen. There are useful apps such as WorkBreak or MacBreakZ that not only remind you to take a break, they also recommend exercises such as leg lifts and wrist stretches that you can do at your desk.
Leave the building
Immersing yourself in the natural world has a multitude of health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes to lowering stress levels. So every day make sure you try to leave the building – even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Better still, find a park, listen to the birds and watch leaves rustle in the wind.
You know that lull you hit at 3pm every day? You’re not alone: 58 percent of people feel tired at work. One reason could be dehydration. Water is an essential part of our diet and even a small dip in our hydration levels can lead to fatigue and impaired thinking. Keep a refillable container on your desk – but remember, keep it small so you have to get up and refill it.
Colleagues with coughs and colds are impossible to avoid – but washing your hands often will give you a better chance of escaping their bugs. Only 28 percent of us regularly clean our work stations so do take the time to wipe down your desk. Keyboards can be a hotbed of food crumbs and bacteria, too.
Take control of lunch
Don’t feel you have to go to the cafeteria or the sandwich shop every day. Bring in your own lunch and make it healthy. Cook extra pasta or couscous at dinner the night before and throw in some beans or vegetables for a simple salad.
Take extra precautions during flu season
Are you frequently ill during flu season? What about your employees? If you feel like your small business is an illness minefield, consider taking extra precautions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu season can span from October-May, and as we are emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, there is always reason to be careful about viruses in the office. Stock up on hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and wipes, and tissues. And, consider distributing supplies to your employees. Wipe down frequently touched surfaces like computers, phones, headsets, and door knobs at the end of each day. This is a good habit to maintain all year long.
Get some vitamin D
Every day, make sure you try to leave the building – even if it’s only for 10 minutes. Staying cooped up in your office for eight or nine hours at a time is no way to work and getting outside reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, while lowering stress levels. Immersing yourself in the natural world has a multitude of health benefits, from reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes to lowering stress levels.
Set aside time to get outside and soak up some sunlight. Exposure to sunlight is a great way to get your vitamin D dose each day. The sun can help reduce depression, build strong bones, prevent cancer, improve arthritis symptoms, and treat skin conditions. Not getting enough sun during the day can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can increase your risk of cancer and cognitive impairment.
You may have trouble stepping outside during the workday, but you need to make time. Eat outside during your lunch break or take a walk around the block.
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