If you’re an office worker and get sick often, the chances are, your workplace is to blame. Between looming project deadlines, long hours sitting down, poor air ventilation, and often less than nutritious food choices, it’s easy to see why there’s even a term for the negative effects of working in an office for your health- sick office syndrome.
The good news is, improving your overall health in the office isn’t hard at all. It just takes a few minor adjustments to your daily work routine that over time can have a drastic effect on your well being. Here are our favorite 6 ways to do just that.
Number 1: Watch what you Eat at Work
When you’re tired and hungry, it’s easy to allow temptation to get the best of you. You’re more likely to give into cravings, to eat a whole bag of crisps and a gloriously rich bar of chocolate. The problem is that poor food choices weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to bacteria.
Our advice: Come up with easy ways to eat more healthy.
- Try to keep a bowl of food at your desk, you can snack on them when you are feeling peckish.
- Fill your freezer up over the weekend with homemade, pre-cooked dishes that you can use in the week.
- Have a big breakfast, with plenty of protein as it’ll stop you from snacking before lunch.
- When at work, eat a lot of brain food. A chickpea salad is a delicious, healthy alternative to your usual chicken sandwich.
The point is to make healthy eating easier.
Number 2: Exercise is Key
When you are sitting at your desk day in and day out; your body can get sluggish, your posture will deteriorate and your health will suffer. According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, almost half of the adults in the United States do not engage in the recommended amount of exercise every week. It can be hard to do it when you get home from a long day at work.
Our advice: Do short exercises at work,right at your desk. Here are a few to get you started:
1) Leg Planks
All you have to do is sit at your chair, bend your knees and plant your feet on the floor. Then extend one leg out, until it’s parallel with the floor, and hold the position for about 10 seconds. You’ll need to do the same with the other leg and repeat this 5 times, with each leg.
2) Shoulder Raises
Raise your right shoulder upto your ear and hold it for 10 seconds then relax. You’ll need to repeat the movement with the other shoulder. Keep going, until you complete 5 shoulder raises on each side.
3) Back Twist
Sit down in your chair and place your arm behind your hip. Now, you’ll need to twist to the side and hold the position for about 10 seconds. Repeat the movement on the other side and keep going until you have done the movement, three times on each side.
Just remember, persistence is key!
Number 3: Socialise
A study has shown that happy people live longer. That’s a really nice thought. The problem is that it can be hard to stay happy at work when you have so much work to do.
Our advice: Don’t be an introvert, spend some time with your coworkers.
- Go out for lunch with them.
- Take a short break between assignments and have a little chat with a few of them.
- Keep a bowl of nuts on your desk and share them around, the smiles on your coworkers faces will lift your spirits in no time!
You just need to make a couple of work friends and spend time with them!
Number 4: Get your Beauty Sleep
Sleep is good for the soul but when you have a stack of work and a very short deadline, it’s easy to burn the midnight oil as you guzzle down a couple of cups of coffee. The problem is that this is very bad for your health. A good night’s sleep will improve your memory, increase your productivity and reduce the amount of stress that you feel.
Our advice: Don’t skimp on those zee’s.
- When you get back from work, relax. You’ll sleep better if you aren’t thinking of work when before you close your eyes.
- Try to stick to a work schedule, having a routine will help you to get a good night’s sleep.
- Try to limit your caffeine intake while at work, it’ll improve your sleep.
- Turn off all electronic devices 90 minutes before bedtime to ensure a longer and deeper night sleep. The blue light emitted from electronic screens have been proven disrupt melatonin production and the quality of your sleep.
A good night sleep is an easy way to gain long term benefits.
Number 5: Take Breaks Between Work
Stress is bad for your health, the American Psychological Association discusses the matter in a lot of detail. Stomach aches, headaches, crankiness and high blood pressure are just a few of the symptoms that accompany stress.
Our advice: Take regular breaks. You don’t have to do anything too dramatic, just try to;
- Sit back, close your eyes and just breathe when you’re stressed.
- Get up and walk away from your desk.
- Watch a quick youtube comedy flick.
The point is to schedule a few minutes of relaxation into your busy day everyday.
Number 6: Keep your Desk Neat and Clean
A dirty desk can be a bacteria trap, it can also stress you out. Look around at your workspace, do you have stacks of papers in front of you? Pens laying across your desk? A messy drawer? Do you find it hard to find your things? If the answer to these questions are yes, you really need to think about your desk.
Our advice: Take a few minutes and clean everything up.
- Make sure there aren’t any crumbs and dust on desk surface.
- File those papers away, it’ll take time but it’ll be easier to keep track of your work.
- Try to eat away from your desk, when you can.
The point is that you need to have a clean workspace. Trust us, it’s better for your mental and physical health.
In the end…
Improving your health while at work isn’t hard, it just takes a little bit of thought and effort. Just remember it’ll all be worth it when you are counting the cash that you saved on health care over the year!