It’s tough to stay healthy, period. But if you have an office job, it can be really tough. Our bodies weren’t designed to sit at a desk for eight hours a day. So what’s one to do? Here are some tips you can use at the office to stay healthy and live happy.
Stand at your desk
Though standing desks might seem like just a trend, studies show that sitting for long can decrease your life span. During a typical day, Americans spend as much as 95% of the day sitting. A standing desk encourages more movement, and keeps your blood flowing. If a standing desk isn’t an option, set a timer to stand up at regular intervals. Just sit less.
Get rid of the candy dish
You probably guessed that handfuls of M&M’s wasn’t helping you stay healthy. When you combine sitting with large amounts of sugar, it contributes to numerous health problems, including weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, dental caries, metabolic syndrome and heart disease, and even indirectly to cancer because of certain cancers’ relationship to obesity. It also can keep you from consuming healthier things.
While junk foods work against you, healthy snacks work for you! Keep some veggies, fruits, and nuts nearby, and you’ll fend of hunger while keeping your metabolism active.
Standing desks are one good ergonomic improvement, but there are more. Desk chairs, monitor placement, mouse and keyboard devices, even your writing instruments all have an impact on your health. For ideas for setting up an ergonomic workstation, check out this site.
Eyestrain can really be bothersome. Extended use of computers and other digital devices is one of the most common causes of eyestrain. The American Optometric Association calls this computer vision syndrome, or digital eyestrain. People who look at screens two or more hours in a row every day are at greatest risk of this condition. Make sure your eye prescription is up to date, and take time to take a break and rest your eyes. Blink a little, roll your eyes like a teenager…
Since most of the day you are confined to your office, make sure you are intentional about movement. Park a little further when you arrive at work. Take the stairs. Stand up and stretch. Take your garbage to the dumpster. Take that phone meeting or the meeting with your co-worker on a walk. Get some activity any way you can.
Your body is 60% water, you need it to live. The old rule of thumb is eight glasses of water a day. Drinking water will keep you hydrated, and help keep you from getting headaches and help you lose weight. Plus, if you drink enough, you’ll be getting more activity from more frequent trips to the bathroom.
It’s tough to eat healthy when you eat out, you just don’t always know what’s in your food at a restaurant. Restaurants are wanting to impress you with the big taste and big portions of their entrees, which means you eat a lot of food with lots of stuff that tastes great but loaded with salt, sugar, and fat. Then you get back to the office feeling bloated and tired. Pack a light lunch that will keep you satisfied, and you’ll have energy to spare to finish the day.
Have a plan to stay healthy at the office
You don’t necessarily have to change your whole daily routine to live healthier at work. It does take some planning and a number of small changes. Usher in little changes here and there until you get into a rhythm that brings you life. A healthy you is the best benefit.