We have all read or learnt about healthy living to some extent. In this information age we are all acutely aware of how balanced and nutritionally-rich our diets ought to be, how much sleep we should be getting and how exercise can keep us in shape. But when we go to work, whether that be at home, in the office or out-and-about, our busy schedules take over and we have other more pressing matters to attend to.
However, seeing as most of us spend a significant portion of our time doing our work, we can’t afford to disregard our bodies during this time; we can’t leave all attention on our body to after work only. Once we’ve finished work, we are often tired and lacking energy to devote to healthy practices, so embedding these in your daily routine throughout the entire day will take the pressure off the outside of work hours.
Here are our top tips to help employees stay healthy at work.
1. Eat Consciously.
Offices usually have more than their fair share of unhealthy snacks, and someone always seems to be passing round some sweets or chocolates. Being conscious of how many of these snacks you’re eating is key, especially when they’re often only an arms length away. Make a tally of how many snacks you end up eating throughout a normal day at the office, and if you’re trying to cut down, try really hard to exercise self-control and limit yourself to a predetermined amount, and stick to it! And if you can, swap out the unhealthier snacks for ones that are lower in saturated fats and refined sugars.
This is made easier if your 3 main meals of the day are nutritious, healthy and filling, as cravings therefore won’t be so much of an issue. Making sure that you eat a filling breakfast is crucial to starting the day as you mean to go on. Many people find planning their lunch the previous evening and bringing this in from home helps to regulate intake of food and control the type of food you eat better, as you’re making the decision of what to eat when you’re satiated, as opposed to when you’re hungry just before lunch time.
2. Stay Hydrated.
When you’re hard at work, something as simple as remembering to drink water regularly is more of a challenge. You should be drinking little and often, but too many of us leave drinking to when we’re really thirsty and then drink lots of water all at once. To get around this tendency, whilst also not distracting you from work every hour to get a glass of water, is to have a big bottle of water on your desk or in a flask that is 50% to 100% of the water you need for the day, so you only have to fill it up once or no times per day.
Whilst drinking coffee seems like an office ritual, it’s not going to help your hydration. If you can cut back on the caffeine, this will do you a world of good in terms of being hydrated. If you do need to drink coffee, do so only in the morning, as caffeine later in the day can mess with your sleep cycle and cause a whole host of issues.
3. Fix your posture.
Being often sat down at a desk for many hours of the day, it’s important that this resting position is conducive to good back, neck and shoulder health. Make sure you’re using a comfortable office chair with adequate amounts of padding and curvatures in the correct places to support your back where it needs it the most. Adjust your chair or monitors so the top of the screen/s are in line with your eye level, and this will ensure you’re looking in a natural direction and reduce neck strain. If you are able, switch up your working setup every now and then with a standing desk, either using a fancy motorized adjustable height desk or by simply stacking a smaller table on top of your main desk.
4. Take breaks frequently.
Whilst it might be tempting to power on with work as quickly as possible so you can leave a bit earlier, this shouldn’t mean you spend the entire day sitting down. Each hour you should at least stand up and move about, either walking about a bit or doing some full body stretches, the important thing is that you break up the sitting. Most smartwatches and fitness trackers now have a reminder when they sense inactivity for too long a period, but if you don’t have one of these, try to check the clock every now and then to see just how long you’ve been inactive for. Your body will thank you for it in the long run.
This balance of sufficient movement throughout the day, with a nutritious, calorie-appropriate diet will ensure you can maintain a healthy weight.
For more information on staying healthy both in and out of the office, check out Pharmica for more interesting and informative articles on health and wellbeing.