Being sat in front of a screen all day is not exactly conducive to a healthy or active lifestyle – but for many of us, it’s the reality. However, there are some simple steps you can take to be more healthy when working in an office job. Below, we’ve rounded up 10 office health tips to help you feel your best while smashing those deadlines…
Most of us spend a good proportion of our day at work, so if you are trying to improve your lifestyle, you need to make the time you spend there as healthy as possible. Spending all day at work slumped at a desk munching on biscuits and chocolate will most likely have an impact on your weight.
Learn how to be healthy in an office job by adding these healthy habits to your day and see how much better you feel. If you’re starting from scratch, add one office health habit every one or two weeks, giving yourself time to adjust to the new routine. Or prioritise which ones will have the greatest impact and try them first…
How to be healthy in an office job: 10 tips
1. Take a packed lunch into work
Either take in leftovers from your evening meal, or make a salad or sandwich packed with lots of veg and some lean protein such as fish, chicken or egg. A homemade meal will have more nutrients than a processed one and you can control exactly what you’re eating. It will save you money too!
2. Drink water
It will help you feel full, keep you hydrated and has zero calories. Keep a bottle or large glass on your desk and refill it from your water fountain throughout the day. If you find plain water boring or don’t like the taste, try Infruition’s bottles to create your own flavoured water. Bottle, £14.99, infruition.co.uk
3. Get up from desk and move around every hour
Recent research is increasingly showing that sitting for long periods is not good for our health. So take every opportunity you can to get up from your desk to move around.
Walk over to your colleague’s desk to talk to them rather than emailing; stand while you are talking on the phone; volunteer to make the tea run; take the stairs instead of the lift. If you find it hard to remember to get up from your desk, you could set an alarm to remind you every hour
4. Use your lunch break for movement
Try to get out of the office as much as possible during your lunchbreak. If you have a gym or leisure centre near you, it is the perfect opportunity to do a class, go for a swim, or work up a sweat with a cardio session. Even a brisk walk around the shops or local park will do you good: it will burn calories and re-energise you for the afternoon.
5. Sit correctly at your desk
If you work at a desk, make sure your work zone is properly set up. That means having a supportive chair, and having your computer and desk at the right height. Sitting with poor posture can cause back, neck and shoulder pain.
Ask your manager to assess your workplace if you’re unsure. And if you’re working from home on a laptop, make sure you are set up correctly if you are going to be using it for long periods.
6. Say no to cakes and biscuits
It’s amazing how cakes and biscuits appear at work: in a meeting; for someone’s birthday; or just because it’s Friday. Make it a rule that you don’t eat them at work. That way the decision is already made for you and you won’t be tempted to have ‘just a little bit’, then a little bit more. Chances are you aren’t hungry and will eat them mindlessly because they are there.
7. Keep your workspace clean
Viruses can survive for hours and even days on hard surfaces, so make sure you keep your work station clean. Get out the disinfectant and wipe down your keyboard, mouse and phone. And if the office is full of people sniffling and sneezing, wash your hands regularly to avoid picking up their germs!
8. Avoid snacking
It is so easy to much your way mindlessly through a whole packet of sweets, nuts or crisps while at work. The easiest way to avoid snacking is to not buy any! We often use food as a distraction, so if you feel the urge to snack, try getting up from your desk, going to speak to a colleague or focus on a new task.
If you genuinely can’t do without an afternoon nibble, bring in some raw carrots or peppers to munch on – they are a much healthier option, yet still provide a satiating crunch.
9. Keep stress to a minimum
Too much stress can play havoc with our health. It can lower your immune system, affect your sleep and often cause people to reach for unhealthy food or alcohol. If you are feeling under pressure at work, talk to someone – either a friend or colleague, manager or someone in the HR department.
10. Book a holiday!
Holidays are good for us, giving us a chance to recharge and refresh. A change of scene and new experiences can put minor work issues into perspective and give you a break from any stress.
While you are away on holiday, try to completely relax. Do what you want to do, rather than cramming in all the ‘must-see’ sites and attractions. And don’t check your work emails! You’re miles away so what is the point? Colleagues back home will be perfectly capable of holding the fort.