Working the 9-5 grind can take its toll on your health and well-being. Suddenly you realise your work pants are a bit tight and you’re wheezing up one flight of stairs. No matter how long you’ve been an office worker, here are 11 simple steps you can take to improve your health.
1. Embrace the stand up desk
There’s no denying that standing up while working has some serious health benefits. We all know that sitting down for eight hours a day doesn’t do your body any favours, so a simple way to combat the sedative lifestyle of the office is converting to a stand-up desk.
2. Take a lunch break
Many office workers don’t regularly take their lunch breaks. While it can be tempting to work through lunch, taking a break can actually help improve your productivity. Make your lunch breaks a priority, even if you just take 30 minutes to get out of the office.
3. Skip the coffee
Sometimes it may feel like coffee is the only thing that actually gets you through the work day. However, a dependence on caffeine could be holding you back. Start by reducing your daily coffee intake by one, then two, before you know, you might not need it at all.
4. Bring your own lunch
Eating out five days a week can be a tempting proposition for the busy office worker. However, without even realising, you may have eaten more than your fair share of calories by the end of the week. To ensure you stay fit and healthy, bring in a light lunch whenever you can.
5. Take any excuse to move
These days you can email, chat or call a co-worker that sits around the corner from you. Why not talk face-to-face? Take the excuse to get up and visit another co-worker’s desk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk around your floor every few hours – just get moving.
6. Be mindful of your snacking habits
When you’re sitting at a computer, it can be really easy to snack mindlessly. A piece of birthday cake here, a bag of chips there, before you know it, you’ve eaten far more than you normally would. Keep a stash of healthy snacks in your drawer and be mindful of your food habits.
7. Incorporate exercise into your work day
One of the biggest problems with office work is how sedentary it is by nature. However, if you can start incorporating exercise into your daily routine, you’ll be happier and healthier. Start a lunchtime walking club, join a corporate sport or lobby for yoga classes in the office.
8. Engage with your co-workers
Working from home can be an isolating experience, so when you’re in an office environment, take time to get to know your co-workers. Enjoy chats by the water cooler, have team lunches and take part in a bit of office chit chat. Not only will this lighten the mood but you might just form lifelong friendships.
9. Wash your hands
All. The. Time. Germs can spread really quickly in the office, especially when co-workers don’t take their sick leave. Wash your hands regularly and bring in a bottle of hand sanitiser – you can never be too careful!
10. Eat breakfast
Eating a healthy and filling breakfast will boost your energy and productivity. Not only will it get your day off to a great start, it’ll also help you snack less throughout the day (remember #6). Enjoying a healthy breakfast at home is a much better option than grabbing a quick pastry and coffee on the way to work.
11. Plan your holidays
Nothing will keep you feeling refreshed and energised like a good holiday. Plan your annual leave in advance so you have something to look forward to. Taking a break from the office for a long weekend or an extended holiday will work wonders and keep you on track for the rest of the year.