Haven't you heard? Sitting is the new smoking. What that means is that sitting for prolonged periods of time can be just as detrimental to your health as being a regular cigarette smoker.
But, the fact of the matter is, a lot of us sit, a lot; especially office workers. So, how can we combat this epidemic and learn how to be healthier at work?
There is a laundry list of things you can arrange in your daily routine to make your lifestyle a little bit healthier. Even if you sit in an office all day. Keep reading the most important tips and easy ways to be healthier.
How to Be Healthier at Work
It's easy to get stuck in a slump of a routine when you work in an office. Get up in the morning and prepare for your day, head to work, sit there for 8 or 9 hours, go home, cook dinner, watch some TV, and go to bed just to start all over again tomorrow. But, there is another way!
Simply changing little things throughout your day can make a big impact on your health. Try to tackle this list one at a time, in no particular order, to improve your health and increase your energy levels.
Drink Plenty of Water
One of the top easy ways to be healthy is to drink more water. It may be easy to forget while you're neck deep in annual reports and memorandums but you should make time to take a few sips per hour. Not only will it help curb hunger and headaches, but it will also give you more energy.
Take a Walk
Instead of sitting at your desk during your break or mulling around the break room with nothing to do, take a walk around the office. Better yet, take a walk around the building. A brisk walk can burn up to 100 calories in less than 20 minutes.
Take the Stairs
On your way out to the courtyard, take the stairs instead of the elevator. It burns the same amount of calories as a brisk walk and it's an excellent way to stay active. If you work above the 20th floor, at least take the stairs for half of the trip.
Remaining completely sedentary for hours on end is what's bad for your heart. Get up from your desk, even if you don't leave the area, and do some minor stretches. Torso twists are a good way to get your blood flowing and raise your heart rate.
Chair yoga can be a beneficial treatment if you don't have much space.
Sit Up Straight
Slouching is so bad for your spine that the term ergonomics surfaced in workplace culture over the past fifteen years. You can't rely on your chair to make you sit up straight, though. Make yourself aware and sit up straighter when you notice yourself slouching.
Pack a Lunch
Eating out is not only expensive but the foods are full of sodium, cholesterol, saturated fats, and sugars. If you want to trim your waistline and live a longer life, pack a lunch instead.
Bring leftovers from dinner the night before. Sandwiches and wraps keep and transport easy. Pair with a fruit or vegetable for a wholesome and healthy lunch.
Keep Healthy Snacks Nearby
Besides packing your lunch, you should also bring healthy snacks to work. Keep peanuts and jerky, yogurt and whole grain crackers. Anything that you can easily munch on at your desk without disturbing your co-workers should be efficient to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
You'll need to do something with all that extra energy! Or, if you're feeling low on energy, a quick workout can boost those levels. Hit the gym in your building or bring some small weights to your desk.
Anything you can do to get moving for at least 15 to 20 minutes counts as exercise and will counteract the sitting that you're otherwise doing all day.
Go outside. At least look out the window a few times per day. Hang pictures at your desk that remind you of places you want to go and see.
Also, look for inspirational quotes to post at your desk that will remind you to concentrate on your health and wellness goals, both at work and at home.
Practice Smart Computer Habits
If you absolutely cannot pull yourself away from your desk, you must at least take a few minutes every hour and pull yourself away from the computer screen. Staring at a computer screen all day is exhausting, not to mention that it's hard on your eyes, neck, back, and head. Take little breaks and look at something appealing for a moment.
Take a Nap
Of course, your boss will probably frown upon napping often, but if you're having an off day and you need a few minutes of shut-eye, don't hesitate to ask for a few minutes of privacy. Hit the break room and lay your head on the table, or sit quietly at your desk. Just fifteen minutes should be enough to get you through the rest of your day.
Breathing is an involuntary function of our bodies. But, we can still forget to breathe fully when we're deep in thought or under a lot of pressure. When you notice yourself tightening up and stressing out, don't forget to stop and take a deep breath.
Get Plenty of Sleep
There are things you can do outside of work that make a difference in your health, too. Getting plenty of sleep at night is important for your brain function. Shoot for 8 hours so you can stay focused when you get to work tomorrow.
Staying Healthy in the Workplace
As an added tip, make sure you're using ergonomic work equipment. Your desk chair, desk, computer, mouse, and keyboard should all adhere to the specifications of your height in order to protect your spine.
If you're still wondering how to be healthier at work, don't hesitate to contact us! We are happy to explain the importance of ergonomics and how it affects your health.