Staying healthy is a big part of our lives, especially when most of us are sitting at a desk nine to five. So without completely starving yourself, feeling guilty for having a small snack or getting pins and needles every five minutes, there are a few things you can do to help stay healthy in the office.
We’ve all been there – the temptation to quickly run to the shop and buy a chocolate bar or a small treat to make the afternoon pass by a little quicker. You think,’ oh it’s only today, I’ll go to the gym later or eat a bit healthier tomorrow’, but we all know that this hardly ever happens. So when lunch rolls around it can often feel like the highlight of your day, you get to leave the office and walk around the nearest market to choose the cuisine that smells best. If you then decide to eat a bit healthier, meal prepping and regular exercise doesn’t seem to fit into your busy schedule. So whats the solution? Well we’ve got it, as here are five ways to stay healthy in the office.
We’re told from a young age to sit up straight and to stop slouching, and although at the time it may have felt unnecessary to be constantly nagged for it, it probably was for the right reasons. For most of us, we’ve gone into a nine to five office job, so sitting down all day isn’t a rarity. This means the way you sit should be thought about as much as you think about what you want to eat for lunch or when you should have your next coffee. Your work and wellbeing is an important factor, so sitting at your desk properly is something we should all learn and take in.
How To Sit At Your Desk Properly
So, our bad sitting posture needs some work. By changing only a few small things will help your body feel comfortable and reduce some of the related health risks. Sitting up straight with your spine supported by a slight curve in the back of your chair is the first thing you should know. Sitting like this gives your body and muscles some instant support and reduces any potential back pain. Having your arms and legs at a 90-degree angle will also contribute to reduced back pain so keep them in a comfortable relaxed position. Your screen should be at eye level with the main part of the screen being in the centre. If you’ve got all this, sitting all day at work won’t seem so uncomfortable and straining.
When it comes the facts, some studies have linked excess sitting to being overweight, having type 2 diabetes and the slowing down of the metabolism. A slower metabolism can affect the body’s ability to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar and break down of body fat. So all in all, sitting all day isn’t the best idea. But thankfully, getting up every 30 minutes to an hour for only three or four minutes will help keep your muscles active and engage your bones more so you don’t loose strength or good posture when your sitting down all day.
Breaking up your day with trips to get coffee, to go to the bathroom or just to walk around the office for a bit will benefit both your health and believe it or not, actually increase your productivity. It may seem like your wasting time by walking about, especially if your having a busy day but a small break every now and again will help keep you focused and you’ll actually work a lot better and faster when you come back to sit at your desk. So if you feel like you’re constantly getting up to go to the toilet, just think you’re actually keeping fit and staying healthy at work.
When we say that you should exercise at work, we don’t actually mean fully at your desk. So if you start lunging and squatting you may get a few odd looks. Instead, by exercise we mean simply taking the stairs or walking to and from work rather than getting the bus or a short tube journey. Even standing on the train will help your body to stay fit and reduce the time you spend sitting on your rear.
Obviously a good amount of exercise a week will benefit your health in general and in fact, if you do a fair amount of exercise each week, your sitting hours are protected from many of the health consequences we’ve talked about. A good gym session twice a week or just walking or bike riding home every day will keep your bodily functions working to their best. If you do feel like you need to do some kind of exercise while at work, stretching every so often can help you feel better. They don’t have to be big or in your face stretches, just looking around and moving your neck or stretching your arms are simple ways to move a round a bit more.
Your diet and eating habits are a big part of how well you stay healthy at work. So if you find yourself snacking every five minutes, you may start to feel lethargic and unmotivated. Three nutritious, well balanced meals a day should be enough to keep you going without constantly feeling hungry. And if you do feel like you want to snack, crisps and chocolate shouldn’t be your first choice. A regular eating pattern will help with your metabolism, as well as the craving to constantly pick on snacky foods which increase your daily calorie intake without you really noticing.
Restricting your food intake to the three main meals will help you stay healthy at work and if you feel like snacking, it’s most probably because you’re bored, not hungry. As well as a balanced diet, the amount of water you drink will effect how healthy you are. Everyone knows the recommended water intake is between two and three litres a day depending on your body type. This sounds a lot, but if you can easily drink six pints in the pub at the weekend, you can manage that in water during the week, surely.
Staring at a screen for too long isn’t great for our eyes, and in this day and age, this can sometimes not be helped. But there are ways to help mix it up and give your eyes a break, even if it’s just for a while. When you go and grab your coffee, don’t take your phone with you as this is just another screen, so you’ve basically gone from one screen to another. It may sound simple but having a five minute chat with a college and looking at their face and not a screen will at least give your eyes and head a rest. Not only will your eyes thank you for this, but there’s been some related risks to your mental health. When you’re looking at data or information for too long, stand up and give yourself a break.
5 Ways to Keep Healthy in the Office
- Your posture is important, so sit up straight and try not to slouch. A good work chair is worth the investment.
- Taking regular breaks is not only good for your health but for your mind. Get up and make yourself a coffee and come back feeling motivated.
- Exercise at your desk? If you do enough outside of work or switch the lift for the stairs and walk home from work then you’re half way there to a healthier lifestyle.
- Your diet is important, try and reduce the temptation to snack and stick to the three main meals a day.
- Going from one screen to another isn’t good for your eyes or your head. So if you find yourself getting regular headaches, give yourself a break.
On That Note
Our modern lifestyles have us sitting at desks for more than anyone wants to be, and with generations getting more and more unhealthier and relying on quick and sometimes not the healthiest meals, staying healthy while being at work has become difficult. So with most of our lives spent sitting down, it’s time to mix it up and start thinking about what you’re actually doing to your body, whether it’s internal or external. Strengthen your muscles and bones by simply changing a few every day habits and you’ll save yourself from any unnecessary health risks you may get from the office day job.