Five days a week, work is your home away from home, and it can be tough to remain healthy with all of those tasty snacks coworkers bring to share, the long days at the desk, and, of course, the close proximity to everyone’s germs. But by sipping on water, stepping outside for a walk, and keeping your desk area clean, you can stay happy and healthy while on the job. Here are 8 tips for staying healthy at work.
Drink more H2O
You’ve heard the popular rule to drink at least 8 glasses of water each day to stay hydrated, so bring a water bottle and keep it at your desk to sip on throughout the day, refilling as needed. Not only will you be less tempted by the break room vending machine, but water helps you feel full and stay more alert.
Do you often find yourself daydreaming while staring out of your office window? Then it’s time to take a few minutes to breathe fresh air and bask in the sunshine. Try to make it a daily habit to go for a quick walk or eat your lunch outside on a bench. Rather than focusing on deadlines and unread emails, notice the way the leaves are rustling in the breeze, the chirping of the birds and the sunlight filtering through the clouds. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to tackle the remainder of your day after a little extra vitamin D from the sun.
Workout while working
You may be stuck at your desk for the majority of the day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t burn a few extra calories while responding to emails. Periodic stretching will keep you awake and focused. Improve your posture by sitting on an exercise ball, which is easily kept under your desk when not in use. Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs to get your heart pumping, lowering your risk for heart disease.
Sitting all day increases your risk for diabetes, heart disease and more. The good news is you can decrease your chances for all of the above, reduce your back pain, and boost your mood and energy with a sit-stand desk.
Walk and talk
You’ve got several meetings in a day, and they are all scheduled for the office meeting room. Instead of sitting down with your coworker to brainstorm for the latest project, ask if they’d like a change of scenery and go for a walking meeting. You’ll both feel better by sneaking in a brisk walk and your new surroundings may lend fresh inspiration.
Brown bag it
The catered lunches, home-baked goods from coworkers, and the vending machines are all tempting and can easily derail your diet. Bring your own lunches and snacks to stay on track. Plan lunches, like a mason jar salads, for the week on Sunday to avoid rushing on weekday mornings. If you do partake in an office lunch outing, eat smart and stick to light lunch menu items.
The office may feel like a petri dish for the cold and flu, but you can stay healthy, especially during winter months when it seems like everyone is sick, by washing your hands often and keeping hand sanitizer at your desk. Your mouse, phone and keyboard also harbor thousands of germs that survive on hard surfaces for days, so disinfect regularly.
Take a break
Your company grants you vacation time for a reason–they want you to use it! After all, you know what they say about all work and no play: work stress can take its toll on your body, leaving your immune system weak and open to illness. Take a break from work for vacation time, even if it’s one day of “me-time” to recharge, de-stress, and do whatever you like to do.