Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging in general, let alone at work. You’re constantly thinking, focusing on multiple tasks and projects, staring at computers and eating lunch out and on the go. While living a fast-paced lifestyle and juggling multiple things, it is easy to let your healthy living practices slip away from you. But there are some ways you can alter your daily routine to take better care of yourself while on the job.
Instead of trying to squeeze another responsibility into your already busy day, work healthy habits into your current schedule. Practicing healthy habits throughout your day can help you be more productive, give you more energy and improve the quality of your mood.
Practice Good Posture
Sitting for long periods of time can cause you to adopt common posture mistakes that can easily become a part of your daily routine and can cause long-term damage to your back, neck and spine. A lot of employees find themselves falling closer to their computer screen throughout the day causing them to slouch, which puts pressure on the neck and spine.
You can correct these bad habits, but they require conscious efforts. The first step is to be aware of the bad posture habits you have adopted. Next, you need to actively try to combat those bad habits everyday. It may seem tedious but it can be achieved easily by practicing a few “deskercises” like jogging in place or chair dancing!
Desk Setup and Hygiene
The way you arrange your desk can have a big impact on your posture and productivity. Arranging your desk in an ergonomic way can help you maintain better posture. By simply adjusting your chair to be on eye level with your computer (you may need a laptop stand for this) and making sure your knees and hips are aligned, you’re already sitting up straighter than before. Additionally, move your phone, mouse and keyboard closer to you to avoid overreaching and switch hands frequently when using your mouse to avoid putting too much stress on one hand.
Your desk is a haven for germs so make sure it’s disinfected, especially during peak cold and flu seasons. To combat illness, regularly disinfect all of your desk accessories because as they carry the most germs and bacteria.
According to the American Optometric Association, the average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer either in the office or working from home. It’s important to take action to combat the side effects that come along with the prolonged use of digital devices. Constantly working on a project and staring at a computer screen can cause digital eye strain, which leads to headaches, fatigue, blurred vision, dry eyes and more.
You can avoid digital eye strain, or digital vision syndrome, by practicing a few tasks throughout your day. Some simple tasks include adjusting the location of your screen in relation to your eyes and being aware of the lighting in the room to avoid glare. In order to filter blue light, you can also purchase a pair of blue light blocking glasses and take frequent breaks from your screen. Use the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes spent looking at a screen, you should look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Giving your eyes and mind a break throughout the day will benefit both eye health and productivity.
From grabbing a quick bite out and client lunches to office party snacks and vending machines, there are plenty of unhealthy food temptations that come with an office setting. It’s common to find yourself stopping at the local coffee shop for breakfast in the morning, going out for lunch and looking for a mid-afternoon snack.
Have you ever thought about what that does to your wallet and your health? Eating out or grabbing food on the go is convenient but it can also break the bank and your diet very quickly. Instead of buying coffee and a bagel every morning, invest in a Yeti to bring your coffee with you and enjoy a healthy breakfast at home or bring one to the office.
As for lunch, it’s important to remember that your main meals of the day can influence your productivity and energy level. Planning meals for the week or bringing in leftovers from a healthy dinner will deliver more benefits than the choices you have when you go out to eat.
Lastly, be conscious of snacking. Unfortunately, it’s easy to mindlessly snack throughout the day and take in more calories than intended. Try to keep healthy snacks at your desk that will deter you from spending money on the vending machine and eating high-calorie, low-nutrient dense snacks.
Remaining hydrated throughout the day is very important. Dehydration can cause sleepiness or fatigue, headache, confusion and dizziness or lightheadedness, all of which can affect your day-to-day.
It’s a common understanding that you should drink six to eight, 8-ounce glasses of water each day to remain hydrated. This doesn’t take into account the different lifestyles of individuals; most people can stay very hydrated on this recommended amount of water, but it can be difficult for some. Do your best to recognize how much water your body needs to stay hydrated and be on the lookout for symptoms that indicate you are dehydrated.
If you find it difficult to drink water consistently, try keeping a water bottle at your desk or adding lemon or lime for extra flavor. Thirst is often confused for hunger, so it’s suggested to drink water when you’re hungry at unusual times. If you’re still having trouble, try drinking on a schedule, such as a glass every hour or two with every meal.
Both your personal and work life are sure to benefit from incorporating these few tips into your routine. At the end of the day, your body and mind will thank you!