How To Improve Health At Work
Despite the saying, ‘health is wealth’, within the world of work, this crucial advice often goes ignored with many employees risking their health through bad work habits; be it sitting incorrectly, lack of exercise or with improper nutrition. It’s crazy how work can take a major toll on our health with little to no warning signs. This is why good habits are non-negotiable if you want to improve your health at work. No doubt, a healthier lifestyle at your workplace ensures better productivity. Thus, meeting set deadline and targets won’t be a problem for you.
The good news is that, as more and more employees are now demanding a creative and appreciative workplace, the knowledge on good office health is making rounds, with companies now investing in a pleasant atmosphere which will hopefully have a long-lasting and positive effect in terms of workplace wellbeing. Office workers especially can also ensure that their daily work is improved and facilitated without a great deal of extra work. All it takes are a few simple steps to change any physical and mental factors, which may be having an impact on their health. If you are an office worker, here are a few tips to improve your health at work.
1. Eat Healthily
You are what you eat. Hence, the first rule for any health-conscious person is to be careful of what you put in your stomach. So stop for a second and ask yourself, when you arrive work, what’s the first thing that you do? Have a coffee on an empty stomach? If yes, you are not alone. Although the temptation is high to down a strong cup of coffee, It is advisable not to. Rather, opt for a light cup of coffee combined with a healthy snack. It’s all for your own benefit to avoid damaging the lining of your stomach and preventing indigestion and heartburn.
More importantly, try to stay away from unhealthy snacks such as sugary drinks, pizza, sweets, salty foods, ice cream, and sweetened fruit drinks. You may think these foods are healthy, but that’s far from the truth. High carb and sugary foods only leave you craving for more. So, no matter how busy you are, make use of both your lunch and tea breaks to pop outside and grab some proper foods, full of enough nutrition to get you through the day.
If you just can’t find the time to grab a healthy bite, keep some healthy snacks handy that can offer you that well-needed energy boost. Even a protein shake made out of a good protein powder makes a great snack. As many are made from healthy ingredients such as whey powder, rice, potatoes, eggs, or milk, they can ensure you are well boosted to keep your mental energy up. Vegans will also benefit with a vegan protein powder which offers ingredients that are mostly made up of peas and potatoes.
2. Say No to Eye Strain
In this day and age, where technology has invaded our existence, it’s understandable if your screen has become your best friend. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. We are all going through the same ordeal. However, what should be more concerning is your addiction to your screen. Whether on a PC, laptop or a smartphone, if you spend three-quarters of your day in front of the screen even when you visit the restroom, you most likely have an addition. Unfortunately for you, the gradual damaging your eyes may be taking place especially if they have itching too much.
Yes, “Office Eye Syndrome” or ‘’Dry Eye Syndrome’’ as it’s formally known, really does exist. It occurs when the eyes are heavily stressed for a long time and dry out. Symptoms include very dry, itchy or burning eyes and increased photosensitivity. At some point, the eyes then begin to water to prevent dehydration, and of course – headaches.
It goes without saying that long and uninterrupted glaring at your computer screen can lead eye strain. It is, therefore, vital to give your eyes the much-needed break it desperately requires. You can do this using the 20-20-20 rule which simply states that every 20 minutes, take a look at an object that is 20 feet away from you for a good 20 seconds. Although, this method effectively helps to fight eye strain, take note that it is still advisable to take regular breaks away from your workstation. It really does help!
3. Go Ergonomic
If you tend to experience lots of body aches and pains after a long day at the office, memorize this sacred word…’ergonomic’. Be wise and never let that word slip your mind because this is one of the most effective ways to keep you away from those painkiller medications. Ergonomic is all about designing the office or workplace environment to the comfort of the staff. And one of the key features of making your workplace comfortable is with the use of an ergonomic office chair.
These chairs make it easier for you to position yourself properly to prevent neck pain or any other body pain. For offices that are not ergonomic, you will have to make do with what is available; regardless, you can still purchase ergonomic back cushions, and other smaller items to keep your own workstation up to the standard.
4. Don’t Treat Work Like a Marathon
Envision this scenario. You arrive at work as early as 7 am but you don’t leave till 7 pm. And to top it all off, you take very little breaks. Awesome! Your boss will be very happy. Unfortunately for you, you are endangering your health. Even with the promise of a promotion or salary increase, ask yourself, is it worth risking your health?
The duration of working hours has an impact on our health – that is immediately obvious from how we feel after a long day at work. And it is not only the daily working hours that play a role but also the weekly ones. The longer a person works piece by piece, the more exhausted they will feel. And after about 8 hours of work, our effectiveness decreases significantly. Fatigue and lack of concentration also increase, as well as the risk of accidents.
So, if you are going through a period of where long work hours are essential to meet a deadline, always take breaks at intervals of 2-3 hours for 20 minutes. This will help you reboot so that you bounce back stronger, more relaxed and re-energised.
5. Stay Fit in the Office
What? Exercise in the office? This is near impossible right?. Wrong actually. If you have a staircase at work, you can walk, right? As the typical office person is always sitting down, on the way to work, at the desk, on the way home. the lack of exercise brings a lot of small and big problems. Worst-case scenario: Inactivity can be deadly. Reason enough to provide enough physical activity. By swapping using the lift to using the stairs you are already on the right path. And with an additional 15 to 20 minutes walk during the lunch break, you will surely have enough of the necessary exercise, fueled by oxygen and sunlight.
Even though it won’t be as vigorous or rigorous compared to your daily workout, you can use your standing desk at the office. It is the perfect tool to stretch your legs forward and backwards to keep the blood constantly flow.
6. Stay Fit Outside of Work
We talked about staying fit in the office, but what about outside working hours? It may not be the favourite plan; certainly, you may have more tempting things to do after a workday, like an evening spent pub crawling with your mates. But it is essential to do a little physical exercise a week. You do not need an absolute commitment, just 30 minutes of exercise serve to stay healthy and achieve remarkable results in aesthetics and health. The most advisable thing is to look for a resistance and cardiovascular training, like running or cycling. But even a brisk walk is better than nothing.
The benefits of exercise are endless, beyond ensuring that you are healthy at work, you will feel more energised as it’s great for your muscles to help improve brain and memory health. If for anything, the fact that exercise helps you relax is enough reason to take it seriously. So head outside for a walk, and don’t forget to grab some protein shakes for some extra energy.
7. Get Some Fresh Air
Ventilation or air purification is a prevailing issue today, firstly in the home having a correct air circulation will prevent those harmful toxins that are bad for us, children and even pets from agglomerating. The relevance is the same in the work, especially in environments of strenuous and confined jobs. Being exposed to a significant amount of CO2 for a long time will be harmful to our body, starting with dizziness, fainting or even worse.
The best way to ensure you are getting the best quality of air is to pop outside for a few minutes of the day. So when you are off on that 20-minute tea break, spare enough time to go for a walk outside.
8. Stay Hydrated
Food and water are the engines the body needs to survive. The human body can survive for weeks without food but it cannot without water. This is probably because a good percentage of the body needs water to perform optimally. So, when researchers recommend us to drink eight cups of water every day, let’s keep it real…they are actually right. Sadly for those who want to keep downing eight cups of coffee instead, there is no replacement for water. Water is king.
Alternatively, if the taste of water makes you gag, your juicer will come in handy here. Before you leave for the office, extract some juice from your favourite fruits and mix with some water. So, when you need something fresh and healthy to drink, you have something at hand.
9. Wipe Your Workstation
Your workstation is at the heart of your office life; it’s where you perform your everyday functions and duties. So encouraging the breeding of bacteria is a big no-no if you want to stay healthy at work. There is no denying that many of us have turned our workstations to resemble our kitchen, but now is not the time to determine whether you are guilty or not. Rather, it’s time to get cleaning; the last thing you want is an infestation of germs that could have easily been prevented.
As such, try as much as possible to keep your workspace clean at all times. This must be done every day because germs or parasites form faster than you think. It only takes around four hours before a whole desk to be contaminated. Don’t panic though. Stay calm, stay clean and say no to bacteria!!
10. Take Time Off
One of the best ways to improve your health is by taking time off work. Even if it may seem to others that you are ‘skiving’ or escaping from work, it doesn’t matter. As long as you have explained your health concerns, they will understand that upon your return you will perform like a lion. This will go a long way when it comes to performing your best without having to doze off at your workstation.
During your break, you must ensure that you truly take time off work to rest. Only respond to emergency emails and do not forget to switch off your phone. Remember it is called ‘leave’ for a reason. So don’t confuse it with working from home. Rather, ignore all the fuss and pack your bag and head to the spa to unwind.
The key thing here is for you to relax and rest during your leave. Indeed, you will be happier, less frustrated and less touchy. So, if you have been postponing your leave, this is the time you should apply for one. Whether for a week or two, what matters most is how to make use of it.
Work is where you spend most of your days from Monday to Friday. Although it can help you earn a living, it can also land you in the hospital if you fail to keep your health in check. When combined the above will have a cumulative effect on both the body and the mind. Putting them into practice will mean that in a few weeks your energy will be increases and excess stress will be a thing of the past.
Self-awareness and self-consciousness is all it takes. This generally means being aware of your bad habits and how your body behaves and reacts during stressful times. In this case, you have to be conscious not only of your food choices but also of how you treat your body physically. Without any procrastinating, you can start today by cleaning your workstation, walking up the stairs at work, and drinking enough water. This all requires self-consciousness as well as self-discipline if you are really serious about improving your health at work.