Working at the office means spending around 8 hours a day sitting at a desk. It brings certain issues, including excess weight, back pain, unhealthy dieting or simply being fed up with working at the same old desk.
Contrary what many people believe, it is possible to maintain a healthy routine even if you’re working at the office from nine to five. Following these 6 pieces of advice will improve your health, making you feel better and more successful in your profession.
1. Regulating your meals at work
It is hard to eat healthy when you are surrounded by people who keep unhealthy snacks on their desks or you have little time to prepare a healthy meal at home and bring it to work.
Still, the old “out of sight, out of mind” still works. Avoid desks where people keep sugary or salty snacks and go on a break with those who stick to healthy snacks.
Another trick is to mind your portions at work. Most of the time, it’s not about what types of food you eat but how much food you eat. Bear in mind that you can’t eat the same portion you do when you’re at home. At work, you’ll simply sit and continue with sitting for hours after you’ve eaten. You won’t spend those calories. So, make the portions smaller than usual – just enough to keep you full.
2. Get as much exercise as possible
Sitting isn’t good for us, so you have to make the most out of your free time to make sure you’re physically active. Whenever possible, get up and take a short walk, at least along the hall. Try to spend your lunch breaks walking – find a partner for the walk. You can always eat and walk – don’t switch the chair at the desk for a bench in the street. That won’t do you much good. Stretching your legs will not only help you burn calories but it will also refresh your mind and help you decompress. Another trick to get more physical activity is to park your car farther than usual – that will give you at least 20 minutes of walking. Also, try to use stairs instead of an elevator at work (if you’re not on the 20th floor!).
3. Help your body
Working at a computer for hours every single day takes a toll on our bodies. We can experience back pain, neck pain, or even pain in our hands and fingers.
Getting an ergonomic chair is a must. It will make your sitting position as comfortable as possible. It will also prevent the back pain that comes from an awkward position we usually sit in. Another problem is tension neck syndrome (TNS). It appears when you hold your neck and upper shoulders in a fixed position over a long period of time. People who type a lot or spend hours talking on the phone often experience this type of pain. Make sure your neck isn’t bent to the side for long and use a speakerphone or a headset whenever you’re on the phone. The even better alternative is to get yourself a portable neck massager which will help you to prevent chronic pain from developing.
4. Protect your eyes
Your eyes are probably getting too much strain from all that computer/laptop work. The distance between your eyes and screen needs to be at an arm’s length. You need to be able to read what’s on the computer without squinting at that length. If you can’t read it, then simply increase the font size.
5. Hydrate your body
When you get carried away with your work, it’s easy to forget about drinking enough water. The most common reason why many people feel tired or demotivated around three o’clock is that they are dehydrated. You should drink at least 10 glasses of water during the day, meaning more than half of the glasses need to be drunk at work. If you think you’ll forget to drink water, set an alarm that will go off every half an hour. It will remind you to hydrate and then go back to work.
6. Know when to stop
Many people experience a special type of stress – a burnout. It happens when we get on to performing too many obligations or when we tackle too many projects at the same time. What’s even worse, we refuse to stop until we’re completely done. We’re being completely unaware of what this type of behaviour is doing to our mental and physical health – we feel exhausted, anxious, tired and our immune system is threatened. So, you need to be able to identify when enough is enough. Allowing yourself to stop doing something and going home because you’ll continue the next morning is perfectly ok. That way, you’re giving yourself time to recover and refresh. Otherwise, you’re just going to make things worse in the long run.
Every job has its benefits and drawbacks. The problem starts when we don’t know how to balance the two. Once you start taking care of yourself at work, the downsides will be much easier to deal with.