How to Stay Healthy at Your Desk Job
Office workers have come under the spotlight in recent years with warnings being issued to make changes because a sedentary lifestyle can lead to serious health issues.
But, just how do you stay healthy while working in an office, when for the majority of the day you’re chained to the desk and computer screen?
Take Regular Breaks
If you’re working at a computer screen, and let’s face it if you sit at a desk you’ll be facing a monitor, you’re entitled to regular breaks throughout the day. This probably won’t mean stopping work altogether but moving away from the screen for five or ten minutes to do something else. Ideally this should be every hour of constant work at a screen.
If you’re unable to leave your desk, look away from the screen for a few minutes at regular intervals and refocus your eyes. Look at something in the distance, preferably out of the window if you have one and this will rest your eyes. Remember to blink regularly to avoid dry, tired eyes.
Change Your Way of Working to Incorporate Movement
Communicating with colleagues in different offices needn’t be by phone or email. Take the opportunity to get up and walk down the corridor to speak with them.
Telephone conversations can be done standing up. This will give you the added of benefit of sounding more confident, as well as being healthier than sitting.
When sitting for any length of time, change your position so you don’t put undue pressure on your back, neck and shoulders.
Take the stairs rather than the lift. If you can’t manage all the way up, go as far as you can and then use the stairs to come back down.
Use your lunch break to get out into the fresh air and take a brisk walk before you eat. Any activity is better than nothing and you will feel refreshed when you head back inside.
Consider getting a pedometer to monitor how many steps you take in a working day. It will keep you focussed on making more effort to move around. You should be aiming for around 10,000 steps a day.
Eat Healthily in the Office
Make your own packed lunch instead of buying so that you know exactly what you’re eating. Make it healthy and include a piece of fruit. Try to eat your lunch at a reasonable time each day.
Dehydration can be a risk in a hot stuffy office so limit cups of tea and coffee and try replacing some of them with water or herbal tea.
If cake, biscuits and sweets are the order of the day in the office, suggest having a fruit bowl instead or a selection of dried fruit and nuts, but not the sort that come in a block of chocolate!
Start a Trend
Find a colleague who has the same frame of mind as you and support each other to stay healthy in the office. Share and compare your achievements to motivate and keep the momentum going.
When everyone else sees how well you are both doing they’ll all want to join in too.