The way people work is quickly changing for the better. The much discussed (and dreaded) “desk job bulge” and “blogger butt” will soon be a thing of the past. Now, more professionals that are forced to sit for a living are adopting healthier habits in the workplace to avoid health risks from sitting for long periods of time and unnecessary weight gain.
Healthy habits do not have to be intrusive to your work. Nor do they have to be difficult. If you want to make the change to be healthier while stuck behind a computer or desk from nine to five each day, here are five simple habits you can adopt today.
Healthy Office Habits
- Stretch frequently – The human body was not designed to sit for long periods of time. Getting up and stretching frequently gives your muscles relief from sitting in the same, tired position throughout the workday. Stretching out your neck, back, hips, legs and shoulders on a regular basis throughout the day helps you stay loose and avoid a tension headache.
- Get up at least once an hour – One of the worst things you can do for your body is stay in one posture, usually sitting, for extended periods of time. Set an alarm and force yourself to get out of your chair at least once an hour. Go to the restroom, go chat with a colleague, or just take a few trips up and down the stairs. Just getting a little bit of movement in each hour can have a tremendous impact on your health. (Consider a standing desk).
- Avoid squinting at your screen – Squinting at screens that are too far away or are too bright in contrast to the lighting in your office can give you a headache. It can also cause you to become fatigued much faster than if you had the proper ergonomic setup. To help avoid this, use a monitor arm to adjust the distance between you and the screen. This way, you can prop up the monitor and adjust it to the right height and distance. Instead of moving your head forward to see the screen, causing a hunched back, you can instead sit up straight with the screen at the perfect distance making your job easier.
- Reduce sugary temptations – From the break room to the receptionist’s desk and in the vending machines, sugary treats haunt professionals in the office. Reduce your temptations by keeping healthy snacks on hand. Bring fruit, some nuts, or an egg to snack on when hunger strikes. These snacks will keep you feeling full for longer and will help you resist the tempting sugar rush that seems to be available at every turn.
- Walk whenever you can – Common conveniences have made it easier to avoid having to get out of your chair. For example, sending a quick email to a colleague instead of walking down the hall to ask a question or picking up the phone to call a few floors down is convenient and unhealthy. Getting in the habit of walking whenever possible can help you rack up steps on your pedometer each day and keep your blood moving and body feeling better. Take this to the next level and walk while you work behind your computer, while on the phone, or while attending a webinar by using an exercise desk. Professionals continue to be amazed at how easy it is to stay productive while slowly keeping a steady pace on a treadmill. With a basic treadmill desk, you can walk while at your desk each day.
Healthy living is something most people work hard to achieve. The time you spend in your office should not take away from your endeavor to live a healthier lifestyle. Instead, enhance your resolve to be healthier by adopting these simple healthy habits in the workplace.