When you belong in the working class, working for eight hours or more in the office cannot be avoided. However, doctors keep reminding us that sitting down for long periods of time is not good for the health. There are negative impacts to the body, such as increased risk of heart disease, back and spine injuries because of poor posture, depression, and obesity due to slower metabolism to name a few.
The good news is that there are things that you can do to improve your health even when you are at your workplace. You can do some short exercises, eat healthier food options, and you can even get continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP machines to help you sleep better.
Below are some simple ways on how you can lead a healthier lifestyle even when you work long hours.
Prepare your own lunch and bring healthy snacks.
Many office workers complain that they don’t have enough time in the morning to prepare their lunch. Most of them jump out of bed, prepare their kids for school if they have any, and just make it in time for their bus or train. The best way to achieve this is to prepare lunch at night. There are easy-to-prepare recipes that you can follow, which only takes 30 minutes. If you want to be healthy, you have to make a little bit of effort.
The same goes for snacks. When you do your grocery shopping, pick out healthier options such as fruits, nuts, or kale chips. While it is acceptable to sometimes indulge in junk food because you feel like you deserve it, given that you had a stressful day at the office, you should not make it a habit. Moderation is always the key. If grocery shopping is not possible at times, you can opt for a healthy snack delivery service.
Control your caffeine intake.
There have been a lot of arguments about the good and bad effects of caffeine for the health. It is difficult to actually figure out which studies to believe, but if you look at independent studies, it will lead to the following conclusions:
- Too much caffeine could make you show symptoms of anxiety
- It could make you irritable
- It can cause insomnia
- Too much caffeine on pregnant women may affect the growth of the baby
- Caffeine could be addictive
- Moderation is always the key to a healthier body.
Take short walks.
During lunchtime, you don’t have to sit around for an hour. If you can finish your meal in thirty minutes, go outside the office and take a 15 minute walk. You will feel more rejuvenated and be more productive. Make sure that you take the stairs instead of the elevator. Inside the office, you can do some stretching exercises every hour to boost your energy.
Maintain a clean workstation.
A clean workstation is important because this is where you stay all day. If you always leave food at your station, mold and bacteria could form and could make you sick. Buy sanitizers that you can use to clean your desk, keyboard, and chair.
Find ways to manage stress.
Too much stress at work can cause fatigue. Fatigue is one of the main causes of depression and other medical issues such as:
- constant headaches
- loss of appetite
- weak immune system
- poor concentration
- blurry vision
One of the best ways to manage stress is to make time for things that you find enjoyable, like pursuing a hobby such as photography, reading, sports, or anything that you are passionate about. It can simply be chatting with a friend from work and talk about non-work topics such as family and vacation. The goal here is to take your mind off work for a short time to relax your brain and your body.
Observe proper posture.
Poor posture leads to neck and back pains which results to poor performance at work. When you are hammering away on your keyboard for hours, it is easy to forget your posture and tend to be drawn to your computer screen. This puts a lot of pressure on your neck and spine.
Here are some proper posture tips:
- Push your buttocks as far back into the chair as you can.
- Put your feet flat on the floor.
- Keyboard height should not be too high. Put your hands on the keyboard and adjust until you feel that your shoulders are relaxed. It should be at the center of your body.
- The computer screen should be an arm’s length away.
Staying healthy requires a conscious effort on your part. It takes commitment and cannot be done overnight. It is easy to blame being unhealthy to hectic schedules and deadlines, but if there are those who can achieve this, there’s no reason why you can’t. By doing all these simple tips, you will gain great health benefits and you will be on your way to having a healthier lifestyle.