How to stay healthy in your office
With the average office worker now estimated to spend around 43 hours per week sitting at their desk, it can be easy to adopt unhealthy habits whilst constantly sitting down. Falling into a lazy routine of emailing or calling co-workers rather than physically walking to their desk, in addition to eating lunch sitting at your desk can all contribute problems with posture and weight gain.
Here are some ideas to help you get out of the typical office worker tendencies.
Taking regular breaks will be beneficial to both your physical and mental health. For those that constantly use computer screens, eye strain can be made considerably worse by not taking regular breaks and resting your eyes from the bright displays we are now accustomed to.
Aim for a minimum of three to four minutes rest per hour. This can easily be achieved through offering to make colleagues drinks, tidying the communal kitchen or simply having a discussion face to face with a co-worker over a project.
Keep checks on your posture and sitting position whilst at your desk. Having your chair a little too low or too high can cause severe problems in the long run by putting unnecessary stress on your spine and neck. Not having sufficient support for your wrists can also cause unwanted pain from typing and using the mouse for long periods of time without a break. When you arrive at work in the morning, ensure your chair is positioned correctly so that you are not needing to bend or stretch over your desk. An ergonomic chair will support your back and allow you to sit upright without straining your shoulders or causing you to hunch over.
Staying hydrated is always a problem for hectic lifestyles and this is the same for office workers. A good tip is to keep a bottle or specific glass for your water and keep an eye on how much you are drinking per day. Once you get into the habit of drinking plenty of water, it is a good idea to have a smaller receptacle on your desk. This means you have to get up and move around more often whilst you refill.
Adding a few basic exercises and stretches into your daily routine can help immensely in keeping your body from becoming stiff and seizing up from remaining in one position. Regularly stretching out your limbs and joints will help to stop undue strain. A good movement to try while sitting is to turn your entire upper body as far to the side as possible, think of it as if you are trying to look at the person behind you without turning your hips or legs. This manoeuver is great for stretching out the spine.
Try to limit the amount of visits to the vending machine in your office, as this won’t help your waistline or your wallet. Substituting your own healthy snacks such as chopped up vegetables and dried fruits can stop the daily munch for a chocolate bar. Avoid walking past it or put your loose change into a savings jar so you physically can’t use the machine.
Making the others in the office aware of your aims to eat healthier and become more active can help you recruit a weight loss buddy. This method is proven to help keep you both motivated and encourage each other to stay on the right track when it comes to snacks.