7 Tips for a Healthier Work Life

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In today’s society, data shows that roughly 2 out of 3 adults are overweight or obese.

Risk factors for those who are obese are obvious. We know that it can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and pretty much any other bad health problem.

However, most people lead busy lives. Eight hour plus work days, long commutes and hectic schedules can leave little time for getting exercise and worrying about healthy eating habits. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do that will help you have a healthier work life. That means you’ll have more energy and feel better for everyday tasks you must complete.

Here are 7 tips to help ensure you get your healthy groove on at work:

Take Frequent Movement Breaks

Studies show that there is a higher risk of death among those who sat most of the time while working. This risk grows progressively worse with increased times of sitting without movement.

If you work in a job where you sit much of the day, try:

  • Purchasing a sit/stand desk. These ergonomic desks allow you to change your position frequently.
  • Using a walking desk in addition to your regular desk. Walking desks are a sort of working treadmill and allow you to get in some gentle, slow exercise while remaining productive.
  • Setting an alarm. Get up every hour to walk around the office or even just do some gentle stretching exercises.

Sneak in Exercise on Your Breaks

Whether you only get 30 minutes for lunch or you have a full hour, use that time to sneak in a bit of exercise. Try to get in 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

The activity does not have to be 30 minutes consecutively, either, so try:

  • Taking a 10 minute walk after lunch.
  • Using your break to walk up and down the stairs in your building.
  • Parking your car a bit farther from the building, assuming it is safe to do so, and walking ten minutes before and after work.

Eat Regular, Healthy Meals

You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating that it’s not a good idea to skip meals. Even if you don’t have much time to eat, there are still ways to ensure you get adequate nutrition.

Eat a healthy breakfast to get your day started on the right foot. Then, make sure your lunch includes protein, complex carbs and healthy fats. For example, you might have eggs and veggies for breakfast. For lunch, try a whole wheat turkey sandwich piled high with vegetables and avocado slices. For a snack, indulge in some fruit and cheese.

Here are some other tips for making sure you eat the right stuff to help you power through your day:

  • Different experts have differing opinions on how often to eat. Pay attention to your body and when you are hungry or need an energy boost.
  • Choose whole foods whenever possible, for instance, an orange instead of orange juice.
  • Avoid foods that have sugar or unhealthy fats. Also, try to steer clear of those that are fried or overly processed.

Drink Water

Keep a water bottle handy and sip throughout the work day. Drinking enough water is vital to good health. You may need more water if it is hot outside. Exercise also means you must increase water consumption, and if your body is fighting an illness, drinking more water is beneficial to help you recover.

The benefits of drinking more water include:

  • Regulating body temperature
  • Keeping joints lubricated
  • Helping the body rid itself of waste

Give Your Eyes a Break

Staring at a computer monitor all day is hard on your eyes and can result in strain. There are many causes of eye strain, and some of it may be unavoidable.

However, there are some easy things you can do while working to prevent exhausting your eyes:

  • Look away from your computer screen from time to time and stare at a fixed point to refocus your eyes.
  • Purchase an anti-glare cover for your screen or invest in anti-glare glasses.
  • Vary your work throughout the day. Instead of sitting at the computer for three hours straight, work on the computer for an hour, get up and meet with colleagues, do some paperwork, then come back to the computer.

Cut Alcohol Consumption

It’s no surprise that drinking too much alcohol can be hard on your liver, but did you know that alcohol abuse costs the U.S. economy $223.5 billion each year?

There are many reasons to cut your alcohol consumption in general, especially during the work week.

  • Keeping a clear mind for completing business deals instead of trying to operate with the fog of an alcohol buzz.
  • Drinking alcohol and then exercising might cause you to become dehydrated.
  • Excessive drinking of alcohol can result in liver disease, obesity, diabetes and high triglycerides.

Choose to Relax

Work can be stressful, period. But, it’s important to be able to manage your stress levels. Stress affects everything from your central nervous system to your organs. It can also affect your emotions, and not in a good way.

While some stress may help you be more productive, too much can be detrimental to your well-being. It’s vital that you figure out ways to de-stress from the work day if you want to keep your health and your sanity.

Some ways to de-stress include:

  • Finding a hobby you love, such as knitting, horseback riding or reading.
  • Using your vacation days to relax. Don’t try to pack in all those home projects you’ve been meaning to get to. Go get a massage. Take a day trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Sleep in late.
  • Practice relaxation techniques throughout the work day. For example, close your eyes for a few minutes and picture yourself in your favorite place.

To do the best job possible in every aspect of your life, you need to feel good. By adding just a few small routines into your day, you can improve your health as well as increase your lifespan and your work productivity.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and career blogger. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, where she shares advice about finding happiness and success in your career. Follow her on Twitter @SarahLandrum and subscribe to her blog newsletter for more great tips.

  • http://www.rebelhealthcoach.com Amanda Sewell

    Now that’s what I’m talking about. Great article. Everything you mentioned is so important.