No matter what your occupation, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week is a pretty demanding schedule. We spend half our waking hours at work, where many of us sit for the majority of the day. And all that sitting can wreak havoc on your body, even increasing the risk of developing serious health conditions.
The risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle make it so important to find ways to be healthier at work to counter the effects of sitting in front of your computer all day. Here are three great ways to promote a healthier work atmosphere to keep you feeling great.
Proper nutrition is one of the best and easiest ways to promote good health. You get out of your body what you put into it, so it’s important to fuel it with lots of healthy choices like fruits and vegetables. Just swapping out a few of your daily snacks and drinks can make a positive impact on your energy levels and overall feelings of wellness.
- Don’t skimp on breakfast – You’ve heard it before: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that’s because it’s absolutely true. Breakfast is how you kick start the day, and if you aren’t making good choices, or you skip it entirely, you’re setting yourself up for a major energy slump later in the day. Start your day with a healthy smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal. Both are great sources of energy that will keep your energy up through the day.
- Pack a lunch – When you don’t bring a lunch from home, you may grab fast food, order takeout from a restaurant, or hit the vending machine on your lunch break. There probably aren’t a whole lot of healthy options, and you have no way to know what is in the food you’re eating. By packing a lunch, you have total control over what you eat for the day and can make better choices that keep you feeling energized instead of contributing to that afternoon slump. Pack some extra snacks, like fruit or veggies and hummus, to munch on during the day to curb your appetite and keep your metabolism running.
- Drink More Water – It’s easy to get stuck in a routine of hitting the office coffee pot or grabbing a soda from the vending machine, but the added sugar in your daily latte or soda are major contributors to poor health. Bring a refillable bottle with you and keep hitting the water cooler instead of the vending machine throughout your day. Eliminating the excess sugar in your diet will prevent you from crashing and feeling sluggish later.
When you’re stuck sitting at a desk all day, it can be tricky to find ways to be active or fit in a workout. But there are several things you can do to increase your circulation and eliminate the risk of developing blood clots.
- Take the stairs – In general, taking the stairs instead of the elevator is always the best option. It boosts your heart rate and gets your blood pumping, which is important if you’re sitting for most of your day.
- Stretch regularly – Just five minutes of stretching can improve your posture and get your blood flowing. It will also help release tension in your back, neck and shoulders, which are common occurrences for those who work desk jobs. Get up from your desk at least once every hour just to stretch your muscles. Even just a quick walk to the bathroom and back will help loosen up those muscles and decrease your risk of developing blood clots, which can lead to stroke and heart attack.
- Modify Your desk – Not everyone can make changes to his/her workspace. But if you can modify your desk and chair, consider a standing desk in place of a seated desk. It will help improve your circulation and help you feel more energized through the day. If you cannot change your desk, then simply swap out your office chair for a yoga ball chair. It improves your posture and also allows you to do simple exercises right from your desk.
Wellness isn’t just about having a healthier body. It is also about having a healthier mind. Don’t neglect your mind when trying to create a healthier work environment for yourself. Mindfulness doesn’t just relate to meditation, though a few minutes of meditation throughout your day is a great way to reduce stress. Practice mindfulness by recognizing when your body and mind need a break, and don’t skip it. While you may think working through your break demonstrates your dedication to your job, it can cause burnout and make you resent your job later. Put yourself first and be aware of the signs your body gives to tell you that it’s time to rest.
Self-care is vitally important to your feelings of overall wellness and must be a priority even when you’re working. Make your health a priority by making small changes to your routine, your diet and your mindset to keep you feeling great and full of energy.
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