Starting 2016 off on the right track to improve your health at work
One of the most popular categories of New Year’s Resolutions is related to improving overall health. So whether that means losing weight, eating better or getting more exercise, it’s important to carry these goals over to the workplace. After all, we do spend 40+ hours a week there. Habits at work can either make or break your resolution. So here are some tips to help you see your resolution through and improve your health at work.
- Keep your hands out of the candy dish. While it can seem harmless, grabbing a few pieces of candy each day can add over 200 calories to your diet, which really adds up over time.
- Drink more water. The 3pm lull we all feel may actually be your body telling you that you’re dehydrated. Drinking water helps you stay alert and refreshed, and promotes clear thinking. Additionally, many offices are exceptionally dry, which causes your body to become dehydrated quicker. Keep a water bottle at your desk that you can fill up throughout the day.
- Try walking on your lunch break. Daily exercise is one of the most important factors in improving your long term health. Even if you only have 10 minutes, you can walk around the block or climb the stairs in your building.
- Eat a healthy lunch. Portions really do matter. If you’re trying to lose weight and can’t, it may not be that you are eating unhealthy foods, but that you are eating too much and then being sedentary the rest of the afternoon.
- Practice good posture. Ergonomics, especially relating to the spine are extremely important as we age. Sitting up straight, with your feet flat on the floor, is a good place to start. If you talk on the phone a lot at your job, try using a speaker phone, shoulder cradle or headset to reduce the amount of tension in your neck and shoulders that comes from resting the phone on your shoulder for long periods of time.
- Pay attention to eyestrain/fatigue. Ideal positioning of the computer monitor is one arm’s length away, so you don’t have to squint to read the screen. If moving the location of the monitor isn’t an option, try adjusting the brightness of the screen or the font size to reduce glare and make it easier to read. Remember to take regular breaks so you aren’t looking at the screen all day. A good rule of thumb is to look 20 feet away from your computer for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
- Practice good hygiene. Now that cold and flu season is upon us, it’s especially important to remember to wash your hands before and after eating to reduce the spread of germs. If you share your workstation or cubicle, clean that too. Keep the frequently touched common surfaces like the phone, keyboard and mouse clean and sanitized daily to do your part in keeping the office sterile.