5 Healthy Habits for the Office
I’ve rounded up 5 healthy habits for the office that you can incorporate today.
Working in an office 5 days a week, for 8 to 10 hours a day, can get to be a lot. Many people develop unhealthy habits once they enter the workforce, because a lot of office cultures encourage unhealthy behaviors.
Think vending machines for snacks, sitting at your desk for extended periods of time, those weekly doughnuts every Friday, etc.
Now, that isn’t true for every office, but I know that for many of my friends and family, even myself, don’t have that type of environment.
So, if that sounds like you– read on for a couple ideas I have, and incorporate in my 9 to 5 to make healthier choices.
1. Pack your lunch
This one is a game changer. Plus, there are a variety of benefits– you can save money, save time, make healthier choices, etc.
I work a little bit of unconventional hours. I get to the office before 7:15 am, so I eat 2/3 meals at work. If I didn’t pack my meals, I can’t even imagine how I would be able to afford it– first and foremost– or feel good at the office.
I usually will do a little bit of meal prepping on Sunday night for the upcoming work week. I don’t do much, but make an effort to at least get all my breakfast packed for the week, along with lunch for Monday/Tuesday. That way I have a short buffer to get the rest of my lunches together.
Also, it’s very helpful to keep some healthy snack options at your desk. If you have something nearby that is a smart choice, it makes it easier to turn down a Snickers bar or something in the afternoon.
2. Get moving
Sitting at a desk for 8+ hours a day is not good.
I am very lucky in the fact that last year I received a stand up desk. Some companies are starting to supply employees with stand up desks or letting people bring in their own. However, they can be a be a bit pricy– but in the long run they can make a huge difference. We spend a vast majority of our time in the workplace, so I think it is worthwhile to invest in a stand up desk– especially if you plan on staying at your company for a little while.
Now, if you don’t have a stand up desk (or even if you do) I suggest utilizing your work environment to get some physical activity going.
Things you can do:
-Take the stairs: I always take the stairs over the elevator, unless of course you have to go up like 6+ flights or something.
-Park far away: I try try to do this no matter where I am. But parking a little bit farther away from the entrance ensures that you get more steps in.
-Bicycle to work: If this is an option, or even walking to work– if possible– is a great way to make sure you are a bit more active.
-Go on a walk: Do a circle around your building, or take a couple flights of stairs– anything to get you up and out of your desk for a few minutes.
3. Keep a water bottle at your desk
Drinking enough water during the day can be difficult for a lot of people.
I especially struggle with this, because from the time I wake up until lunch, I typically only want to drink coffee. (I have a problem. I’m okay with it. Let’s move on.)
Over the last month I have made a conscious effort to up my ounces of water.
I have an REI water bottle that holds 64 ounces. My goal is to drink between 96 to 128 ounces of water a day. I will fill up my water bottle and keep it at my desk. I make sure that before lunch I have drank at least 32 ounces. I check off each time I fill it up to keep track. This is helpful for me because I can easily see how much water I have taken in.
Also, I don’t waste time going to and from my desk refilling a single cup or even a 12-16 ounce water bottle. At most, I’ll fill it up 3 times. That saves me a bunch of time and ensures that I drink a lot.
4. Look away from your computer screen
A couple months back I went to the optometrist 4 months before my annual check up because I noticed that my vision had dramatically gotten worse. My eye doctor was shocked at how poorly my eyes had become in less than a year. When he asked about how much I am starring at screens– which for me tends to be around 5-6 hours a day on my phone and 8-10 hours a day on my computer– he suggested I make a change.
Many of us spend the majority of our work day at the computer. That just tends to be the nature of looks of office jobs. Unfortunately, our work is going to suddenly change, so instead we have to alter our behaviors.
My optometrist encouraged me to look away from my computer screen every hours for at least 2 minutes. An easy way to make sure that I do this simple task is by setting an alarm on my cell phone for every hour that I’m at the office. Then I will set my timer on my phone to go off at 2 minutes.
In an 8 hour day you will be losing 16 minutes of work– not too bad, especially considering how valuable your eye sight is.
If you can’t look away every hour, even making an effort to look away every 2 hours or 3 would be steps in the right direction.
Now, don’t forget, you can’t take those 2 minutes to look at your phone. Instead, maybe go to the restroom, reorganize your desk, just sit and reflect, chat with a coworker, etc.
5. Take a break
This last and final tip is one that really makes a lot of difference, especially in terms of your mental health.
I know that we are busy. I know that some of us are workaholics. I know that deadlines are due, things are chaotic– whatever it may be. But guess what, it is still important and perfectly acceptable to step away from your desk and take some time.
I don’t always do a good job at this one. In fact, in my previous position before I was promoted, I always took a break. Now, I find that I make excuses, get caught up in my work, or simply feel guilty for stepping away.
But, it is important. Not only for yourself, but also for your work.
Taking a little break can reenergize you, ultimately making your more productive and allow you brain to think with more clarity and creativity. If you are stuck on a problem, having difficultly drafting an email– whatever it may be– taking 5-10 minutes away from your desk could really help give you that burst of inspiration you are looking for.
I would LOVE to hear from y’all on some of the healthy habits you’ve adopted at your workplace. Leave them in the comments below.
Cheers & stay chic!