6 Top Tips for Staying Healthy in the Office
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We all know that work life is exhausting, and it can be tempting to skip the gym and grab some greasy take-out instead. And although it’s okay to indulge occasionally, getting into healthy habits at work can make a world of difference to your well-being.
Why Is Office Health Important?
Staying healthy in the office benefits not only you but also your employers and colleagues. Statista research shows that healthy workers are more productive, less prone to work-related illness, and less likely to call in sick. Keeping fit at work also dramatically impacts your long-term health. On average, Americans spend around 90,000 hours at work, which amounts to a third of their lifetime. Given that work can take up this much of your life, it makes sense to prioritize your work health.
Top Tips for Staying Healthy at Work
Making a few subtle adjustments to your working day, you can have a much healthier office life. Here are Optimum’s six best ways to stay healthy in the office.
1. Bring a Packed Lunch
Our first healthy office habit concerns everyone’s favorite hour of the working day: lunch. While it might seem more convenient to grab a bite on your commute into the office, with proper planning, a home-cooked meal is ultimately the easier, cheaper, and healthier option. Research by Wolfson and colleagues highlighted that people who eat more home-cooked meals and less carry-out have a healthier diet overall. This is due to many store-bought options, including higher sodium, sugar, and saturated fat content and generally more calories. What’s more, eating out at lunch is an expensive habit. A Visa survey found that, on average, Americans spend $53 a week, amounting to over $2,700 per year. So, to help improve your physical and financial health, we recommend bringing a healthy, homemade lunch to the office.
2. Maximize Your Lunch Break
You may think you’re more productive working through lunch while nibbling on a sandwich over your laptop. In fact, the opposite is true. Getting out and active during this time helps you to break up the day and leave you feeling revitalized. It’s no secret that exercise works wonders on your physical and mental health. Countless studies prove that frequent exercise can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. So, whether it’s a brisk walk around the block, or a quick workout, leaving the office environment and raising your heart rate is one of the best ways to spend those 60 minutes. And, even better, Optimum’s collection of virtual workouts means you don’t even need a local gym membership.
3. Get Your Step in
If you don’t have the luxury of taking a full hour to work out at lunchtime, there are still plenty of ways to get active while at work. For instance, walking is an easy and accessible way to stay healthy at work. Plus, you use a whopping 200 muscles every time you step forward! So, we recommend trying to walk wherever and whenever you can.
Here are some ways to get more steps in while at work:
- Avoid elevators. Wherever possible, always take the stairs. Try doing an extra flight up and down to get more steps in.
- Walk to work. This can be a great way to raise your heart rate and get some fresh air before starting the day. If you don’t live within walking distance from the office, you could get off at a stop earlier or park further away from the office and walk in from there.
- Schedule walking meetings. Holding a meeting while on the move can be a great way to boost creativity, enhance productivity, and discuss the task at hand, all while getting some exercise.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
Another key wellness tip for the workplace is ensuring you are well-hydrated. This is vital as even mild dehydration can result in headaches, trouble concentrating, fatigue, and low mood—all of which impact your overall productivity and work health. We recommend that you bring a reusable bottle to the office and set a goal to fill it up a couple of times throughout the day. Eating plenty of fresh juicy fruits can also help you stay hydrated.
5. Take Regular Breaks
We already covered the importance of a lunch hour, but taking small breaks away from your screen can help you stay focused and refreshed. It’s not always easy to step away from your desk if you’re in the middle of a mountain of work, but standing up, grabbing a drink, or chatting to colleagues can help boost productivity and reduce chances of burnout. It may also be beneficial to occasionally unplug entirely and reap the benefits of a digital detox On a larger scale, making sure you take regular vacations can help you to stay motivated and keep a healthier work-life balance. Check out our best travel apps guide to find your next adventure.
6. Creating a Healthy Office Environment
Our final tip is to make the space around you a healthy place to work. Whether frequently disinfecting your keyboard or having plenty of plants dotted around the office, keeping the environment around you feeling healthy can help you feel healthy too. Small fixes include filing away your paperwork to keep a tidy desk, placing a bowl of fresh fruit nearby, and opening a window to let the fresh air into the office.
Other Quick Tips to Help Stay Healthy in the Office:
- Regularly stand up and stretch
- Buy a stress relief toy
- Have a power nap
- Try meditation
With these quick tips, staying healthy in the office doesn’t have to feel like a chore. If you’re looking for more tips to stay healthy, check out Optimum’s guides to overcoming the effects of social media and the best self-help apps.
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