We’ve all been there. You’re in the office, it’s somebody’s birthday, and they’ve brought in snacks, sweets, and cakes for everybody to share. You were supposed to be reducing your sugar intake, but the snacks are so tempting you have to try one. And another one. And another one…
This story illustrates something we all know - it’s challenging to stay healthy working in an office! Whether it’s spending the whole day sitting down, eating calorie-loaded sandwiches for lunch, or tucking into cake for a colleague’s birthday, office work doesn’t lend itself to a healthy lifestyle.
Even employees that work from home can struggle to stay healthy during the workday. When your snack drawer is only one room away, it’s challenging to say no to temptation. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help.
We’ve assembled the most simple ways to stay healthy, whether you work in your home office or in an office with all your colleagues.
1. Bring a Packed Lunch
During the work day, you probably only eat one meal. But the food you eat for this meal can have a considerable impact on your daily calorific intake. If you rely on buying your food from supermarkets or local fast food places, you’ll probably end up eating processed sandwiches packed with salt, fat, and additives.
The healthier way to eat lunch is to bring your own lunch from home. That way, you know exactly what’s in it. To make sure your lunch is as healthy as possible, pack it with veggies and a good mix of carbohydrates and protein.
To save time and money, batch-cook your weekly lunches on Sunday, to avoid having to make a new lunch every morning.
2. Pack Healthy Snacks
Offices are infamous for being full of unhealthy snacks. Whether it’s biscuits or sweets, office workers are known for tucking into sugary snacks regularly, to get out of that mid-afternoon concentration dip.
To avoid eating too much junk food during the afternoon, bring your own healthy snacks to work. That way, when you crave food, you can eat something healthy from your bag, whether it’s a portion of fruit or hummus with carrot sticks.
3. Invest in a Standing Desk
If you work from home, you can avoid the health problems that come with sitting excessively by investing in a standing desk. If you work in an office where your company provides the desks, talk to the office manager about the possibility of giving workers the option of having a standing desk or a desk bike in place of a regular desk.
This standing desk from Flexispot is adjustable, so you can set it to the perfect level for standing. Simply standing at your desk instead of sitting on it can improve your physical health significantly.
If you’re up for the challenge, you can even invest in a treadmill to go underneath the desk, so you can go on walks or even light jogs while you work.
4. Take a Lunch Break
Too many workers skip lunch breaks, leaving them exhausted by the afternoon. Lunch breaks are important for mental health and focus. It’s a myth that working for a whole day without breaks makes you more productive. In fact, the opposite is true.
Taking a lunch break will help to avoid burnout and give you an opportunity to enjoy your food instead of eating it too quickly at your desk.
5. Drink Water
Too many people go through the work day drinking only coffees and teas and forget to stay hydrated. To make sure you drink enough water, invest in a reusable water bottle to take to work.
Set regular reminders or alarms to fill up your water bottle, or make it a habit to fill up your bottle every time you leave your desk to go to the bathroom or make a hot drink.
6. Get Regular Fresh Air
Taking breaks is beneficial for health, but even better than taking breaks is going outside for those breaks. Getting fresh air is great for your health, plus getting out in the sunlight provides your body with one of its most vital vitamins - vitamin D.
If you can’t get outdoors during your breaks, occasionally walk to and from work, or get off one bus stop or car park earlier than usual so you can walk the rest of the journey.
Walking at any opportunity will improve cardiovascular fitness and help reduce anxiety.
Sitting for long periods at a desk can lead to bad posture, back pain, and stiffness. Avoid these poor health outcomes by including regular stretches as part of your workplace routine.
If you don’t get the chance to stretch while at work, incorporate movement such as yoga or pilates into your evening routine so you can shake off the physical events of work once you’re done for the day.