Is your work damaging your Health? Probably, yes..
It’s the world that most of us inhabit 5 days a week, but sitting all day in a chair in front of a computer for 8 hours a day is not good for your body. And there’s not much (apart from leaving the rat race altogether) that we can do to avoid the modern, corporate environment.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. There are things we can do to make life at the office a healthier, more bearable and curiously enough, more productive too!
So here are LemonBody’s Top Tips to Stay Healthy at Work!
Tip 1. Step away from the snacks that abound in modern offices.
The treats that your colleagues so generously bring in for everyone are adding hundreds of calories to your daily intake and most of them are sugar based, which means they deposit lots of calories into your bloodstream, fast. So your body does what any sensible system would do when given more that is needed – it stores the calories for a rainy day (in your Fat cells). Insulin is released to mop up the excess sugar and if you’re not careful, this happens every day and over time can leave you with unwanted pounds of extra weight. So keep away from the snacks and bring your own healthy snacks to work – for you and your work colleagues! Fruit, seeds, nuts, cottage cheese, tuna salads etc. are ideal and contain far fewer calories than the more usual brownies, biscuits and cakes on offer. In most offices, people are trying to lose weight, so you’ll be helping others as well as yourself!
Tip 2. Keep hydrated.
Water is best but can be boring so add some lemon juice or other fruit to liven it up rather than opt for coke and the other fizzy stuff – even if it is diet. How much should you drink? Enough that you pee clear at least once in the day. Good hydration will help you concentrate too.
Tip 3. Stand up from your desk and move around more.
Walking during your lunchtime is a great idea and forces you to take a break, which can help you focus and be more productive when you return to your work. You’re burning calories, revving up your metabolism and refreshing your brain too. A quick 10 – 20 minute speed walk around the block or in the local park can work wonders – and you deserve a break! It’s YOUR lunchtime! And don’t forget to use the stairs, not the lift!
Tip 4. Take a healthy lunch to work.
Don’t rely on grabbing something ad hoc from the local petrol station or high street. Healthy food is in short supply in places like this. Instead, try and take a heathy meal to work with you. It needn’t be complicated or too fancy – A pot of low fat cottage cheese, some crispbreads and an avocado or tomato take no prep time at all. Just grab them from the kitchen and get to work. Easy. More info here!
Tip 5. Don’t let Bad Posture give you Headaches, a Stiff Neck and Tight Shoulders.
These can occur when the neck and upper shoulders are held in a fixed, awkward position for long periods of time – like at work for 8 hours a day! Ask your HR Department for a new chair/desk arrangement if you’re suffering. Consider wrist supports, using a headphone (rather than holding a phone to your ear) if you spend a lot of time on the phone. Buy a lumber cushion and practice sitting up straight and with your shoulders back. Set an alert on your computer every 15 minutes to remind you to check and adjust your position – soon it becomes second nature and you can ditch the alert. Set your computer screen at eye level, rather than looking down at the damned thing! Mobilise your neck and shoulders for a few seconds regularly. This stuff is REALLY important and can make a big difference!
Tip 6. Plan a few days off every 2 or 3 months and maximise your holiday entitlement.
Having something to look forward to is always uplifting but the time off is important to recharge those batteries too. They needn’t be expensive trips, or indeed trips away at all if money is tight. Make sure to allocate at least some of the time for YOU, rather than to catch up on mowing the lawn, housework or DIY. Get out into the countryside and walk – it’s free and good for body and soul! Holidays are an important part of staying healthy at work. Stress can impair your immune system, increasing the risk of illness, so reducing stress is essential. And a few days off is the perfect way to do just that!
Tip 7. Keep a sense of perspective.
Work is important. Your career is important. Providing for yourself and your family is important too. But it shouldn’t damage your health or make you unhappy. If that’s what’s happening, you MUST change it! I know, I know – that’s so EASY to say and so HARD to do. But it’s also important. Really important. If you’re unhappy or your job is making you unwell, make CHANGES without delay. That may be as simple as asking for an internal move, or to adjust your hours. Or it might mean telling your boss that you’re unhappy and that you’d like their help so you can enjoy your job again. Or you might just leave and do something else. Seriously. You are on this wonderful planet for a short time and only once, so you OWE it to yourself to be happy and healthy!
Tip 8. Come to BootCamp regularly.
It’s good for you and you’ll be with friends – and that’s REALLY important for your health too!
Captain Felix Deer joined the Army in 1985 and served in a number of Training Officer roles, qualifying as a Unit Fitness Officer in 1986. Since leaving the Army in 1994, Felix has sold property, built houses and flown airliners for a living, but has always maintained his keen interest in Fitness.