fbpx

Eight hours a day, five days a week, in front of a computer, can be taxing on your body. From avoiding eye strain and tension neck syndrome to avoiding the extra calories that coworkers leave temptingly on their desks, experts offer 10 tips to help you stay healthy and fit during the workday.

1. AVOID THE SNACKS

If you’re not careful, the snacks that your coworkers so nicely place on their desks can add a few hundred calories to your daily diet, and they can leave you with unwanted pounds if you help yourself day after day.

If something is out of sight, it is out of mind, so if you know someone has a candy dish on their desk, walk around it so you don’t feel tempted. Take a break, get some fresh air, and avoid the candy. If you get hungry, keep some fruit at your desk, such as cherries or grapes.

Three out of every five Americans are overweight, which means that there is likely more than one dieter in your office. People are trying to lose weight in most offices, so go in with them and get fruit bowls instead of candy bowls. See if you can persuade people to swap out their candy bowls for something healthier.

2. DRINK YOUR WATER

Drinking an adequate amount of water each day (eight to ten glasses) can help keep you hydrated. Many foods contain water; fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, grapes, watermelon, and apples can help keep you healthy and hydrated.

The 3 p.m. slump that many people experience at work can be caused by dehydration, so drink plenty of water. Set goals: Bring a 16-ounce bottle of water to work and try to finish it before lunch, then refill it and finish it before 3 p.m. Finish a third bottle by 5 p.m. Another tip is to set your computer alarm to remind you when it’s time to refill.

3. GET SOME EXERCISE IN

Exercising is one of the most important things you can do during the day to stay healthy and fit. It’s a good idea to go for a walk during lunch. You’re not only burning calories, but you’re also de-stressing and refreshing yourself.

Find a walking partner on whom you can rely for a daily walk—someone who will drag you out even if you say you’re too busy. If you absolutely must leave during lunch, park further away than usual so that you have a short walk to work in the morning and evening, or make it a habit to take the stairs rather than the elevator.

4. MIND YOUR LUNCH PORTIONS

A healthy lunch is an essential component of a well-balanced diet. However, eating in moderation is critical to your health. Eat a healthy lunch at work, but practice portion control so you don’t consume too many calories and then spend the afternoon sitting in a chair. It’s not always that you’re eating unhealthy food; it’s more often that you’re eating too much.

Pizza, for example, isn’t inherently bad; it’s just that most people eat three or four slices too many, which is where the problem lies. Instead, split a large slice of pizza with a coworker and follow it up with a veggie-packed salad.

5. AVOID NECK PAIN

According to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, tension neck syndrome (TNS) can occur when the neck and upper shoulders are held in a fixed, awkward position for long periods of time. It can happen to people who spend the majority of their workday on the phone or typing.

You should avoid bending your neck to the side for extended periods of time. Tension neck syndrome can cause pain in the neck and shoulders, as well as muscle tightness and tenderness. When you’re on the phone at work, use a speakerphone, a shoulder cradle, or a headset.

6. WATCH YOUR VISION

Another issue that can arise when working in front of a computer is eye strain. According to the University of California at Davis, it can cause headaches, difficulty focusing, and increased sensitivity to light.

The distance between your eyes and the screen should be about an arm’s length to avoid eyestrain. You should also be able to read what’s on your screen without squinting from that distance. Simply increase the font size on your computer if you can’t read your screen from an arm’s length away.

7. ALLOW YOURSELF TO RECHARGE

Vacations are an important part of staying healthy at work, which is a healthy tip that we all want to hear.

It’s extremely beneficial to take a long vacation to recharge your “batteries.” Vacations can help relieve stress and take your mind off work, especially if you’re having a conflict with your boss, a coworker, or a project.

Stress can impair your immune system, increasing your risk of illness, so reducing it is critical – and fortunately, vacations are the perfect way to do so.

8. DON’T OVERDO OVERTIME

Avoiding long stretches of long days is another way to stay healthy at work. People are sometimes so focused on the task at hand and completing a project that they are unaware of the impact it is having on their health. They may be unaware of it until the stress becomes unbearably high, affecting their relationships and moods.

This is a different type of stress that is commonly referred to as burnout. Burnout can also impair a person’s immune system, interfere with sleep, and impair concentration.

9. KEEP YOUR AREA CLEAN

Thousands of germs can live on your keyboard, mouse, and phone, waiting to make you sick. So get the disinfectant ready.

According to Science Daily, researchers at the American Society for Microbiology’s 100th General Meeting reported, “We know that viruses can survive (remain infectious) on a hard surface for hours to days… if a virus such as the rotavirus (a diarrheal virus) were on the surface of a telephone receiver, infectious doses could easily be transferred to persons using the telephone.”

The National Consumers League recommends cleaning these items with a disinfectant cleaner or spray that has been registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and proven effective against a wide range of viruses.

10. BE SELF-AWARE

The most important aspect of staying healthy at work is self-awareness. Know yourself and your limits, and do your best to stay within them given your job. Understand when to take breaks and when to take a vacation. Also, get plenty of exercise, which will benefit you both physically and mentally at work and at home.

Leave a Reply