How To Stay Healthy At Work
The COVID-19 pandemic is hopefully approaching its end, and so does working from home. To take some of that autumn office blues away, today we’ll share with you our best wellness tips for the workplace.
Getting back into the office environment swing after such a long time away, won’t be easy. Not when we are all so used to working in pajama bottoms, cooking super nutritious lunches and having lunchtime naps.
Can work and wellness go together? Of course!
If you’re preoccupied by how to be healthy, there are plenty of easy ways to maintain your newfound well being at work:
- Eat and drink right to recharge
- Take breaks to destress
- Keep fit to focus
Find out how these easy-to-follow tips for office workers can help you maintain health and well being during long office hours.
Eat and Drink Right, to Recharge
When discussing wellness tips for the workplace, food should occupy a leading position. In fact, it's our first health and wellness idea for the workplace we’ll share with you today.
We are what we eat – that’s not just an old saying. But did you know that the food and drink we put in our bodies affects not only our weight, but our mood and energy levels too?
The basic advice from the NHS states we need a balance of fruits, veg, dairy, protein and fats. When working from home it’s easier to plan our food to include all these elements.
However, adapting your work from home habits to improve your office health shouldn’t be difficult:
1. Be Careful Not to Fall Into the Bad Snacking Habit
Meeting pastries, free biscuits and vending machines – the office environment isn’t entirely conducive to healthy snacking.
To curb your cravings and stay healthy at work, throw a piece of fresh fruit in your bag before you leave the house in the morning. You can also buy a multi pack of popcorn for your office drawer. For more office health inspiration, here are some other super-nutritious office snacks you can make.
2. Bring Your Lunch With You
Just as with snacks, we bet your lunches at home were much more elaborate and balanced than your usual office fair.
So why not keep it up by prepping and bringing your lunch to work with you? Also, try and avoid eating at your desk – there are so many germs there.
3. Drink Lots of Water to Stay Hydrated
One wellness tip for the workplace we keep repeating to everybody, is to drink water.
This health tip is not only essential for office workers, but to all of us including those that are not employees.
Nowadays, it seems like everybody is too busy to drink water. But considering around 60% of the human body is water, you’ve got to keep those levels topped up to stay focused!
Aim to drink upwards of 2 litres of water a day to keep everything functioning properly. If you work out and exercise, you should be drinking even more.
One idea to track your daily consumption of liquids at work is to get big litre-sized water bottles. Water fountains with cool, fresh water are excellent too. You can use them to refill your bottles so that you won’t need to buy and carry new ones all the time.
4. Keep Control of Caffeine Consumption
Don’t think you have to cut out coffee and tea completely to be healthy. Research shows a few drinks of caffeinated drinks a day are fine. It’s what you add to every cup or what comes in every can that you need to keep an eye on. We’re talking sugar, milk or cream. Try not to overdo it!
Also, you should stop drinking caffeine later in the afternoon to avoid any impact on your sleep – roughly 4-6 hours before you go to bed is ideal.
For Healthier Work, Take Breaks to Destress
An easy wellness tip for the workplace almost anyone can follow, is to try and get away from the computer. At least for a while.
The words start to merge and your focus drifts, but a little break can do a world of good for your workplace well being:
5. Have Meetings Outside the Office
Instead of moving from one desk to another larger one with pastries on, why not have a meeting at the coffee shop? Or over lunch.
Like this, you can get a change of scenery to refocus away from the office stress. Plus, it is still a valuable time you’ve spent working.
6. Fresh Air Can Do Wonders
If you don’t have a meeting to slip away to, just go for a quick five-minute walk in the great outdoors.
Some studies have found that smaller walks are more beneficial for your well being than longer ones. And fresh air is even more so, as it can improve your mood. If you want to work healthy, the increase in oxygen can boost your brain function and you won’t get worn out either.
7. Get a Desk Plant
Another, less physical yet still oxygen-boosting health tip for office workers is to get a desk plant. A green leafy one will naturally improve the air quality around your desk, but it’ll also help you take short breaks. Now and then it’ll need a little TLC, so take a few minutes and give it some attention by watering it and tidying up any dead leaves.
Having an office plant is a gentle distraction from your work. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling more focused and your plant will be looking better.
Headspace says that meditation in the workplace can reduce stress. It can also boost focus, improve teamwork and encourage engagement. So we say it’s worth a try.
9. Put the Phone Away
Social media and notification addiction is real! So try not to look at your phone apart from designated special small breaks.
Some progressive companies who champion alternative working patterns, have this as a rule to improve concentration and focus. They call it the Lagom philosophy.
Keep Fit to Focus Better
After being at home so long, this wellness tip for the workplace might seem easy. Keeping fit and healthy is so much easier if you exercise daily and get those endorphins moving.
For those looking for how to promote wellness in the workplace, here are a few ways you can introduce movement throughout your office day:
10. Take the Stairs
Sometimes taking the stairs can be quicker than the lift. Other than that, it’s a great speedy workout. It activates your glutes, legs, back and ab muscles, and gets your blood pumping. Taking the stairs is great for both your energy levels, and your focus.
11. Fit In a Lunchtime Workout
Or a pre-work workout. Either one is great for boosting your energy levels and metabolism.
You could even stop mid-afternoon for a speedy three-minute break session of press-ups, squats or star jumps. Anything that gets your blood pumping will improve your mood as well as your fitness, health and well being.
Why not get your colleagues involved too?
12. Use Stress Relief Toys
This health tip is pretty basic for office workers, but a great way to stretch your hands if you work with them a lot. Just squeeze all your stress into the toy and release to calm your mind.
13. Office Ergonomics
It’s not only workouts that keep you fit and healthy. How comfortable you are throughout the working hours matters too.
Make sure your office set up is personalized to you. You can do that by adjusting your chair, using wrist supports if needed, and trying a standing desk if you’re sedentary or have back pain.
There’s plenty of help to improve ergonomics and office safety so check it out.
In short, going back to the office might have its upsets. But improving your health and wellbeing at work shouldn’t be too hard. Just try to bring a bit of home with you, and your office health and workplace wellbeing should improve. Maybe leave the pyjama bottoms at home though.
Even if you're not an employee, you should check out our sustainable living blog for more wellness ideas you can apply in your day to day life. And if you’re curious to find out more about how to live zero waste or about sustainability in the workplace, we’ll be more than happy to share our perspectives with you.