Did you know desk jobs can often be bad for your health? Sedentary jobs take a toll on the body, but there are plenty of steps you can take to make sure you are living a healthy lifestyle. Here are nine tips to keep you on the path to a better life.
- 1. Avoid the candy bowl. A lot of offices have a seemingly innocent bowl of candy displayed. The candy from this bowl can add up over time, resulting in unwanted calories and weight gain. Try taking different paths around the office to avoid the candy bowl so you’re not tempted to grab some. If you still crave something sweet, keep fruits like cherries or grapes at your desk. Even better—consider trying a fruit bowl and encourage your coworkers to join you in a healthier lifestyle!
- 2. Beat the 3 o’clock sleepiness by keeping hydrated. Make sure you’re drinking 8-10 glasses of water every day. You can also try eating naturally hydrating fruits like oranges, grapefruit, grapes, watermelon and apples. Staying hydrated can also stop you from feeling sleepy when 3 o’clock hits. Bring a 16 oz. water bottle to work and set goals for yourself—finish it once by lunch, then another bottle by 3pm, then finish the last by 5pm.
- 3. Use the office to exercise. Try taking a quick walk during your lunch break—it’s destressing and refreshing! Find a walking partner at work to join you for daily walks, so you can hold each other accountable. If that’s not possible, park your car further than you usually do so you have a longer walk twice a day. To increase the health benefits, try committing to take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- 4. Don’t skip lunch. Eating healthy lunches is important to keeping a balanced diet. Make sure you’re eating reasonable portions so you aren’t consuming too many calories and then sitting in a chair all afternoon. Try meal prepping at the beginning of the week, so you’re not tempted to order unhealthy foods nearby.
- 5. Keep your neck up. Avoid tension neck syndrome (TNS) which can happen when you hold your neck and upper shoulders in an awkward position for a long period of time. TNS can cause neck pain, shoulder pain, muscle tightness and tenderness. If your job requires you to be on the phone or type for most of the day, you are especially susceptible. Avoid unnecessary pain and use the speakerphone function or a headset at work when you’re on the phone and make sure your computer screens are elevated to eye level.
- 6. Look out for eyestrain. If you work in front of a computer all day, chances are you’ve suffered from eye strain at one point. Make sure your computer screen is an arm’s length away, and that you can comfortably read the screen at that distance. If not, increase the font size on your computer.
- 7. Take a vacation. Yes, you read that correctly. Vacations are a part of staying healthy at work. Taking time to recharge your batteries and get your mind off work will help reduce stress and allow you to be more productive when you return to work. If left unchecked, stress can impair your immune system and increase your chance of getting sick, so try to minimize it whenever you can.
- 8. Disinfect your keyboard and mouse. Cleaning your desk area every three months isn’t enough to keep bacteria at bay. Your keyboard, mouse, and phone can harbor thousands of germs. Don’t wait until flu season is halfway over—disinfect your desk at least once a week to minimize your risk of getting sick.
- 9. Know your limits. Be self-aware and know your limits. Listen to your body about when it’s time to take breaks, get exercise, or take a vacation. It’ll help you stay physically and mentally healthy both at work and at home.
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