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Beat the Desk: 5 Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

Is your job getting you down? Or more specifically is all the time you spend at your desk impacting how your body and mind feel? 

It’s easy to feel like you are chained to that desk. You have to get the report done. A deadline is looming. There’s no time for…well, any of the things that are good for you. 

The truth is how can you take time to exercise or take a break with the demands of your job? It may sound counterintuitive, but that’s exactly what you should do. Take the walk, go out for a healthy lunch, even get up for a stretch break.

Having healthy habits at work will, well, make you a healthy person. A healthy employee is a productive worker. Consider these 5 habits you can adopt at work to achieve a healthier you. 

1. Get Yourself Moving

This isn’t hard. One way to stay healthy at work is to move more. Move whenever the opportunity presents itself. 

This can be challenging when you need to get your work done. It’s hard to get up from that desk you feel chained to and move around. Make the movement become a habit. 

Simple ideas might include using the staff bathroom that is further away. Take a walk to get to it. 

Always take the stairs at work. Think about how many more steps you will get in by avoiding the stagnant time standing in an elevator. 

In some offices, employees are ditching their office chair for more movement friendly options. Consider a standing desk that allows you to work standing up and move as you work. Some employees have pushed away off their chair for their workout ball instead. 

Find a friend at work who is as committed as you to getting moving. Schedule walking lunches or breaks. Use those minutes to get your body moving. 

2. Take Breaks

I know what you’re thinking. I don’t have time for a break. But the truth is you should make time for the break.

A break doesn’t need to be a long drawn out affair using up tons of time. Maybe you get up and deliver something in the office. Maybe you take a bathroom break. 

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You can sit back and stretch your shoulders, neck, and legs. Breaks allow you to refocus. Without breaks, you can feel drained, even become lethargic. 

A break in the action allows your brain and body to rejuvenate and in the end, helps to increase your productivity.

3. Think Water, Healthy Lunch and Snacks

Hydration is key to keeping your brain working. Many workers get so busy they simply forget to drink enough water. Worse yet, they don’t drink the water because they are downing all those caffeinated beverages. 

Swap out that second, third or fourth (yikes) cup of coffee with water. Consider planning ahead and adding a slice of lemon, mint or cucumber to your water. The benefits of infused water might increase the chances of drinking more water keeping you hydrated and focused. 

Plan ahead for the afternoon slump by keeping healthy snacks close by. If you have a bag of almonds, you might avoid the sugary snack from the vending machine. 

Likewise, there are many benefits to packing your lunch versus eating out or grabbing take out to eat at your desk. When you pack your lunch you control both calories and volume. Those heavy work lunches of burgers and fries might be tasty at the time, but they are sure to make you sluggish and unfocused later in the day.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Being healthy can be a state of mind. Practice that state of mind and work to institute habits of healthy thinking while at work.

You can’t be an employee and not had that moment of frustration where something is really setting you off at work. Teaching yourself to stop and think before reacting has multitudes of positive benefits. No angry emailing means you have control of your thoughts and you have taken the moment to process before reacting. 

Focus on your breathing. Sometimes we get so busy at work that we forget to take those deep breaths that help get the oxygen flowing to our brains. Use a brief break to sit back and take a few deep breaths.

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Consider practicing brief moments of meditation at work. This can work in a variety of forms. Consider something as simple as sitting quietly to let your mind rest and refocus. 

These deliberate acts of mindfulness are sure to keep your mind healthier and more ready to focus while at work. 

5. Everything in Moderation

Do you work in the office that has a party (with high sugar, high-calorie food, of course) every time you turn around? Does your work mate like gifting the office with the wares of her new baking hobby? And what about that box of donuts taunting you from the break room?

It’s hard to maintain those healthy habits with temptations all around you. The key to success is remembering moderation. So have one of those yummy cookies your colleague made. Don’t also stop at the donut box that day.

This philosophy of moderation also applies to other work habits. Choose to not stay still and sitting for too long. Choose to limit the lunches out or after work cocktails with colleagues.

Stay healthy at work by teaching yourself to maintain a philosophy of moderation. It’s the key to healthy habits in the workplace. 

Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

A healthy mind and body are sure to make for a healthy employee. While your boss might want you to get the report done or finish the payroll, taking the short break or sitting back for a stretch might actually make you a better worker. It will certainly make you a healthier one. 

Choosing to implement one or more of any of these ways to stay healthy at work is sure to not only improve your health but also make you a better worker too. 

For other tips, visit our blog today and check lots of ideas for living a healthy life.