5 Tips for Staying Healthy at Work
Does this work day sound familiar: you put in more than eight hours per day in front of a computer for five days per week? Do you have eye strain, tight muscles, and often feel too tired to exercise after work? If this sounds like you, don’t worry – you are not alone! A study released in Q4 2015 found a connection between employees working more than 55 hours per week and cardiovascular disease. Of these individuals, those who worked longer hours have a 33% increased risk of stroke and a 13% chance of developing coronary heart disease when compared to their peers who work a standard 35 or 40 hour work week. Yikes!
Obviously it can be difficult to manage a work/life balance, especially during certain times of year if your job is cyclical. For example, December and January can be difficult for those who work in payroll and accounting because of year-end activities, while those in retail may find themselves working longer months between October and December due to the holiday shopping season. Emplicity knows that your job may be a significant part of your life, especially if you have rent, bills, and other costs to worry about. We’ve put together some tips to help you stay healthy during the work week so you don’t work yourself to exhaustion (or worse – the hospital)!
1. Be Mindful of Cubicle or Break Room Snacks
How many times have you walked past a neighbor’s cubicle to see a bowl of chocolate candy on their desk and you a take a piece? Have you actively counted how many you’ve had per day or do you just indulge or graze unaware? You shouldn’t be surprised that your caloric intake will add up quickly and you could be consuming too much sugar, thereby doing damage to your waistline. The same goes for break room snacks. Often coworkers may bring in leftover cake, pies, cookies or other baked goods from a weekend celebration – passing the calories on to you. Do not feel pressure to consume these treats, as you could experience a “sugar crash” at the end of your day and set yourself up for exhaustion or extra pounds on your waistline.
2. Take a Walking Break
While it may feel like some days we’re attached to our desk, there is no physical chain keeping us there. Grab a coworker and go take a 15 minute walking break. Stepping away from a project can often shed a new perspective when in a rut – and keep you actively moving so your muscles don’t get sore or your eyes strain.
3. Wash Your Hands
It may seem obvious but during cold and flu season, germs can be easily spread on door handles, hard surfaces (including desks), and on items touched every day like a mouse and keyboard. Washing your hands regularly and abstaining from touching your face will help prevent flu and/or cold germs from infecting your body. If you are feeling under the weather, please try to stay home and recover to prevent illness from spreading to your coworkers – they’ll thank you for not spreading your germs.
4. Drink More Water – Limit Your Caffeine and Coffee Intake
That morning cup of coffee may be doing more harm than good. Adding cream and sugar to your coffee adds significant calories, which is harmful to your waistline. If you need that cup of coffee to get going in the morning, try to limit the amount of cream and sugar. Reducing your caffeine intake will make you more productive during the workday because you’ll avoid the afternoon ‘crash’. Switching to water should keep you more alert and refreshed during the day – helping you to work to your full potential.
5. Keep Your Workspace Clean
Keeping your workspace clean is more than just tidying up papers before you leave for the evening. It means wiping down your keyboard, mouse, phone, and other surfaces you (or others) touched during the work day. Having a clean workspace will prevent the spread of germs. Having a tidy workspace will also make it easier to find files or documents that otherwise may get lost in the piles of paperwork.
Note: Emplicity provides these suggestions as recommendations and encourages readers to visit their healthcare professional if there are serious health-related concerns.