I was reminiscing the other day about middle school. We had it pretty good during our teenage years. We arrived at school around 8:30 a.m. By mid-morning we had a 10-minute break. Around noon, we had a nice long lunch with plenty of time to move around, prior to the “long stretch” of three torturous hours of sitting still until freedom at 3:00 p.m.
As adults in the working world, our days often begin earlier and end later, and the middle portion is full of sedentary time. As a result, there’s a growing emphasis on understanding how we can mix healthy habits into our 8+ hours of office time.
Below is a short list of a few easy-to-incorporate tips that can put the “healthy” in your work day.
- Drinking, Drinking and More Drinking – And no, I’m not referring to the good stuff, but just plain H20. Staying hydrated is such an important step to good health, and I find that having it conveniently placed on my desk keeps me drinking, even if I get stuck for an hour or two in my office. To maximize my water intake, I like to keep several vessels for drinking water on my desk.
- The first is my CamelBak Eddy 1L water bottle ($16). This water bottle is spill-proof, so it’s a versatile item that can go from a my desk to a designer purse to a hiking backpack.
- The second is an inexpensive Ikea Water Carafe ($2.50). I get a few glasses worth of water, which minimizes the number of trips to our coffee station, and I can conveniently pour it right into my desk mug.
- Calendar a Break Time – I also like to add a break reminder to my ever-busy Work calendar. Whether you use an electronic or paper organizing system, don’t forget to schedule a quick break in between your meetings and calls. As an electronic organizer, I like to schedule “Stretch Time” on my Outlook calendar. The electronic pinging sound and the pop-up reminder jogs my memory to take a break. Depending on my day, a break can just be a quick stroll outside for some fresh air or even just a reminder to stand up and stretch.
- Stand Up Conference Calls – Another tip is to take conference calls on speaker phone and stand up. I have terrible posture, and I find that by standing it helps me to get my shoulders back a bit more. Several long-winded conference calls haven taken place in the past few months, so this is now a common practice that I’ve come to appreciate. On a similar note, consider bringing a bolster or other amenities for your chair to help your posture when you’re seated.
- Disinfect Your Workspace – I am not personally a huge germ-a-phobe, but I am a proponent of good cleaning. I like to wipe down my keyboard, mouse, phone (including mobiles) and general workspace on a consistent basis. Our supply room has a multitude of these convenient antibacterial towelettes which make a quick clean quite handy, but you can also easily pick up a Lysol container at your next grocery trip and store it in your drawer.
- Snack Healthy – Are you an in-between-meal snacker? Consider stocking your desk drawer with healthy snacks. For those with office space, consider bringing in a more stylish home décor piece like a fruit basket and stock it on Monday with healthy, grabbable snacks. This will help you avoid running to the kitchen when someone emails that they brought in doughnuts.
The bottom line is that we spend more and more time in our workspace, and thus have to have a stronger awareness of how we can adapt our lifestyles to ensure we’re staying healthy.
Do you have any work-related healthy tips that you utilize? If so, we’d love to have you share.