Tips for Staying Healthy at the Office
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
Whether you work a traditional nine-to-five, freelance, or run a business for a living, being in an office environment is likely part of the equation to some extent. While work itself may not be a significant source of stress, spending time at the office may be, but for strange reasons. There are have been several studies in the last few years regarding the negative impacts of prolonged sitting both on and off the job, equating an idle lifestyle to smoking. But at work, it can seem more challenging to get out of the rut of staying in one place, and that can cause unnecessary stress and physical discomfort. Here are a few tips for staying healthy at the office
Most people don’t think about their breath all that often – at least not outside a yoga class or a workout. But breathing is usually done incorrectly because it comes so naturally, and we just don’t give it much thought. Correct breathing can be a lifesaver at work, not only for the oxygenation of the body but also for reducing stress and relieving built up tension.
If you don’t know what correct breathing means, we have you covered. First, sit straight with your shoulders pressed back and focus on holding a straight posture. Breathe in through your nose until you feel it in your stomach, without pushing too hard. Hold for a moment, and then exhale through your mouth. Pause after exhaling, and repeat for 30 seconds. When you take the time to do this short but powerful exercise at your desk or on your commute, you’ll notice how much easier it gets over time along with decreased stress on the job.
Take a Lap, or Two
Getting up at the office isn’t always feasible. There are deadlines to meet, phone calls to make, and e-mails to respond to. However, taking a few minutes every hour to take a lap or two is incredibly beneficial to your health. Set a calendar reminder to stand up and walk around or invest in a fitness tracker that alerts you its time to move. Not only does this help with breaking up the often mundane workday, but it also keeps your heart and joints healthy over time.
Poor posture is an issue at work because we are all too often staring down at a screen or the phone. With slacking posture you can experience a slew of health issues, from decreased organ functioning to pain in the neck and back. Before or after your reminder to get up and move, take a moment to stretch out for a minute or two. You can stay seated and bring your arms slowly up above your head, or bend down with a straight back and let your arms hang toward the floor. Bend from side to side if you’re able to release built up tension. You only need a few minutes of stretching each hour to keep your organs, joints, and muscles in good working order at work.
The most impactful step you can take in staying healthy at the office is creating a strategy for de-stressing. If you work in a high-stress environment, be sure to leave as much work as possible where it belongs – at work! Create to-do lists or reminders for deadlines that are realistic and fit into your everyday routine. Take a moment to appreciate your work for what it is but try not to let it validate who you are as a person. Combining these straightforward steps with a few tips focused on your physical health will keep you in the best shape possible both on and off the job.