Lots of us spend a huge amount of time sitting down at our computers. We might find our jobs stimulating and challenging, but it’s not just our minds we need to take care of. We’ve found ten easy ways all office workers can stay healthy. Not only will it improve your physical health, it will also give your more energy to do your job better.
However you squeeze it in, make sure you have a 20-minute brisk walk on your way into the office. Perhaps it means getting off the tube, train or bus a stop early. Whatever the weather, prioritise this small amount of exercise as it means you’ll start the day with a hit of endorphins.
A balanced breakfast – high in protein and low in sugar and carbohydrates – will give you slow-release energy throughout the morning. As well as giving you the fuel you need to perform well in your job, it will also lessen the cravings for sugary snacks mid-morning.
Don’t sit at your desk for longer than an hour and a half. People generally lose concentration and focus at about this point anyway, so staying in your seat isn’t great for your posture or productivity. Get up, make the team a cup of tea, walk round the block, pop to your outdoor area for some fresh air or simply climb the stairs to another floor to use the bathroom – just make sure you have a change of scene and stretch your legs regularly throughout the day.
Swap your chair for an exercise ball for a few 20-minute sessions a day. The small movements your body has to make while you continually re-adjust yourself to balance will do wonders for your core strength. It’s also pretty near impossible to slouch on an exercise ball, so your posture will benefit too.
Who says you need to sit when you’re at your computer? Standing desks are a great way to reduce your sitting time during the day. Similar to the ball, it’s great for you posture and chair-induced aches and pains.
Is there a local class you could commit to at lunch time? A 30-minute spin class? Perhaps you like jogging? Tell your colleagues you’re going to be making the most of your unpaid, hour-long lunch break and you might even get some colleagues wanting to join you!
No piece of advice on getting healthier is complete without a mention of drinking more water. The benefits are obvious, more energy and less general ailments, but what’s not so clear is how to get into the habit. There are several ways. You could find yourself a water buddy in the office. Encourage each other and top up each other’s glasses. Or, fill a litre jug at the beginning of the day and make sure it’s all gone before you go to leave.
Instant Messenger and email are fabulous communication tools, there’s no denying it. But make the effort to get up off your chair and walk over to colleagues in different departments and on different floors when you need to speak to them occasionally. Not only will it get you out of your chair, but it will help strengthen your personal relationships with other members of your team.
Have you ever read the leaflet in the pocket in front of you on the aeroplane? There’s actually some useful information in there! There’s usually pictures of people rotating their ankles, wrists, necks etc. Track some of these down and try and do them several times a day while at work.
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