Staying Healthy While Working in Office

Working in an office environment has plenty of benefits. You can boost your socialization, stay productive, and bounce ideas off of co-workers to get projects done both creatively and efficiently. 

From a personal standpoint, though, some potential negative health effects often come from working in an office. Some of the biggest problems with a typical “desk job” include poor posture, mental health issues, and higher stress levels. 

Whether you’re trying to live healthier, in general, or you want to maintain your well-being at work all day, there are things you can do in the office to keep yourself healthier – physically and mentally. Let’s cover a few ideas you can put into practice right away. 

Improve Your Environment

Your surroundings have a bigger impact on your mental health than you might realize. If you’re sitting in an office all day that is uninspiring, unmotivating, or even depressing, that can have a serious effect on how you feel. Some of the most common environmental factors that can impact your mental health include: 

  • Overwhelming sounds
  • Lack of safety
  • Colors of walls and furnishings that make you uncomfortable
  • Uncomfortable temperatures
  • The layout of your office/furniture

Thankfully, updating and improving your environment is one of the easiest ways to give yourself a mental health boost at work. Small changes that can make a big difference include changing the color of the walls. If you’re not allowed to paint your office, consider bringing in artwork that inspires you, or different throw pillows and blankets if you have a couch/chairs in the room. 

You can also update the lighting by hanging blinds or curtains that let more natural light in. Bring nature indoors by adding a few plants to your space. Indoor plants are known to reduce stress levels and can sharpen your attention. They can also help filter out some of the most common indoor pollution sources, such as pollen.

Even if you’re limited in how you can change your office environment, there are little things you can do to make it feel more like “your own”. The more comfortable you are in your environment, the better your mental health will be. 

Take Breaks

It’s easy to think that taking breaks throughout the workday will put a damper on your productivity. In most cases, however, that isn’t true. Taking breaks can help you to prevent burnout and give you an excuse to move your body. 

Sitting at a desk all day can cause posture issues, leading to aches and pains in your bones and muscles. It can even contribute to spider veins, especially if your sedentary job causes you to gain weight. 

A good rule of thumb is to take a short break every hour. Not only can it help you to stay motivated when you get back to work, but you can use it as an opportunity to walk around the office, stretch, talk to co-workers, or step outside and enjoy a few moments of nature. Consider timing your breaks with a co-worker/friend, so you can enjoy some socialization while walking around the office or outside at the same time. Even just a 5-10 minute trip away from your desk can make a big difference in your energy levels and focus. 

Make Smarter Food Choices

If you are what you eat, maybe it’s time to rethink that third trip to the office vending machine this week. 

It’s not uncommon to eat unhealthy foods when you’re in an office environment. Some places have meals catered in. Your co-workers might bring in treats from home. Your boss could bring donuts for your morning meeting. Or, you might swing by a fast-food drive-thru during your lunch break. 

Unfortunately, those unhealthy eating habits aren’t good for your mental or physical health. Foods with too much sodium and fat can leave you feeling sluggish and tired. When you’re sitting most of the day on top of that, it also doesn’t take long to gain weight and put yourself at a greater risk of cardiovascular issues and diabetes. 

So, what can you do to stay on track with healthy eating at work? Try a few of these tips

  • Pack and bring a healthy lunch from home
  • Avoid vending machine trips
  • Stock your office with healthy snacks
  • Stay hydrated throughout the day
  • Avoid sugary drinks for energy

Choosing to stick to a healthy diet at work might seem difficult at first. After all, there are donuts in the conference room. 

But, if you commit to eating healthy at work, your choices will eventually become habitual, and you won’t think twice about choosing water over a sugary soda or fruits and veggies over a candy bar from the vending machine. 

There are so many additional things to keep in mind when it comes to staying healthy in an office. But, these tips can help you get started in making your well-being a priority. By taking care of yourself at work, you’ll start to think more about your health outside of the office, too. You may be inspired to make a complete lifestyle change, and it won’t take long to notice the benefits.

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