Research shows that sedentary lifestyles—characteristic of office jobs—have a range of negative effects on physical and mental health. Sitting in low-light conditions for extended periods of time puts office workers at risk for cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, diabetes, eyestrain, blood clots, poor posture, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, migraines, and even cancer.
To mitigate these effects, we’ve compiled some tips to keep you healthy, comfortable, and alert during the day:
Treat your body well
Drinking enough water is essential to our bodies’ most basic functions. Without it, we become sluggish and unmotivated. Drinking water also ensures that we leave our desks to use the bathroom on a somewhat regular schedule. If you can, prepare nutritious meals ahead of time. Microwaveable foods are convenient, but generally lack the nutrient rich impact of other, fresher foods. Something as simple as veggies and peanut butter or cream cheese on a whole-wheat bagel will go a long way toward helping you feel energized during the day. For something even easier, use the BlenderBottle Classic to mix up a protein shake before you leave for work!
Get moving and get outside
Many of the health risks associated with office work are due to long periods of sitting. If you can, get up and take a walk around the office at least once an hour. Going outside is even better, as the air inside offices is often much dirtier than the air outside. Filters age and collect dust and germs, which are then distributed into the air. Exposure to natural light is also a proven mood-booster!
Slow and steady wins the race
Staring at computer screens is bad for our eyes and monotonous work is bad for our minds. Take a ten-minute break once every hour to use a pen and paper, read a page of a book, or work on some kind of brainteaser. The key to productivity is pacing, not endurance.
Indulge a little
As often as you can, treat yourself to something special! This might mean finally taking those vacation days you’re saving up, making weekend reservations at your favorite restaurant across town, or bringing a yummy desert into work on Friday. Research shows that breaks in the monotony help to renew motivation and keep a clear mind. Ultimately, nothing can completely prevent the problems associated with office work. But, with the right exercise and diet routine, office workers should be able to face the daily grind with renewed vigor. How do you stay healthy at work? Tell us in the comments below!