Six ways to be more healthy at work and boost your productivity
There are a number of distractions that can occur during a day at the office. Take back the control with these six tips on how to become healthier at the office and boost your productivity.
Throughout the years, employees have developed habits and work styles that are adverse to overall physical, mental, and emotional health. In turn, these habits have impacted our performance, engagement, and productivity not only in the short term but in the long term as well.
To reverse your daily routine’s bad habits, you need to be aware of them, know your triggers, and become organized in your battle against yourself.
Here are six ways to be more healthy at work,
1) Stand up
Human beings weren’t meant to be stagnant. We were meant to move and exercise our bodies to combat fatigue, heart disease, brain cell deterioration, and weight gain.
As the years go by, the traditional office space is increasingly predictable. They include sitting desks with a keyboard, a filing cabinet, a comfy chair, a second monitor, and maybe a desk lamp.
Sitting for extended periods, such as eight hours a day in an office, is terrible for your health. Among other things, sitting all the time can cause deep vein thrombosis, poor cardiac health, a slower metabolism, and much more.
It’s not solely that we sit. Sitting, in small doses, is acceptable. The main problem is that we don’t stand up often enough during the day to neutralize all the sitting.
Stand up every half hour and walk around for five minutes or better, get a standing desk. Make sure that during your work breaks, you do something active. If you are in an office space at a sitting desk, you must stand and walk around at least a little bit during your workday.
Try doing some yoga poses in your lunch break if you’re able to. Your brain and your body will thank you for it.
2) Take the stairs
Walk into your office building, and what do you see? If you work in a large office space, it’s likely the elevators. Elevators are designed to be front and center in many office buildings, allowing those with physical disabilities ease of access to an essential function of everyday life.
If you do not have a physical disability and take the elevator, you miss out on a chance to make a better and healthier lifestyle choice that will improve your confidence, happiness, and productivity.
According to a recent study, “Just 15 minutes of exercise a day can boost life expectancy by three years and cut death risk by 14 percent.”
If your office is on the 20th floor or higher, maybe you can re-consider taking the stairs every day. By making stair climbing a part of your daily routine, you’ll get an extra boost of physical wellness before you take your seat.
3) Have a nutritious diet full of vitamins and minerals
Sometimes, it’s effortless to head to the vending machine for a bag of chips and a soda for lunch. But doing so is doing yourself a disservice. Sure, it might be delicious in the short term, but these kinds of foods have no nutritional value whatsoever.
Trade in your bag of chips for foods high in vitamins and minerals, such as a salmon bagel with lettuce and tomatoes. Exchange that soda for a sugar-free fruit smoothie, and you’ll feel a punch of goodness shooting through your body.
Sometimes, it’s not possible to get all of the necessary nutrients. We are busy people. Between taking care of the kids, walking the dog, doing chores around the house, and working, sometimes there are not enough minutes in the day to actively look after and track what you are putting into your body.
In this case, enroll yourself in a vitamin and mineral regimen. Because when our bodies feel their best, we perform at our best.
4) Eat consciously
Eating mindlessly, or just munching when your head is entirely focused on something else, usually results in consuming more calories than if you were actively paying attention to your food in a traditional lunch or dinner situation.
Make it a rule to eat your lunch somewhere other than your desk. Prepare your lunch at home the night before and prioritize warming it up and eating it in a designated lunch area. Don’t have a set lunch area at work?
Even better, take your meal outside and find a nice place in some nature.
There’s only one thing worse than eating at your desk for your emotional wellbeing: eating take-out at your desk. Realize what you are eating and enjoy it. Don’t constantly be eating due to stress or anxiety.
5) Turn off your phone before bed
Perhaps you think it is super urgent and essential to check your emails one last time, message your Facebook friend back, text your neighbor, or Tweet out a humorous tidbit before falling asleep.
Still, late-night communication on screens increases your anxiety and stress. It shortens sleep and reduces productivity.
It affects you and the people directly related to you in a professional setting: your boss, your clients, your family, the mail cart lady you yell at for no reason.
Every time you get an email, your stress levels boom. Wait until tomorrow when you are on the clock to send business emails and don’t allow work to invade your personal space, such as nights and weekends.
Use project management software or communication tools to budget your time more effectively, and set reminders that you are becoming a healthier and more productive version of yourself when you leave the emails for your next workday.
6) Take your vacation time!
When you apply for a job and go through the recruiting process, one of the perks that pop up in discussion with Human Resources is the amount of paid time off you would receive in the position if you were hired for the role.
A survey conducted by Glassdoor says that 15% of UK employees work on holiday. Plan your vacations ahead of time and use the amount allotted to you every single year. Don’t carry it over to the next year and the next year.
Permit yourself to unplug. You need the time off to refresh yourself and revitalize. To ultimately be at peace with yourself without having to grab your phone at every moment.
Your brain, your heart, your family, your employees, and your boss will thank you when you get back home.
David Heiling is a writer for Vita-C. In his spare time, David is an avid traveller, reader, and family man.
Photo by Ryan Quinta