16 Quick & Easy Ways To Get Healthy At Work Now
Festivals are times to focus on health & happiness.
Happy & healthy people have a greater sense of control and ownership over their lives. They tend to feel more motivated and less stressed, which increases company productivity.
But today’s hectic work days means people have less time for their health.
Here are 16 easy, highly implementable tactics, routines and habits to make sure that you stay healthy at work :
1. BRING THE OUTDOORS IN
Indoor plants help greatly reduce stress levels. Just choose plants that are fairly resilient. See which plants are ideal for offices.
2. LET THERE BE LIGHT
Try to bring in as much natural light into the office as possible. Raise the blinds. If access to natural light is limited, use skylights. Else take regular walks outdoors. Sunlight is great for the body’s regulatory processes and has lots of Vitamin D.
3. STAND UP DESKS
Sitting in front of computer the entire day can have a negative effect on long and short-term health. So it is highly advisable to consider Stand-up desks. They also make employees more energetic. You can create a simple do-it-yourself stand-up-desk by putting your laptop on a pile of books till your laptop is at chest height. Create one now using these measurements.
4. TAKE A WALK
Your office should encourage people to stand and move throughout the day to promote better circulation, mental stimulation and de-stressing. Aim for 10,000 steps at the office at least.
Tips to walk more :
Get a pedometer or an app (iPhone's Health app) and measure your baseline steps count.
Aim to add 300 steps each day.
Walk a bit faster than usual.
Stand or walk while on the phone.
Take a walk every time you have a break for coffee / tea.
Walk to a co-worker's desk instead of emailing or calling.
Park your car far away from the office.
Get off the metro / bus one stand beyond your office.
Stand on the metro or bus.
Schedule an alarm every ½ hour reminding you to walk.
Use different routes to avoid monotony.
5. USE THE STAIRS
Use stairs. Stairs are important tools in becoming fit. Good stair design engages people to use the elevators less. Create more colorful, decorative open staircases.
6. CREATE HEALTHY SPACES
If possible, create spaces within the office to focus on health and mental well being. If possible, have a separate yoga or fitness area. Else provide employees with fitness gym memberships as benefits. Create a Designated “Quiet Space” where employees can take a mental break when they need to. This should be a calming space for silent reflection that requires solitude and peace. Create a nap room. Or take catnaps at lunch to energize and focus.
7. THE ESSENTIAL OFFICE WORKOUT
8. STRETCHING 101
9. SMART EATING
Hydrate -- have at least 8 glasses of water. If possible, warm water after meals. Warm water helps digestion and removes muck from the gut. Snack often on high protein low cab foods like nuts & dry cereal. Have loads of green tea and soup. Prepare healthy food for snacking & meals -- focus on lots of protein & fibre. Avoid diet foods, drinks & artificial sweeteners.
The Best Healthy Snacks for the Office : Walnuts. Apples. Greek Yoghurt. Green Tea. Almonds. Oranges. Low fat cottage cheese & pineapple. Granola Bars. Pears. Almond & peanut butter. In general, Choose red over green. Its the best colour for weight loss. See these 10 Healthy Lunch Ideas for Work.
10. GET MORE ZZZs
Believe it or not, sleep, diet and exercise are equally important when it comes to optimum health. No matter how many calories you cut or kms you walk, it won’t get you anywhere near your goal unless you’re also getting enough sleep. If you sleep less, you'll feel more hungry and eat more junk food. Conversely, quality sleep fuels the production of fat-burning hormones that can help you get burn more body fat. In the office, have a cat nap at lunch. Use sleepcycle / sleepbot / sleep genius to sleep better.
11. DO LESS WORK
Take short breaks throughout the day. Set an alarm to walk every half hour. Take time off to rest & recuperate and to 'sharpen the saw'. Some companies have the 'use it or lose it' vacation policy -- you are forced to take holidays.
12. MIND YOUR POSTURE
Adjust your chair height so you can use the keyboard with your wrists and forearms straight and level with the desktop.
Your elbows should be by the side of your body so the arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint.
Place your feet flat on the floor. If they're not, ask if you can have a footrest, which lets you rest your feet at a level that's comfortable.
Don't cross your legs as this can cause posture problems.
Your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about an arm's length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. You may need a monitor stand. If the screen is too high or too low, you'll have to bend your neck, which increases neck strain.
13. HACK THE MOUSE
Position and use the mouse as close to you as possible. A mouse mat with a wrist pad may help keep your wrist straight and avoid awkward bending. If you're not using your keyboard, push it to one side to move the mouse closer to you.
Changing the settings to slow your mouse down can greatly reduce hand tension. Use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse to navigate and execute commands and reduce stress on fingers by repetitive clicks.
14. THE RIGHT KEY(BOARD)
Place your keyboard in front of you when typing. Leave a gap of about 4 to 6 in. (100mm-150mm) at the front of the desk to rest your wrists. Keep your arms bent in an L-shape and your elbows by your sides. Some people like to use a wrist rest to keep their wrists straight and at the same level as the keys.
15. GET RID OF SCREEN STRAIN
The basic idea is to minimise screen reflection & glare. If there's glare on your screen, hold a mirror in front of the screen so you know what's causing it. Position the monitor to avoid reflection from overhead lighting and sunlight. If necessary, pull blinds across the windows. Adjusting the screen's brightness or contrast makes it easier to use. Clean the screens regularly.
Observe the 20/20/20 rule - every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
Most people hold their phone 8" from their faces. Try holding yours at least 16" to 18" away from your eyes to give your eyes a break. It might feel funny at first but shouldn’t take long to get used to. The monitor should be 20-28" away from you.
Use apps like Twilight & Flux to reduce eye strain from phone screens.
16. PILES OF PAPER
Piles of paper on a desk are likely full of dust and dust mites, especially if they've been sitting there a while. For many people, these can trigger serious allergies and asthma. So, be careful before you print. File paperwork or back up via e – documents. Removing paper can give the appearance of having more space. Crowding increases stress. If you have to dust, sanitise your hands. Simply using a hand sanitiser can reduce your sick days by 21%.
17. HEALTHY APPS & TECH
Essential Apps / Tech for health:
Myfitnesspal : The most comprehensive food diary & easiest calorie counting app. Keeping a diary keeps you more motivated.
Fitbit : Log your steps and sleep -- even though you may not have a Fitbit.
RescueTime : Know where you're time is going online and reschedule to create more time for health.
Freedom : Stop being distracted by your phone or computer. This app allows more focus by blocking the internet, apps & websites. Shifting attention causes more stress.
Stickk : Achieve your health goals or lose money. The app uses loss aversion and accountability to make sure you stick to your new health routines.
Habit List : Build habits with this habit tracker.
Upright : Upright attaches to your lower back and vibrates every time you slouch.
Darma : Your personal sitting coach that monitors your posture, sitting habits, stress level and helps you sit better. Also the official Darma pillow app.
Posture Man Pat : Posture Man Pat is a desktop app that reminds you to sit up straight when you’re by your computer. Basically, if you slouch it warns you.
Eyeleo : EyeLeo is a handy PC application that regularly reminds you to take short breaks for your eyes.
Headspace : Guided meditation made simple.
Awareness : The App reminds you to take breaks without being annoying.
Smokefree / Kwit : Apps that make you quit smoking. Period. Argus : They call themselves 'The BEST all-in-one health & fitness app in the WORLD'.