Considering a good many of us spend most of our time at work, it’s important to make good healthy choices while we’re there. Work is stressful enough, but with a few modifications it doesn’t have to be as draining on our physical health. I’ve made these changes in recent years and have noticed significant improvements to my overall wellness since. My hope is that I can provide a few helpful tips to someone looking to make some easy readjustments. Small steps, big changes!
1. A cup of tea a day keeps the doctor away.
Of course this isn’t limited to the workplace but with industrial coffee machines/hot water dispensers in almost every office’s pantry, it’s so convenient to sip tea any time of the day. The best teas are black, green, white and oolong because they’re all jam-packed with antioxidants and disease-fighting mojo. Personally, my morning tea has become something of a peaceful ritual that I look forward to. I come in to the office extra early, fix myself some tea and get settled in while perusing blogs and news for a little while. It’s my quality quiet time of the day and I cherish it. Lately I’ve been drinking this green tea, which has a lovely, mild taste and the price is just right.
2. Wipe down surfaces regularly with an antibacterial solution.
There are loads of germs on your keyboard, mouse, phone and other surfaces. It’s essential to wipe them down to eliminate any gross buildup. I do this at the most, once a day and at the least, a couple of times a week. If you’d like an inexpensive and natural cleaning solution, this DIY wash, which I mostly use for cleaning fruits and veggies, is great for cleaning items like desks and phones as well.
3. Don’t just bring your own lunch. Bring your own snacks too.
The goal here is to stay away from the vending machine and you’re much more likely to do that when you have something else—preferably some kind of fruit or anything wholesome—within arm’s reach. Bananas and apples (sometimes with a little container of nut butter and granola) travel particularly well, as does yogurt and hummus. Click here for more workplace snack ideas.
4. Get up and moving from your desk for at least 10 minutes, every hour. It’s good for your eyes too!
Over a year ago, I came across the Sitting is Killing You infographic and it scared the bajeezus out of me. But it made so much sense! You’re sitting down for all those hours—that can’t possibly be good for your body. As a result, I started standing up and moving around at about once every hour (as if I needed an excuse to take breaks). More than anything, it loosens up any tension I have from being in one position for all that time and it feels great. Additionally, it gives your eyes a much-needed break from staring at the monitor, which optometrists say can be harmful to eyes. Every so often, you need to give your peepers a readjustment by focusing on things that are at least 20 ft. away.
5. Take the stairs!
Skip the escalator altogether (or the elevator, if your office is on a level that’s not ridiculously high) and take the stairs instead. I’ll be the first to admit that on some days, climbing stairs is the only “strenuous” exercise I get, so it’s an absolute must in order to contribute to the recommended 30 minutes of daily physical activity. Even if there are no stairs to climb, there are other things you can do that add up in the long run, e.g. get off a stop earlier if you’re taking public transportation, park your car farther from the entrance of your job, etc. The point is to find out what works for you.