The white-collar office life comes with many perks: good salary, comfortable and pleasant working environment, lots of chances for advancement, work that’s mentally challenging and fulfilling but doesn’t break our backs…it’s a pretty good existence, to be fair.
But the slowed-down and less physical space of the office comes with its own health risks, especially those posed by being seated for long periods without moving. Therefore, we’ve prepared this useful list of tips for those working in offices everywhere to give themselves a bit of a health boost.
1. Start by Looking at Your Office Desk and Chair
If you’re able to change out your office desk, find a range of desks online that includes adjustable desks that can be seamlessly transitioned between sitting and standing desks. This will allow you to spend perhaps 1-2 hours a day standing while you work, which promotes good circulation, core strength and more. It’s especially good for digestion after eating lunch. It also makes it easier to just walk around when you want to without having to get in and out of a chair all the time.
With the right desk in place, also look at your chair and see about getting something that promotes better lumbar support and sitting posture. Your back should be straighter and your arms comfortably in front of you not stretched out. What’s more, your feet should be flat on the floor. If you don’t have at least these points in check, then get a chair that offers that.
2. Cut out the Liquid Calories and Switch to Water
You might think you’re doing the right thing keeping healthy snacks like fruit and mixed nuts to graze on during the day, and you’d be right, but if you don’t couple that with healthier drink options, then your efforts are for nothing.
Take your morning coffee, for instance. A standard brewed coffee, especially black coffee, is a very low-calorie option, but when you’re venturing into the more trendy drinks being serviced, the range goes from 5-100 calories (brewed coffee) to 200-500 calories. If you take one franchise coffee chain cup of something with 450-500 calories, that’s a quarter of your daily intake if you’re a woman, or one fifth for the average man.
Drinking water throughout the day saves you calories (and money), boosts concentration, aids in digestion and is better for every part of your body.
3. Lobby for Office Exercise Time
If the office is affecting your own health, then it’s doing the same to everyone. A positive and proactive move would be to find like-minded colleagues and pitch an idea to your boss to set aside a little time each day for everyone in the office to take part in some light exercise. It could just be a walk around the block, or some on-the-spot calisthenics or something else. It’s not a way to make everyone sweaty and uncomfortable for work, but rather just to promote more physical movement and activity.
4. Pay Attention to Air Quality
Downtown offices are sometimes made all the harder and unhealthier to work in if they are subject to the air pollution outside. Australian cities aren’t as smoggy as many in China or India, but that can lead to a complacent approach. Any AQI over 100 is considered unhealthy by the WHO. You can get readers for your office to measure the AQI, and clean the air with filter systems. Clean air keeps minds fresher, reduces instances of headaches and discomfort, and makes the entire office healthier and more pleasant.
5. Find Time to De-Stress and Unwind When Things Get Tough
Mental health is another key consideration when thinking about a better office life. It can be a real time of drudgery in an office, and it causes mental blocks, productivity issues, and negatively impacts workers’ well-being. When everything feels too much, remember just to stop what you’re doing, get up, take a walk, drink some water and perhaps focus on breathing for a moment and refocus yourself. It helps immeasurably.