Bad habits coupled with a poor work environment can impact your health and lifestyle in some seriously negative ways. Combat those undesirable effects with these easy yet effective office health hacks.
Something as simple as getting a plant for your desk or taking a walk during your lunch break can have a seriously positive impact on your physical, mental and emotional health.
10 office health hacks to help you get the most out of your workday and improve your health:
Typically an adult should be drinking an average of about 2 litres of water per day. Dehydration can lead to headaches, irritability and fatigue as well as a drop in productivity.
In order to keep track of your water intake, try labelling a bottle so you know how much water you’ve had throughout the day.
Do you get bored of drinking plain, old water? While energy drinks and fizzy cool drinks can actually make dehydration worse, why not try adding some flavoured water drops to your glass?
Take your lunch break
With looming deadlines and jam-packed schedules, it’s not always possible to take your full lunch break every day. However, eating every meal at your desk is not good for your health.
It’s been found that having lunch at your desk causes multiple health issues, from unconsciously overeating to not giving your body and mind a well-deserved break. Plus, your workspace is probably home to countless germs you’d rather not have on your lunch.
Make your lunch hour a priority and give yourself a well-deserved physical and mental break during your workday.
This is a simple yet very important tip to remember. When sharing communal spaces, like bathrooms, kitchens and offices, you’re also, unfortunately, sharing germs too.
Be sure to wash your hands after touching communal spots like the microwave or the buttons in the lift as well as before every meal and snack to prevent introducing unwelcome germs into your body.
Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk or in your bag to help rid your hands of germs between washes.
Walk it off
A study from 2015 found that a 30-minute walk during lunch breaks had numerous health benefits such as improving one’s mood and emotional wellbeing.
Getting out of the office and stretching your legs will also allow you to soak up some Vitamin D as well as enjoy a bit of fresh air.
While you’re at it, skip the lift and take the stairs. A study from the European Society of Cardiology found that those who couldn’t climb four flights of stairs without needing to take a break were twice as likely to suffer from cancer and three times as likely to suffer from heart disease.
Is your workspace looking a little gloomy? Why not get a plant to brighten up your office?
A living plant will not only prettify your desk but can improve the quality of the air you’re breathing in, ideal for those sharing a workspace in an open-plan office.
Orchids, snake plants and aloes are all great options but consider your workspace and choose a plant that can thrive in those conditions. Check out the chart below before making your decision.
Plan in advance
Do you find yourself grabbing a coke and chips for lunch because you had no food in the fridge? Poor nutrition can lead to fatigue, mood swings and a weakened immune system.
Preparing your lunches the night before not only gives you more time to get ready in the mornings but also makes sure you’re getting the nutrition your body needs.
Plus, you’ll save money by making healthy food in bulk and bringing it from home rather than eating out or getting takeaways every day. Your bank account says thank you in advance.
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Stretch it out
There are many benefits to stretching at work, like a boost in energy levels and an increase in blood flow, just to name a few.
If you start feeling stiff, try out some of these stretches that you can do right at your desk. If your co-workers give you funny looks, get them to join in with you. They’d probably benefit from a good stretching session, too.
Upgrade your seating
When you’re spending 8+ hours sitting behind your desk, what you’re sitting on makes a big impact on your physical health.
Poor posture will negatively impact your body so take a look at the illustration below to see if you’re sitting at your desk correctly.
Remember to stand
Sitting has been touted as the new smoking when it comes to health. Sitting for hours at a time without taking a break to stand or stretch can lead to serious illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. It’s important to get out of your seat at regular intervals.
Alternatively, standing desks are another great option for those who are stuck at their computer for most of the day.
Dabble with essential oils
Setting up a diffuser at your desk is one of the easiest ways to improve your health and, with so many oils available, you can customise them to your needs.
Read more: Essential oil uses you should know about
For example, if you’re looking for essential oils that will assist with stress relief, try lavender, jasmine, lemon or ylang-ylang. They can be mixed together with a carrier oil and applied directly on the skin or used in a diffuser.
For those essential oil beginners, try out this starter kit which includes a diffuser and two essential oils, perfect for discrete use at your work station.