It can be a battle to stay healthy at work. Whether you’re working a desk job or on your feet all day, the stress and close quarters to other potentially sick people can end up costing your health, mentally and physically. Here’s how to stay physically fit at the office;
Try making a healthy swap or trying an easy office snack like frozen bananas to kickstart a healthy eating pattern. If you’re feeling hungry but just ate, try drinking a glass of water before heading straight to the snacks. It’s pretty easy to mistake dehydration for hunger, especially if you’re frequently dehydrated.
Apps like Plant Nanny can help you drink enough water. Every time you update your app, the plant grows. If you’ve gone a few hours without drinking, Plant Nanny will nudge you to remind you to stop for some water. That little boost of cuteness may help you create a new habit with a little less effort.
Whether or not you’re exercising outside of the office, make time to get some steps in during your workday. Simple choices like taking the stairs instead of an elevator can make a huge difference. You can also set a timer to go off every hour to remind you to get up from your desk for a short walk. When you return to your workstation, check in on your posture — sitting up straight can reduce aches and pains associated with an 8 hour day at the desk.
On the other side of the spectrum, be sure to stretch if you’re on your feet for your whole shift. If you stand in one place, see if you can get a carpet for your area. The padding can reduce stress on your legs and feet. Comfortable shoes and gel inserts are also a must.
Mental Health at Work
We all have mental health, despite it frequently only referenced in terms of mental illness. Stress and mood are a huge part of your mental health. Both are profoundly affected by your work environment because of the time spent at work. Focusing on your mental health and balance is an essential part of the process to stay healthy at work.
Some stress is a normal part of work. However, when your stress starts to run your life, taking a break may be the best idea. If you’re frustrated with a particular task, walk away for five minutes or table the task for a day. If you’re still finding yourself struggling, try speaking to your manager about your problems – a supportive manager will be happy to help you get better at your job while reducing your stress levels.
Of course, if your management is not helpful in these areas or you fear retribution for showing any signs of being unable to complete a task, this may increase your stress levels. One of the best resources for “is this work environment normal/good for me” is Ask a Manager, written by Alison Green. You’ll also find a variety of tactics here to deal with some smaller workplace stressors (gossiping neighbors, inappropriate behavior and more). Stick to the above suggestions, and you’ll experience no more panic attacks at work – easy as pie!