Do you spend 40 hours a week sitting at a desk? Change up your workday routine and start feeling healthier with these 5 tips for staying healthy when working in an office.
A few months ago, I recently started working full-time after being underemployed for quite awhile. Almost overnight, I went from working from home at my own schedule to working in an office setting from 9-5. While I was (and am) thankful for my job, I knew I would have to make some major life adjustments if I wanted to continue living healthfully.
I don’t know what it is about me, but I have difficulty sitting still for too long, unless I’m binging Gilmore Girls or anything related to Shondaland, am I right? When I’m in one place for too long, I start to lack motivation, feel sleepy and even get the blues. It’s so weird, but that’s how I am. In an effort to spare myself the blues or need for midday naps, I got to work on incorporating daily tasks into my routine to make my time at work center around wellness.
5 Tips for Staying Healthy When Working in an Office
1. Embrace a standing desk. This one was a non-negotiable… except for the price. More on that in a minute. I am an active person, and I work really hard to ensure my body moves well, feels well and is nourished well. The very last thing I want to do is counteract all of that work by sitting all day. Studies show that sitting is the new smoking. Can you even believe that? So my mind went to a standing desk, but once I saw the price tag, I started brainstorming other ways. Enter the $5 crate from Target. It works like a charm, gets me standing several hours out of the day, and it’s inspiring others in my office to hop aboard the healthy living/adequate blood flow to your lower extremities train. Say that 10 times fast.
2. Stay hydrated. You ever have one of those times, possibly the morning after a night of drinking, where you’re like, “Oh my god, I feel like a slob of walking death,” and after drinking some water, all of a sudden you become a magical unicorn? That’s because when you’re dehydrated,
your body hates your guts and turns on you you get sleepy and sluggish. I have a Nalgene that I fill up at least twice during the workday to ensure I’m properly hydrated. I also have one in the morning during my workouts and one in the evening once I get home. That’s 4 Nalgene bottles a day, which equals 128 ounces of water, and for me that works. This also probably explains why I pee so often.
3. Take your work outdoors. I don’t know what it is about sunshine that makes me so productive, but wow. Staring at multiple computer screens all day can really take its toll on me, and sometimes I even feel myself getting sad due to being inside. Anyone else experience this? I recently started taking my laptop outside a few times a week and setting up shop on a picnic table. I am now known around the building as “the one whose office is outside.” All I have to say to that is hell yeah my office is outside. Vitamin D, bird noises, other scary noises and a cool breeze can really motivate you to get sh*t done.
4. Snack mindfully and healthfully. When I’m working on a story or managing social media accounts, I can find myself feeling a bit snacky. It’s one of those mindless quirks I have (kind of like while watching TV), but mindlessly snacking on office snacks (donut holes, as of late) all day/week long can wreak havoc on my energy and wellness goals, so I’m sure to stock up on snacks that work for me and my body and provide me with nutrients, energy and flavor. Some of my favorite include dates, Rx Bars, fresh fruit, almond butter, etc. Sometimes I also want some fizz, so I make sure to have a bottle or two of my favorite kombuchas on hand. I like Kevita, Humm, and Health-Ade the best. I’ve yet to hop aboard the sparkling water train like La Croix, but if you’re into that, it’s definitely a much better option than sugary soda.
5. Talk to your coworkers. I LOVE PEOPLE. Until I don’t. But as a whole, I feel happier and sharper when I’m engaging with people face-to-face on a regular basis. I have noticed that if I spend portions of my workday engaging with my colleagues in subject areas other than working, I feel happier and leave feeling more fulfilled than days that I don’t. Some days are busier than others, but there’s always time to take a couple of minutes to catch up with a colleague or work friend (my favorite!) or take your lunch break to disconnect from your desk.
There are a multitude of ways you can keep wellness in the workplace, and you’ll discover that some tips might work for you better than other and vice versa, and that’s totally okay! As long as you’re happy, what else matters really? For me, happiness is feeling well, so incorporating these 5 tips into my practice has resulted in a better me.
Question of the Day!
Do you work 9-5 and have a wellness in the workplace tip to share? How do you stay healthy at work? Drop your tips and tricks in the comments!