You guzzle green smoothies and always get your flu shot, but it seems like you can’t avoid the cold that goes around the office every few months. What gives? Actually, staying healthy at an office job involves more than just eating right and getting the proper vaccines. You have to choose every day to ward off the things that could make you ill, like germs, junk food and sitting for too long. Incorporate our tips to stay healthy at work throughout the year.
Hydrate All Day
Dehydration contributes to the post-lunch slump so many workers experience in the afternoon. You can head off this drop in productivity, as well as keep your body happier, by drinking water throughout the day. Aim for 64 ounces, but keep in mind that water in food such as fruit and soup also counts toward your daily total.
Avoid the Vending Machines
Snacking on high-calorie, fat-laden foods and drinks from the vending machine can send your blood sugar soaring. In addition to weight gain, you may also experience another undesirable side effect — that tired feeling that overtakes your body when your blood sugar crashes after consuming soda or candy.
Pack Healthy Lunches
Fight the urge to hit the vending machine by eating good-for-you food instead. Bring lunch from home to ensure you get the high-quality carbohydrates, protein and fat you need to maintain a healthy weight and fuel your brain through work. Not sure what to bring? Try these ideas:
- Premade salads you can buy at the store
- A big batch of veggie-rich soup
Maintain Good Posture
Sitting up straight at your desk becomes especially important if you spend all day typing on the computer. The right spine alignment puts less pressure on your ligaments, helping you avoid chronic aches and pains.
Take Walking Breaks Every Hour
Sitting for long periods of time can damage your long-term health, leading to issues such as diabetes and heart disease. Set a timer on your phone to ring every hour as a reminder to stand up and walk around for two minutes. Suggest holding “walking meetings” with your co-workers. You can accomplish your agenda while strolling around the office or outside.
Use Hand Sanitizer
Store sanitizer at your desk and use it after meetings, meals and coffee breaks. The fewer germs enter your area, the easier it becomes to avoid a cold.
Exercise Right Before or After Work
Heading to the gym after work gives you a chance to blow off steam in a healthy way. Take out your frustration about a botched presentation or figure out the answer to a companywide issue during a full-body workout. Evenings too busy? Consider heading to the gym before work to clear the cobwebs from your mind and enjoy that post-exercise adrenalin rush while you tackle your inbox.