Simple Changes to Improve Wellness at Work

Healthy Living: Lifestyle

By: // July 22, 2014

Feeling burned out at work? If so, you can’t dismiss the negative effects of eating lunch at your desk and staying late at the office five days a week. For one, sitting for extended periods of time can not only cause bad posture, aches and pains, but staying stationary also leads to weight gain and poor health. Employees’ health can have direct effects on work performance, efficiency, creativity, problem solving and attendance. As a result, nearly 75 percent of high-performing companies incorporate employee health status into their risk management strategy, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Promote wellness at work by adopting the following simple changes and healthy habits:

Stand More

Sitting is detrimental to your health. “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking,” says Martha Grogan, Cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Whenever you have a choice, stand up! You can create a do it yourself desk where you can stand up or you can get a standing workstation! reports (and the American Medical Association agrees) that sitting for extended periods of time can be bad for personal health. Excessive sitting impacts our body’s metabolic system. “Today, our bodies are breaking down from obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, depression and the cascade of health ills and everyday malaise that come from what scientists have named sitting disease,” says James Levine, MD, PhD. Combating sitting disease with added gym time may not work: most people don’t have time for more exercise, and more exercise time may not even reverse sitting disease. Global studies show, on average, we sit 7.7 hours a day, and some results estimate people sit up to 15 hours a day. Calculate your daily sitting time and try to reduce it by standing up–even at the office. Stand while you compute or do any number of activities. Standing is like walking: It increases energy, burns extra calories, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow and ramps up metabolism.

Related: Sitting Still So Much Should Scare You

Protect Your Eyes

We can’t work without our eyes, right? Protecting our vision is paramount. People who stare at monitors all day suffer from eye fatigue, blurred vision, or dry, red eyes. Minimize eye strain by switching frequently from contact lenses to eyeglasses to give your eyes a break. You can also protect your eyes by installing an anti-glare screen protector. According to NuShield, screen protectors can absorb up to 99 percent of UV rays, thus reducing glare. Lastly, take frequent breaks and blink frequently to replenish eye lubrication.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration improves your personal safety as well as your mental and physical performance at your workplace. Dehydration can negatively affect quality of work, concentration and overall productivity. According to the National Hydration Council, adults in the workplace should drink a minimum of 2 liters a day for women and 2.5 liters a day for men. If you struggle drinking, try our water bottle hack that will help you reach the daily water goal!

Practice Meditation

Deep breathing and meditation release toxins, relax the body and mind and boost blood circulation. Mindful breathing also massages your organs, strengthens your immune system and assists in weight control. To schedule and practice deep breathing exercises throughout your workday, download an app that works you through breathing exercises to reduce work stress and improve focus. If you’re new to meditation, check out our beginner’s guide to meditation..

Have a Snack

Vending machine snacks are indeed tempting for curing mid-afternoon hunger. You want to avoid treats that are laden with sugar, salt and bad carbohydrates. Keep your desk stocked with an array of healthy snacks that you can grab when you’re feeling ravenous.

Nosh on the following superfood snacks free of guilt:
•Fresh fruit
•Greek yogurt
•Apple slice with a tablespoon of almond butter
•Handful of mixed raw walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds and goji berries

Also, monitor your sugar intake to avoid those mid-day jitters. The Voice of Sustainable Wellness, Dr. Frank Lipman, recommends a protein shake around 11 a.m. to give you a boost. I like to make a batch of protein shakes in the beginning of the week and freeze them in mason jars. You can take one to work in the morning, and they will be thawed by lunchtime!

Do you have tips to improve wellness at work? Share below!

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