Sometimes we can get into a bit of a rut at work and not really change up our habits or just get a bit lazy and this can have a big impact on our overall health. I bet you don't really think about your work-life affecting your body. You go to the office and just get on with all your tasks for the day. You leave feeling tired and stiff and do the same thing the next day. We all spend too much time sitting at our desks and not really thinking about the long term effects this might have on our bodies.
Let's face it the to-do list just gets longer and we just get on with it without a thought but today we are going to talk about the simple things you can do to stay healthier at work.
1. Your desk
You spend a lot of time at your desk, right? yes, we all do actually. We all spend too much time at our desks that is a fact. Have you ever really thought about how much time you are spending sitting on your bottom? or how you sit? Do you have good posture when you are sitting? or are you a bit hunched? should you even be sitting down for that length of time in the first place?
The human body has not been built to sit down for long periods that is a fact. Over the years the way we all work has changed. Work has gone from being more manual to more tech office-based. This means we are now sat down for long periods. But is this good for us? Unfortunately, the answer is no it is not. Our body is not made for sitting down it is made for standing and walking and moving.
One of the best and most important things you can invest in for your office for improving your health is a standing desk.
What is a standing desk?
It is as simple as it sounds. It is a desk where you can stand and do your work. It makes your monitor or laptop at the right level for working in a standing position.
Standing desks have been scientifically proven to be healthier than normal seated desks. For a good quality standing desk check out YoYo Desks they have a large section of standing desks to suit a variety of budgets and styles plus they are all adjustable too. This means you can have your optimum desk set up every time.
Some of the benefits of using a standing desk
- Your body burns more calories standing than sitting.
- Standing can reduce back pain.
- It helps to improve mood and increase energy levels
- It has been proven to improve productivity by up to 45%
- Standing helps promote good posture and improve muscle tone.
- It may help to lower blood sugar levels
- It may lower the risk of heart disease
If you are not quite ready to make the full commitment to a standing desk. You should look into getting Desk risers for your office. Desk risers are desks you can put on top of your original desk to convert your desk into a standing desk.
Desk risers are perfect if you are looking for a more budget alternative to a standing desk. They also offer quick storage and are portable too. So if you work in different offices, you can take them with you easily. They are all adjustable so you can get the right height for you and you will feel the same benefit as a full standing desk.
It is far too easy to get stuck in an important piece of work for a couple of hours and forget to actually move. Did you know you are meant to have 5 to 10 minutes away from our screens every hour? These should be away from your desk and include walking. You might think well I have my lunch hour. It is actually important to take breaks every hour and not just on your lunch break.
One of the best ways to gauge this is to set alarms on your phone to tell you to move or if you have a smartwatch you can set this function on there to alert you to move away from your desk for a few minutes. I know this is not always possible but it is important to try and implement this.
By just getting away from your screen and moving every hour you will be helping to increase your mood and also by getting moving you will burn a few more calories so it is a win-win.
It is also really good to give our eyes a much-needed break from the computer screen too. Looking at your screen for too long can cause conditions like dry eyes.
That mid-morning or afternoon coffee break, that coffee before work to wake you up. That meeting a friend at lunch coffee can all add up. Do you actually know how many coffees you have in a day? One? two? five? Do you know how much caffeine is in your body per day? is it something you should think about? Yes, this is something your need to know about.
Do you also have energy drinks or cola or tea? These all have caffeine in them and all contribute to the amount of caffeine you have in your body.
Did you know that an adult should only have 400mg of caffeine in one 24 hour period? this is the safe amount for a human per day. This will vary slightly depending on your size. This is equivalent to only 4 cups of coffee.
I am ongoing to tell you what the signs of too much caffeine are and I want you to think if you have had these if you do in fact drink too much caffeine.
The effects of too much caffeine
- Fast heartbeat
- Muscle tremors
- Needing to urinate more
It is so easy when you have a deadline to skip lunch or not actually eat the right food in the office. We have all been guilty of going out for a big lunch with friends at lunchtime or grabbing a chocolate bar instead of real food.
Not eating enough or overindulging can be detrimental to your health. Your body must get the right nutrients. It is all too easy to get into an office eating rut whether that be forgetting lunch or eating too much.
We should all really think about the meals we eat and when to eat them. This will not only help our long term health but it will make us more productive. We have all been out for a big meal and then all you want to do is sleep and this is not very productive.
One way to make sure you are getting balanced meals is to take your lunch with you. This way you can meal prep and you know what you are eating and you can tailor your lunch to your needs. Plus this will help you to save a bit of money rather than buying lunch.
Nowadays more than ever being safe and clean at work is super important. I think the last two years have shown us how important cleanliness is.
Ways to stay clean and healthy in the office
- Wear a mask when required to do so on your way to work or in office.
- Use hand sanitiser after using any touchpoints ie doors, stairs rails, card machines etc.
- Wipe down your desk with disinfectant before you start your work. Very important if you share a workspace.
- Wash your hand after using the toilet, sneezing or coughing.
- Keep a safe distance from other people