10 Tips To Improve Your Health and Wellbeing At Work
If you are anything like me and spend most of your week at work, in an office, you will know first-hand how much it can impact your wellbeing if you don’t consciously make an effort to pay attention to both your physical and mental health. You know what I’m talking about – sitting at a desk all day, dealing with deadlines and clients (and other colleagues!), skipping lunch breaks to try and catch up on your never-ending pile, concentrating so hard on your computer screen that you often feel your forehead starting to wrinkle up and your eyes squinting, staying back late a little too often, etc. There is nothing wrong with buckling down at work to get shit done, but don’t try to be superwoman day in and day out, and do it at the expense of your health. If this is sounding all too familiar, read on for 10 tips to improve your health and wellbeing at work!
1. Get up
If you spend majority of your day sitting, invest in a sit-stand desk. If you can’t change your desk, you can buy a unit that sits on top of your normal desk that does the same thing. I switched to one of these last year so I can alternate between sitting and standing as needed, and it was one of the best things I have done for my back!
2. Ground yo’ self
I wrote a post a while back about the benefits of grounding, and being in office doesn’t mean you have to miss out! You can buy a conductive foot mat, AKA an earthing mat, to place on the floor under your desk, which will provide similar benefits to walking outside on the bare earth. Kick off your shoes and enjoy the grounding effect.
3. Ask for help
Yes, ask for help. Don’t let your ego get in the way of your health and wellbeing – particularly your mental health. If you are struggling with your workload, need a hand prioritising your tasks, or even just need someone to chat to. Go and ask gorgeous!
4. Buy a big bottle
Get yourself a large reusable water bottle and mark lines and times on it so you can keep it on your desk and ensure you are meeting your minimum H2O requirements while at the office. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have been so engrossed in my work, for hours on end, only to realise that I am totally dehydrated and barely had a glass of water all day!
5. Put the phone down
Many of us spend extensive amounts of time on the phone while at work, which can result in tension neck syndrome. This can lead to a myriad of health problems but can be easily avoided by switching your calls to loudspeaker or by using earphones/a headset.
6. Order a fruit box
Does Marge in Accounts love baking? Or does Betty in Payroll often swing past Krispy Kreme for a box of donuts on her way to the office? My sister works in a large corporate office and sends me Snapchats numerous times a week of lavish sugar filled morning tea spreads, and I know how common this is! Do yourself a favour and check out the weekly subscription fruit boxes available in your area. These can be delivered to the office to have on hand as an alternative, and healthier, snack option!
7. Stop staring
To avoid straining your eyes, try setting a basic alarm (just a little beep!) on your phone or watch, for every 20 minutes. When it beeps, follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, move your focus from your computer screen to something approximately 20 feet way, and look at it for 20 seconds. While you’re at it, bust out 20 squats too!
8. Take a break
I know, sounds obvious, right? But how often do you actually take a break during your work day? And I don’t mean to quickly zip to the little lady’s room, but a decent 30min to an hour+ break? Get up and go outside for a walk – breathe in that fresh air and move that amazing body of yours! If you have the facilities to engage in a movement class or activity of some sort during the day, consider taking advantage of that too!
9. Crank the tunes
If your job allows, why not pop your headphones in and turn up your favourite song? Music can have an amazing effect on our moods and emotional health. Personally, I vary between calming relaxation tracks and upbeat dance tunes – usually getting in some movement by dancing at the same time!
10. Beautify your space
Whether you have your own desk, cubicle, office or floor – make it your own! Just like music, creating a visually pleasing space to work in can have wonderful effects on our mental state! Add inspiring quotes, fairy lights, real plants, your children’s artwork, crystals, photos, whatever it is you love to look at, and really create a space that relaxes and inspires you.
By implementing a few of these tips (or all 10!) you could make a significant impact to your health and wellbeing at work. It can be very easy to fall into ‘work first, worry about me later’ mode, particularly when you are busy, but just remember that a healthier, happier employee also usually equates to a more productive one! So, when your boss questions the music and squats coming from your office, tell them they can thank you later!