Sitting in a chair in front of a computer eight hours a day, five days a week can take a toll on your health. In addition, the cold and flu season are right around the corner. So, here are several tips that will help you stay healthy at work.
1. Prep meals and snacks to bring to the office
Taking control of what you bring to eat is the easiest way to regulate what you put in your mouth. One idea is to spend Sundays cooking several healthy meals, so you have leftovers for your lunches instead of racing to that fast-food restaurant. If you need to snack during the day, instead of heading to the vending machines, have a bag of almonds or kale chips at your work station.
2. Drink water
Thirst has been known to be mistaken for hunger so we snack instead of drink water. Sleepiness is often caused by dehydration as well, so keep yourself well hydrated by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water every day. You can also add lemon or lime in your water for added flavor.
Aim to exercise three to five times a week. Try and incorporate a workout into your schedule, even if it’s just for 30 minutes.
4. Take the stairs
The stairs are a quick way to get your heart rate up. If you work on the seventh floor, consider taking the stairs to the third or fourth floor and then take the elevator the rest of the way.
5. Get a flu shot
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, the flu shot is as much about protecting others as it is about helping yourself. Also known as “herd immunity,” the theory is that it’s much harder to have an outbreak of the flu in an office when 75% of your coworkers are vaccinated than in a workplace where none are. TDS will have a flu shot clinic at CCW on Sept. 25 and Oct. 15.
6. Wash your hands often
Washing your hands is the best way to keep yourself and your co-workers from getting sick. Always wash your hands before you eat, after using the restroom, and after sneezing and coughing. Door handles, buttons on a copy machine, the coffee machine, and railings in the stairwells are a hotbed of germs. Wash your hands after touching shared surfaces.
7. Don’t stay at your desk too long
Sitting at a desk all day is not healthy, so it is important to walk around the office and stretch often. Try to take breaks every hour or so. Take a lap around the office, take a walk outside during lunch, or walk to the bathroom. If you are drinking enough water you should need to go to the bathroom often. If you are stuck on finding an answer to a work project, take a walk and try and solve the problem while moving.
8. Keep a good posture when sitting
Neck and back pain can occur when sitting in a bad position for long periods of time. The top of your screen should be level with your eyes to make it easier for you to sit straight. You want to sit in a chair at a height where you can sit with your shoulders pulled back and relaxed, you’re sitting up tall, and your forearms are parallel to the ground so you are not reaching for the keyword or leaning towards the screen.
Take a minute a few times each day to stop and look away from your work and just breathe. Taking deep breaths will relax and motivate you.
10. Get enough sleep
Proper rest is an essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. Even as adults, we need seven to nine hours of sleep a night.
For additional tips on how to stay well, stop by the Wellness Fair in the lobby area of CCW on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Wellness Fair is sponsored by the ABLE Employee Resource Group. Also, check out how you can get rewarded for healthy living through the TDS medical plans: BCBSIL Life Points – Rewards for Healthy Living and GHC Wellness Reimbursement.
With a few small changes to your daily routine, you can easily set yourself up for a healthier season.