Did you know that your work environment can affect your health? 80% percent of the workforce spends the majority of their work day sitting at a desk or at meetings.
The next time you are at work, stop and take a few minutes to reflect on your typical work day. Do you take breaks during the day? How’s your posture when you’re sitting? Do you find yourself snacking on “unhealthy foods” from the office or vending machine? Incorporate these five tips into your typical work day and help improve your wellbeing:
- Stand Up and Move
Sitting has been called the new smoking. Did you know that sitting for one hour in a row takes 22 minutes off your life and can also increase your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer?
Take a moment and get up during the day. Aim to do this at least once every hour while you’re at work. Take this time to stretch and go on a five-minute walk outside or around the office. Schedule walking meetings, or instead of sending an email to a coworker, walk to their office. If you have difficulty remembering to do this, set helpful reminders such as setting an alarm on your phone or a reminder on your calendar.
- Eat Healthy Snacks
Have you ever heard, “Out of sight, out of mind”? It really works. Don’t bring unhealthy foods to the office. Instead, keep healthy foods available. Request healthy snacks in vending machines. You can also bring healthy snacks from home such as fresh fruit, whole grain crackers, or yogurt if you do get hungry while at work.
- Maintain Good Posture
Sitting too long is bad—especially when your posture is poor. It can affect your heart, increase your risk for certain types of cancer, can cause leg disorders, promote muscle degeneration, and affect your back.
- Keep a Clean Workspace
Is your workspace making you sick? Your keyboard, mouse, and phone can harbor thousands of germs. Germs live longer on stainless steel, plastic and similar hard surfaces. The best way to prevent the spreading of germs is to wash your hands regularly. You should also wipe your workspace with disinfecting wipes on a regular basis.
- Use Your Vacation Time
According to U.S. Travel Association, on average, Americans fail to use five earned vacation days per year. The 54% of Americans who actually used their paid time off are happier and healthier. As we are approaching the end of 2015, don’t forget to use your well-earned paid time off.