Spending all day in a stationary office environment can be mentally and physically taxing, yet 86% of American workers sit all day for their jobs. As a result, these workers will often experience a wide range of side effects including back pain, headaches, wrist pain, or mental fatigue. The truth is that sitting all day at a computer takes a toll on our bodies, but here are five simple ways you can improve your office lifestyle.
1. Pack a healthy lunch
While I love healthy eating, I hate packing my lunches. I find it to be one of the biggest hassles of my night. After coming home from a long day at work, the last thing I want to do is prep my lunch for the next day. Unfortunately, eating out every day is not healthy for your body or your wallet. So, instead of stressing out about cooking meals every night, I cook one (or two) big healthy meals a week in a crockpot. This not only saves time, but keeps my healthy eating in check. If you are not sure where to start check out one of my favorite recipes: sweet potato, chicken, and coconut stew. It’s delicious, healthy, and lasts the entire week.
2. Stop eating at your desk
A whopping 62% of professionals will eat lunch at their desk every day. While this may be tempting, it is not a healthy habit. Taking a break for lunch gives your brain a break and allows you to stay more focused for the rest of your day. So, instead of chowing down at your desk every day consider finding a dedicated area where you can eat lunch that allows you to step back from your desk and screen.
3. Take breaks from screens
If you work in an office type environment, it is more than likely that you can find yourself staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Sometimes several hours will go by and I realize that I haven't looked away from my screen once. The average American employee spends seven hours a day on a computer and this number is not expected to decline anytime soon. This heavy screen time can lead to headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. To combat some of these issues it is best to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every twenty minutes. Remembering this can be difficult, so set a timer!
4. Readjust your position
If you sit at a desk all day it is very important to take breaks to get up and walk around. Every thirty minutes, make a point to adjust your posture and even do a few dynamic stretches. Standing up and walking for just five minutes can dramatically improve your mood and help you focus better for the rest of the day. If you struggle with taking many walking breaks, consider investing in a standing desk. These desks allow you to sit less and move more through your work day, promoting better health and productivity!
5. Wake up early and workout!
Morning workouts can be a tough commitment, but they are so worth it! Some studies suggest that a morning workout can jumpstart your metabolism and leave you feeling more energized and productive throughout your day. If you want to improve your overall health and counteract some unhealthy office habits consider creating a morning workout routine.
Now go forth and be healthy!