Living a healthy lifestyle means different things to everyone, but health and happiness often go hand-in-hand. When you’re healthy and capable of doing the things you enjoy–as well as the things you have to do (like work)–you’re bound to feel much more accomplished and in good spirits compared to when you’re sick or in a mental rut.
During the winter months, it’s especially easy to feel down or catch a cold. But if you follow these nine tips, you’ll be doing your best to stay healthy year-round.
Staying Healthy At Work in 2020
1. Bring your lunch to work
When you make and bring your own lunch to work, you’re controlling exactly what’s going into your body, from the calories to the ingredients. Small kitchen appliances such as a blender, food slicer or slow cooker can help you whip up healthy meals in no time. Find recipes you love and will look forward to eating so that you don’t end up throwing away your food (and time spent making it) in favor of take-out come lunchtime. Don’t forget to pack your lunch in a lunch bag you’ll proudly carry to work each day.
2. Keep a water bottle filled up
It’s hard to keep track of how much water you drink in a day, but staying hydrated is important! If you invest in a water bottle and know how much liquid it holds, you can track your water intake throughout the day. Plus, an empty water bottle is a great reason to get up, stretch and take a break as you refill the bottle. That sounds like a win-win!
The amount of water each person should drink in a day varies, but the Institute of Medicine recommends that men drink a total of 13 cups of fluids each day. For women, the suggestion is nine cups of fluid each day. The exact amount you should aim to drink can also depend on how much you’re sweating, your health and if you’re pregnant. Ask your doctor if you’re unsure how much water you should be drinking.
3. Ditch your desk chair for an exercise ball
Numerous studies have shown there are health consequences of spending most of the day sitting (1). This can include increased risk of diabetes, heart disease and more. Yet, many people have jobs that require them to spend most of their day glued to a desk chair.
One way to sit, but to do so in a more active way, is to swap out your desk chair for an exercise ball. Another option is getting a standing desk so that you can get your work done while ditching your desk chair.
4. Practice good posture
Do you think having good posture is irrelevant? Posture is all about the body’s alignment and the distribution of your weight against the force of gravity. Having good posture can help your muscles work correctly and more efficiently, reduce stress on ligaments and prevent muscle strain or overuse, according to the American Chiropractic Association. Need help with your posture? Start by standing up tall with your shoulders back and your head pointed straight toward the sky. Try to remain aware of whether you’re slumping over at your desk–that exercise ball will come in handy here. Check out YouTube videos for exercises, tips, and tricks to improve your posture and reverse bad posture.
5. Stock up on energy-boosting snacks
When 3 p.m. rolls around, you may begin to feel drained and in need of a pick me up. Having energy-boosting snacks on hand can help you get back on track. Apples with nut butter, veggies with hummus, almonds or a protein-packed health bar are all good options to help you refuel. If you’re going with a snack like nuts or whole-grain cereal, be sure to portion it out in storage containers to avoid overeating.
6. Exercise regularly
Not only is exercise good for your overall health and happiness, but it can help you avoid getting sick, too. A 2010 study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people who were physically active had nearly half the chance of catching a cold and those who did experience a cold saw that it was less severe than those who were not physically active. Even if you don’t have time to consistently get to the gym, you can stock your home with exercise equipment such as weight training equipment or even an elliptical machine.
7. Sanitize your workspace
Between your computer keyboard, mouse, water bottle and even a pen holder, germs are likely flocking to your desk. Keeping your workspace clean is one thing, but keeping it free of germs is even more important. Be sure to dust and sanitize everything–from your computer to your actual desktop–on a monthly basis. If nothing else, it’ll give you a break from your real work! Read up on how to properly sanitize your computer, keyboard, and any other electronics to avoid accidental breakage.
8. Avoid face-to-face contact with sick co-workers
You’ve heard the sniffles around the office and seen trash cans full of tissues. The best way to avoid getting sick is to stay away from people who already are sick. It’s not rude to ask your sick co-worker to stay home from work or to reschedule an in-person meeting to be a phone call instead.
The bottom line: You should avoid interacting with people in your office who are sick. If the situations were reversed, they’d want the same.
9. Take a break!
Burnout is real and overworking can get you sick. If you’ve been working for hours on end or if you’ve been working consistently long days with no end in sight, keep in mind that taking a break can help your brain. From “decision fatigue” to restoring motivation to increasing productivity, Psychology Today explains the plentiful reasons why you should take a break at work. And don’t let anyone tell you taking a break means you’re lazy!
We all strive to live a healthy life and though it’s not always easy, if you follow these nine steps, you’ll be on the road to a healthy and happy year at work and home.
Who is the author?
Lauren Silver is a Marketing Coordinator for Abt Electronics, Lauren oversees all content creation from their Glenview, Illinois Headquarters. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, yoga, and cooking for her family.