5 ways to stay healthy in the office » SMEInsider

5 ways to stay healthy in the office

The UK economy loses £13.4bn and 27 million working days every year due to work-related illness, according to the National Institute for Healthcare and Excellence. Here are five tips to staying healthy in the workplace!

Here are five tips to staying healthy in the workplace!

1. Stand tall

Sitting behind a desk is not healthy, the body needs be active for sustained periods otherwise the risk of negative effects on the back, neck and posture increases. It is important to devise a way of staying active even when you think your workplace doesn’t allow for it. Avoid the lifts and choose the stairs. Aside from the health benefits,you get to avoid the awkward lift silence or small-talk.

Ensure you stretch your legs during the working day – at certain intervals get up from behind your desk and walk around the office. You can incorporate this into your work. For example, if you have to make a call do it on the go. By walking around you are making your mind more active as it processes the changing scenery, this can make you more productive. Furthermore, your colleagues will probably appreciate not being distracted by the conversation.

2. Sit right

But it’s not all about standing tall. Sitting correctly is also essential to protect yourself from backaches and worsening posture. Sitting on a chair for long periods can become very uncomfortable and put unnecessary pressure on your lower back. Switching to a stability ball is a good way of kicking your core into gear as well as reducing pressure on your lower back.

The ball will also help you to avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time. Keeping your neck or shoulders fixed in an awkward position can lead to Tension neck syndrome (TNS) so it is important to add some flexibility to how you sit.


3. Drink, drink, drink

It’s easy to think that because you are sedentary all day, you don’t need to rehydrate that much. Water is your best friend when it comes to fighting that post-lunch lull. What could be interpreted as tiredness or boredom may actually be symptoms of dehydration. Aim to drink six to eight glasses every day so as to maintain your sharpness.

Whilst coffee may be good in getting the necessary short-term, it is important to remember that it is a diuretic and will make you dehydrated more quickly. So after the routine cup of coffee have a glass of water at the ready!


4. Lunch 

Eating a healthy lunch is crucial in maintaining a healthy diet. Remember that every time you reach for something high in calories, you won’t be active enough to burn it off until after work. The same goes for portion sizes. Sometimes it’s not the quality of the food that does the most damage, but rather the quantity.

Overeating and then sitting behind a desk for the whole afternoon is not a pleasant feeling and will probably hamper your productivity.

5. Protect your eyes

Being health conscious is important, but it’s easy to forget the small things such as eyesight protection. Because using a computer may be an inherent part of the job, it may feel like very little can be done to protect your eyes from being strained. However, that is not the case – it is important to make sure that the computer isn’t too close or too far from your eyes, ideally the screen should be an arm’s length away.

Also ensure you take regular breaks from your screen to allow your eyes to recover and relax. Reducing the brightness of the screen can also make it feel less oppressive.