Tips To Help You Stay Healthy At Work

January 31, 2022

This article is from Indeed.  View their article at the bottom. 

Why is it important to stay healthy at work? Individuals spend much of their time at work, often sitting at their desks and looking at screens for long periods. Beyond affecting their physical health, these behaviors can also impact mental health. When people do not feel well, physically or mentally, it can harm their morale and productivity at work. By learning techniques to stay healthy in the workplace, these individuals can improve their well-being. Instead of feeling burnt out, these individuals can feel energized and ready to take on their tasks.

Today’s companies recognize the importance of healthier employees. As a result, some create wellness programs to promote a happy and healthy workplace environment. When employees feel happy and engaged at work, it can lead to fewer absences and more productive and efficient processes.

13 tips for staying healthy at work

The following advice offers health tips and strategies you can incorporate into your workday:

Drink more water

Staying hydrated can keep you alert and energized throughout your workday. Many people aim to drink eight to 10 glasses of water per day, and the amount each person needs can vary based on the level of physical activity and the climate. To stay well-hydrated, you can trade your usual coffee or a soda with a glass of water. Drinking more water at work can also help you stay full and resist the temptation to snack.

If you find it difficult to drink more water at work, here are several tips you can incorporate into your day:

  • Purchase a reusable water bottle that you can bring to work each day and refill as needed.
  • If you prefer flavorful drinking options, purchase a fruit infuser bottle to add a hint of your favorite fruit to your water.
  • Use your reusable water bottle to set goals for yourself. You can use markers to set deadlines for when you need to drink a particular amount of water. For example, you may want to reach the bottle’s halfway point by noon.
  • If you have a fitness tracker, you can often set reminders to yourself to drink a glass of water. Otherwise, you can set these reminders using your phone or computer.

Bring a packed lunch

You can make healthier food choices by planning and preparing lunches to bring to work. By preparing this meal the night before, you can avoid rushing in the morning or grabbing something potentially unhealthy on your way into the office. Some of the food types to incorporate into your meal include lean proteins, healthy fats, salads, vegetables and fruits. Numerous online sources offer simple, healthy lunch ideas and recipes. Along with being healthy, make sure to pack yourself a meal you feel excited about eating. Having something to look forward to can help keep you in a positive mood.

Related: 200 Lunch Ideas To Take To Work

Make smart snack choices

Along with lunch, you may consider packing healthy snacks. By planning your snacks for the day, you can avoid grabbing something from the vending machine or stopping by the candy bowl on a coworker’s desk. Examples of healthier snacks include granola bars, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Some water-rich fruits, such as watermelon, strawberries or oranges, can also help you stay hydrated. Snacking throughout the day, as opposed to solely eating one large meal, can also support your energy levels. You can have a small snack every two to three hours to avoid an afternoon slump and getting over-hungry.

Reduce your caffeine consumption

Some people enjoy having coffee during the workday to help them stay alert. However, this alertness only lasts for a short period and sometimes leads to a crash later in the day. For some people, too much coffee results in other side effects, such as nerves, restlessness, upset stomachs or dizziness. These effects could disrupt workplace performance.

Limiting how much coffee you drink may help you to be more energetic. Consider reducing your consumption to one cup in the morning, though you may want to conduct this process slowly to avoid withdrawal headaches. You can also replace your coffee habit with healthier drink options, such as water or decaffeinated coffee and teas.

Utilize good posture

Sitting at your desk for long periods can put pressure on your neck, shoulders and spine. Maintaining good posture and stretching throughout the day can help offset this tension. You can research postural stretches to do from your desk. Make a conscious effort to improve your posture by taking note and adjust yourself if you realize you are leaning into your screen or hunching your shoulders.

Follow these tips you can use to maintain good posture:

  • If you can provide your own chair, choose an ergonomic model that offers padding to support your back, neck and lower body.
  • Adjust your chair to ensure that your feet are flat on the floor and your wrists and forearms can lay straight on your desk.
  • Keep your computer screen at eye level and about an arm’s length apart from you. Use larger font sizes or display settings to avoid straining your eyes.
  • If you make phone calls regularly, try using a headset or headphones to reduce the strain of leaning and cradling your phone in your neck.

Related: How To Sit Properly at a Desk

Take breaks regularly

Remaining productive during the day does not necessarily mean you cannot leave your desk. Taking regular breaks can help you refocus and re-energize your mind, allowing you to return to your workspace ready to work. Consider using your break time to incorporate healthy habits, such as taking a brief walk, getting some fresh air and sunshine or grabbing something healthy to eat. Even when busy at work, you can set reminders for yourself on a regular schedule, such as every hour, to take at least a five-minute break from your desk.

Keep your workspace clean

A clean workspace can help you keep a clear mind, as you avoid getting distracted by a multitude of papers and other items cluttering your space. At the end of each day, try to take some time to organize your workspace and put away anything you will not need the next day. Having a set place for all your items can also help you stay organized and avoid wasting time looking for things. Good organizational habits can help reduce stress and keep you calm at work.

The most-used items on your desk, such as your keyboard, mouse and phone, can also collect dust and bacteria. You can promote good health by cleaning these items regularly with disinfectant products, such as sanitizing wipes.

Use good hygienic practices

Colds and cases of flu can spread around offices, so always try to use good hygiene practices. If you notice someone else is feeling unwell, try to keep your distance. When you feel sick, remember to take the day off or work from home when possible. These practices can help keep you and your coworkers healthy and avoid spreading germs. Some other essential practices include:

  • Rather than coughing or sneezing into your hands, use a tissue and throw it away immediately. If you do not have a tissue, use the inside of your elbow.
  • Wash your hands regularly, including after you cough, sneeze or use the restroom or other high-traffic areas. Make it a habit to wash them for at least 20 seconds.
  • Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk for instances where soap and water are not readily available.

Related: The Do’s and Don’ts of Taking a Sick Day

Incorporate exercise into your day

Finding ways to exercise throughout your day can help boost your energy and benefit your physical health. Exercising can be as simple as taking a walk during your break. You can also raise your activity levels by making simple changes to your habits, such as parking further from the office entrance or using stairs instead of elevators. If you need some motivation, you may ask a colleague to join you on regular walks or turn a regular one-on-one meeting into a walking meeting.

Some offices have gyms, and you may want to use your spare time during the workday to fit in a quick workout. Otherwise, you can find plenty of simple exercise options to practice in the office. For example, you can perform leg lifts or calf raises while sitting at your desk. You can also keep weights at your desks or move outside for simple, short exercises such as lunges and high knees.

Related: 15 Workplace Exercises To Keep You Healthy at the Office

Practice meditation

Remember to take care of your mental health as well as physical health at work. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, meditation can help calm your mind and refocus your attention. Incorporate meditation into your breaks by taking at least a few minutes to close your eyes and practice deep breathing exercises. You can often find apps or videos that guide you through brief meditations. Depending on your preferences, you may meditate at your desk or find somewhere to sit outside the office.

Learn stress management techniques

In your role, you may take on numerous tasks and responsibilities daily. These efforts may make you feel tired and stressed, affecting both your mental and physical health. You can incorporate various management techniques to help handle your stress, boost your productivity and avoid feeling burnt out. Some examples from the other tips include taking a break from your desk or practicing meditation. Other methods you may use to reduce your stress at work include:

  • Listening to your favorite music or podcasts
  • Using time management apps to track and prioritize your tasks at work or set deadlines for yourself
  • Asking your coworkers or supervisors for support when you need help completing a task
  • Socializing with your coworkers during free time to get your mind off of work for a few minutes during breaks

Related: How To De-Stress at Work

Get sufficient sleep

Getting enough sleep the night before work can help prepare you for the day and maintain your focus. Many people try to get at least eight hours. When you get sufficient and high-quality sleep, you may feel less sluggish in the morning and ready to take on the day’s responsibilities. It can also help you avoid feeling tired during the workday. You can boost the quality of your sleep by creating a bedtime routine and limiting distractions.

While not available for everyone, some workplaces have nap areas for their employees. When possible, you may want to take advantage of such opportunities to get a brief break in your workday and reset your energy levels. An effective nap can last just 20 minutes.

Reward yourself

Another way to keep your morale at work high is to reward yourself when you have completed difficult or lengthy tasks. Your reward can vary on your preferences, such as taking a 10-minute break or grabbing your favorite snack. Having something to look forward to can help motivate you to complete the task. Taking a moment to appreciate yourself can also help you recognize your value and make you feel good. Maintaining a cheerful attitude and positive self-esteem can help you care for your mental health.

“13 Tips to Help You Stay Healthy at Work.” Indeed Career Guide,

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