Before another year in the office starts again in full swing, we here at Hoys Allied Health & Wellness recommend you take just a few moments to consider how you maintain your health (or don’t) in the workplace. In this blog we’ll guide you through some healthy work habits and how to maintain them.
Ergonomics is a word anyone in an office job is likely familiar with. Yet despite this, it’s still more often the case that slouching and slumping trumps 80% of the time when you’re focusing on the task at hand. Our first tip is to set a calendar or phone reminder that repeats every hour during your 9-to-5 that encourages you to stand up and move about for even just a minute before returning to your working position. Some ideal motions are walking, chin retractions (simply force a double chin to alleviate pressure in your neck area) and shoulder rolls – but there’s no rule here, simply get creative and move in a way that works for you because any motion is better than no motion.
Lollies and other junk-food snacks are the crux of many working offices and professionals today. When you’re spending all your willpower at work, and there’s a bowl of snacks in your line-of-sight, more often than not it’s merely a countdown until you crunch through some kilojoules you really might regret. Countering this can be done in a myriad of methods, from banning junk-food entirely (good luck!), to ensuring healthy snacks like nuts, fruit or roasted chickpeas are always within reach. However, the old adage here stands to triumph, “out of sight, out of mind”, so if you can keep the undesirables inconveniently distanced and hidden away, you’ll do your monkey brain a massive favour!
Ever felt that massive crash between lunchtime and home-time which sees your energy levels plummet and plateau until (hopefully) you feel a second wind kick in to rejuvenate you for that last hour or so? You’re not alone, and we’d like to name three contributing factors at play here (though there could be more):
- Sleep deprivation
- A caffeine crash
Whether we mean to or not, dehydration runs rampant within office conditions. It’s so simple to overlook, and before you know it, your bladder’s daunted, your head’s throbbing, and your energy’s well… nowhere to be found! As the saying goes, “what gets measured gets managed”, and while its usually refers to a business’ productivity output, the same concept can be used to cure your waterless woe. With the smartphone in your pocket, set goals for water consumption and track them as you go (there’s countless apps out there for this purpose, like this one). Simply trying not to break your streak of reaching your target is often enough to maintain this habit’s inertia and keep you hydrated forevermore.
As for sleep deprivation, there’s an underlying culture here to acknowledge. Staying at work late in the evening is often the go-to cure for overwhelm in the office. While it’s obviously ideal to always finish your tasks within work hours and then return home for some rest and recuperation, it’s simply not always the case. Rather, a simple shift in perspective is well worth a try. Rather than staying late, call it quits on-time, and endeavour to start work the next day earlier in order to catch up to the workload. You’ll be more likely to sleep on-time thus mitigating the likelihood of sleep deprivation whilst boasting the benefit of attacking those extra tasks early in the quiet hours of the morning when your will power and focus are at their peak.
Caffeine itself is no bad thing in moderation, however milk, sugar, cream and chocolate are certainly aspects of your coffee you could consider phasing out over the course of this year to reduce your consumption of unhealthy ingredients. Furthermore, consuming too much caffeine can contribute to a crash later in the day, dehydration and sleepless nights to follow. To curb these mal effects, monitor your intake and as a rule of thumb keep it below five espresso shots’ worth a day, not forgetting to count energy drinks and other caffeinated beverages you might consume.
Our final tip is to stock your desk with hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes and build a habit of using them regularly to significantly reduce your likelihood of catching sickness from the office. Simply wiping off all your touch points, mouse, keyboard, smartphone, work phone, drawers and all else, will save you sick days that inflict unwanted stress on yourself and those around you.
Before the new year is in full swing, consider making your health and wellness a priority by testing our all of our tips for yourself. See what sticks, and tweak what doesn’t until it’s all become habit and you’ll feel forever better. If you’d like to arrange a consultation with our Dietitians or Exercise Physiologists to support your health journey in 2021, follow the link here to make a booking.
Hoys HealthCreated: 02.01.2021HealthHealth