Americans spend, on average, 47 hours per week at work. This means that a large majority of their time is spent in the office. Which makes it no surprise is the fact that certain work conditions can result in either a healthy or unhealthy overall lifestyle. Desk jobs lead to inactivity and other health complications whereas heavy lifting or too much time spent on your feet can create a different set of problems. Read on to discover 8 tips on remaining healthy and safe at work, regardless of the type of job you have.
1. Take a Walk
Whether it’s on your lunch break or simply a quick stroll around the office, getting up from your desk and walking around is a great way to combat fatigue and body stiffness. A body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest. This means the longer you sit in one position, the harder it is to get your body moving. Grab a coworker and use 15 minutes of your lunch break to take a walk outdoors, when possible. Fresh air offers its own list of health benefits too including reduced stress and increased mental clarity. You’ll return to your desk more focused and productive.
If you’re unable to take a walk or get outside your building, you can still stretch right at your desk. Stand up and do some toe touches, arm stretches, and slight backbends. All of these exercises will help loosen stiff or sore muscles. It’s important to keep your body moving and blood flowing when you have a desk job. Often times, office work lends itself to inactivity, which can cause weight gain and even depression. Take a quick brain break, get up, and stretch every hour that you’re immobile.
3. Invest in Ergonomic Furniture
Another health concern for individuals with desk jobs is strain on their back, neck, and shoulders from typing or working from a sitting position for too long. Ergonomic furniture is a great way to fix this issue. There are countless desks, chairs, and other office furniture available that are more conducive to the human body and holding an active stance rather than a sedentary one. Ergonomic desks allow you to stand while working or lift your computer or keyboard to a comfortable level. This prevents you from becoming hunched over or slouching. It’s also easier on the wrists, which could prevent the development of arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome.
4. Focus on Posture
Poor posture is another casualty of office work and holding a desk job. Keeping posture in mind will help reduce your risk of lower back pain, neck strain, and pulled or tense muscles in your shoulders. It’s not always easy to sit up straight but being mindful of your posture can help. While sitting, try to keep a straight back. Keep your computer screen at eye level when possible and maintain a straight, even line with your arms and hands. Sit with your shoulders back and your navel pulled into your stomach. Support your head on the chair headrest as well. Check your position every few minutes to ensure you’re maintaining good posture. Another way to strengthen your core muscles and avoid slouching is to sit on an exercise ball instead of a regular desk chair.
5. Wear Proper Shoes
Now that we’ve discussed how to improve your health at a desk job, what t if you work in a factory, restaurant or other setting that requires you to be on your feet all day? This can also take its toll on your body. Starting with your feet. If you’re walking or standing all day, your feet will take the brunt of the pressure and weight of your body. This mean investing in supportive and proper fitting shoes is the first step toward maintaining health and safety. Restaurant workers should buy shoes that offer not only support and cushion but are also slip-resistant. This will help prevent accidents and falls. Any other job that requires standing for long periods of time will also require shoes with proper support. And any field work that involves construction might call for strong, sturdy work boots that keep your feet dry and protected.
6. Know When to Say “No”
Spreading yourself too thin at work can be detrimental for both your physical and mental health. Too often we take on too much in an effort to impress our superiors or compete for a promotion or raise. Although a healthy dose of motivation and competition is okay, getting taken advantage of is not. If someone at work is dumping on you or you’re finding yourself completely exhausted and unable to focus, it may be time to elicit the powerful word “no”. This can be done in a respectful way. You don’t need to be rude but instead explain that you’re workload is becoming overwhelming or you’re unable to help out at this time. Spreading yourself too thin can result in increased stress and your tendency to make mistakes or fall short of your normal work ethic. Don’t be afraid to say no.
7. Pack a Lunch
Eating lunch out with coworkers is great for company morale and creating social relationships. But it can be taxing on both your wallet and your waistline. Indulging in fattening or rich lunches once in a while is fine. A cocktail after work one day a week won’t hurt either. But try bringing your lunch at least three or four days a week and keep healthy snacks in your desk drawer. Maintaining a healthy diet is all about moderation. If you pack a lunch, you’re less likely to say yes to pizza or fast food when the temptation arises. Curb your cravings with healthy snacks like almonds, fruit or vegetable sticks.
8. Make the Most of Your Commute
Commuting adds additional stress to your mind and body. Traveling for work may mean battling traffic and other drivers. This can be extremely stressful for some people. Invest in books on tape, create a favorite song playlist or start listening to a motivational podcast. Anything that will bring positivity and calmness to your drive. The last thing you want to do is enter the office feeling stressed out or negative before your day has even begun.
Commuting can also be taxing on your body. Sitting in a car for an extended period of time is similar to sitting at a desk. It can create back, neck, and shoulder strain. Try performing a few exercises designed for commuting. Stretch when you enter and exit your vehicle. Or switch up your commute. Perhaps you can take the train or bus to a stop several blocks from your office and walk the rest of the way. This is the perfect way to incorporate activity into your sedentary work day.
Whether you work at a desk job or are on your feet most of the day, it’s important to be mindful of how your job affects your mind and body. Making these small changes to your daily routine can greatly impact your health in positive ways.
Article Submitted By Community Writer