Working an 8-5 job means time is precious and you are very, very busy. It also often means putting in extra long hours, being exposed to high stress environments and a lack of sleep – all of which can take a massive toll on your body. Between balancing your time with family and friends, handling admin, enjoying hobbies and exercising in your free time, you are one busy bee.
But working a 40-hour week doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your health. In fact, there’s a lot you can do to maintain your health and fitness whilst still working your best at the office.
Adding health into your 8-5
If you’re struggling to balance your health with your office lifestyle, add these tips to your daily routine to keep healthy in the office.
Drink more water
I’m sure you already know about the endless benefits of drinking water, but what you may not know is how much of it you should be drinking. The recommended average water intake for men is 3.7 litres a day and 2.7 litres a day for women. Sounds like a lot, right? Throughout the day, our bodies lose water in different ways and we need to ensure that water is restored. Water cleanses and boosts the immune system, flushes out toxins and helps digest nutrients properly.
Hydrating is not only important for your body but also for your mind and has a direct link to one’s performance and mood, improving brain functionality and preventing headaches. Dehydration is also known to heighten anxiety for those who suffer from it, so be sure to drink a lot of water during the day, especially if you’re feeling stressed or anxious in the office.
Stretch your legs
Sitting at a desk all day can be extremely harmful to your health. That's why it's important to stand more often than you sit. Our JUMBO DeskStand is adjustable to give you the right balance between sitting and standing throughout the day. Having a standing desk is the best solution to avoid sitting all day, but if you’re limited to a sit-down desk at work, try standing up or taking a walk every 30 minutes. You can get up to fill up your water bottle, make some tea or simply stand up and shake your legs. Instead of emailing your colleague, why not walk down the stairs and talk to them? Taking regular breaks from your desk is known to improve blood flow, lower stress and increase performance. According Forbes, a recent study showed that people who insist on taking regular short breaks are far more productive than those who work longer hours.
The JUMBO DeskStand will help improve your posture and give you the right balance between standing and sitting throughout the day.
Use your hour
Health regulations require employees to receive a full hour lunch break and there’s a reason for it. If you’re working 8 hours a day (or more), it’s imperative that you take a break for your health and sanity. In addition to taking smaller breaks, use your full hour break to take a walk, even if it’s just around the block. Walking will clear your mind, give you some fresh air and make you ready to tackle the next half of the day. You’ll come back into the office feeling fresh, less stressed and able to concentrate better. Getting some Vitamin D exposure is also a nice change from harmful fluorescent lighting some offices have.
Split your fitness
Working long hours sometimes leave us with little time to exercise during the week. Exercise is essential for good concentration and high energy levels. If you don’t have enough time to fit in an hour workout, split up your fitness in portions to save time. You can exercise for 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes after work, for example.
Still think you don’t have enough time to get your exercise in during the week? Why not cycle to work if you’re close enough? It’s an easy way to get your exercise in and utilise your time efficiently.
Watch your posture
Posture is everything. A bad posture can easily lead to back and other problems if you’re not aware of the way you’re working. Try stand more, and when you sit, sit properly. Use this Stand Up Desk Guide if you’re not sure how you should be sitting and standing at your desk.
Start an office sport group
A great way to keep fit whilst working in an office is to start an office sport club with your colleagues. Create a soccer team and join a league, start a squash club or encourage a lunchtime yoga lesson in the office. If those around you are committed to a sport or exercise, you’ll be more motivated. Plus you’ll get to make friends with others in your office and have a bit of fun.
Cut the coffee
Whilst coffee has a lot of health benefits, many misunderstand the downsides of drinking too much coffee. In a high stress environment with long working hours, it’s easy to use coffee as an active stimulant. But despite contrary belief, caffeine can actually make you more tired. According to LiveStrong, coffee can be a temporary pick-me-up, giving an initial burst of energy followed by a crash. Grabbing a cup of coffee as an automatic reaction to tiredness can keep your body in a constant state of “caffeinism”, making you tired, irritable, anxious and even depressed.
Snack, snack, snack
Sometimes when you’re working really hard, you forget to eat. We’ve all been there. Come 3 o’clock and you have to eat the first thing you find to feed your growling stomach. And it’s usually something quick and unhealthy. A great way to avoid grabbing a pie and coke to ease the hunger is having loads of healthy snacks stored at your desk. Nuts, apples and crackers are great examples of food you can snack on for blood-stabilizing goodness to avoid the binge lunch.
In addition to storing healthy snacks at your desk, you can also start prepping your meals for the week. Preparing your own meals allows you to control the ingredients that go into your meal. Many fast convenience meals on display at the shops contain ingredients that aren’t so healthy. Plan your meals for the week with home-cooked goodness. Good, wholesome foods will also boost your immune and keep you from grabbing an unhealthy lunch on the go. Cooking is a great form of mind stimulation too, so get creative in the kitchen and enjoy the preparation!