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9 Ways Employees Can Stay Healthy at Work

Make health a priority and a lot of other things get a lot easier.
9 Ways Employees Can Stay Healthy at Work
Image credit: Shutterstock

It is said that health is wealth. The adage is true to a great extent. Without good health, we wouldn’t be able to do anything. Taking care of work, chores and kids would become impossible if we struggled with health conditions all of the time.

Related: Using Wearable Devices to Help Promote Employee Wellness

One of the most common excuses people cite for not being in good shape relates to not having the time or the energy to do what it takes to be healthy. This is particularly true of working professionals. Here are nine things employees can do regularly to ensure they stay healthy.

1. Eat sensibly.

Most office goers complain that they find it difficult to eat healthy and sensibly and hold their waning willpower responsible for it. While it is true that we imperatively munch on junk food or sample calorific treats brought to the office by colleagues, it is important to exercise self-control. Moderation is key. You do not need to completely forget about junk food; just limit its consumption.

Furthermore, pay attention to what you eat for your main meals. Eat a good, filling breakfast in the morning. Lunch on salads and fruits, and avoid unhealthy, greasy food. As much as possible, avoid eating lunch at your office desk. Leaving the office for a while will prevent you from overeating and provide you with a short break. Stay away from indulging in afternoon snacks, such as chips and chocolates, as that will spell trouble. Also, maintain a healthy eating schedule in the evenings.

Snack on healthy alternatives, such as fruits, nuts, granola bars or healthy smoothies, which will keep you feeling satisfied without giving you the sluggish feeling that you get from eating junk food.

2. Drink plenty of water.

Being immersed in work means losing track of how much water you’re drinking in a day. However, it's crucial that you drink enough to stay hydrated and active.

Dehydration can cause ill effects, such as drowsiness and sluggishness. It is always a good idea for an adult to drink between six and eight glasses of water everyday. Depending on your level of physical activity and the climate in your region, you may need to consume more. Eating fresh, juicy fruits is a great way to beat dehydration and hunger pangs.

3. Restrict your caffeine intake.

Many office dwellers may find it absolutely impossible to get through their day without consuming caffeinated beverages.

This is okay as long as you practice moderation. Try to curb your caffeine consumption to one cup of coffee every morning to prevent a caffeine crash later in the day. Also, you can omit the use of sugar and cream in your coffee, and cut those calories.

4. Maintain good posture.

Maintaining good posture all day requires conscious effort. Most employees, who use computers, stare into their screen for hours and slowly get drawn into it. This means they stretch their neck forward, which puts pressure on the neck and the spine. This can be avoided with the help of certain desk exercises. The most popular one entails chin retractions - or making a fake double chin -- to support the neck and upper back.

5. Take frequent breaks.

We always want to finish our work so we can get out of the office on time. However, this does not mean that you should sit at your work station for hours at a stretch and not allow yourself a break. You may think that taking a break will waste your time, but taking a break can actually be productive.

Not taking a break from work can make you mentally lethargic, and reduce your creativity. Make it a point to get away from your desk every now and again for a few minutes. The idea is to take a break; rejuvenate; and be more productive.

Related: Companies Gain Competitive Advantage by Improving Employee Health

6. Keep your workstation clean.

It is extremely important to keep your workstation clean and orderly. Tidy it up five minutes before leaving for the day so that you return to a neat workspace the next morning. Keep sanitizing wipes handy, and use them to wipe the surface of your desk often.

7. Be hygienic.

Being hygienic goes a long way in keeping you healthy. You can take the necessary steps at work too. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk. When at work, it may not always be possible to step away from your desk every time you want to wash your hands. But with your hand sanitizer close, you can deal with situations that involve you coughing or sneezing, and stay healthy and germ-free.

8. Avoid mingling with sick employees.

This one is common sense but nonetheless important. Avoid close contact with employees, who may be sick or show symptoms of communicable disease. Wash your hands if you’ve been around their workstation. Also, let office management know about the sick employee, if they aren’t already aware. If you’re sick, it's best to stay home and recuperate so that you do not end up spreading the infection to others.

9. Learn to manage stress.

Most of us lead hectic lifes that can get to us from time to time. Juggling several roles and responsibilities on a daily basis can leave us exhausted, which is normal. After all, we’re only human. However, we can make it easier on ourselves by learning to manage stress. One great way to beat stress? Do enjoyable things. This can include spending time with family or friends, watching movies, reading books and going to the gym or the spa. The idea is to relax your mind by taking care yourself and achieving a healthy balance.

Related: 4 Hacks for Lowering Health-Care Costs While Improving Employee Health

Staying in good shape requires effort. Good health and fitness can't be achieved overnight, which is why it is important to incorporate certain habits into your daily routine. This will need long-term commitment and discipline, but there will be a lot of benefits to earn in terms of mental and physical wellbeing. Include the above tips in your day-to-day routine to stay fit and fine.