There now exists a huge body of evidence that supports the idea that healthy and happy employees do more, are more focused, and are just happier to be in the workplace in general. Because of this study, more employers around the world are starting workplace fitness programs, if not expanding already existing ones, with the aim of helping employees thrive, both in the office and outside of it.
But what if your business doesn’t have a wellness or fitness program? Here are a few simple habits that can be adopted to maximise long-term health gains.
1. Spend more time in movement.
Being engaged in sedentary behaviours, such as sitting, for an average of eight hours has become a common part of our lives. Since our workplaces or offices are the places where these behaviours tend to happen, they are great places to begin moving more.
One way to ensure more movement on your end is by committing to incorporating more frequent movement into your typical workday schedule. To incorporate more frequent movement into your daily schedule, one amazing option is moving (if you use a laptop to work, that is) to a vacant workstation that’s far away from the typical office facilities like the kitchen or bathroom. Another amazing option is skipping email and instant messenger in favour of handing out handwritten notes to the person you wish to talk to about an important matter. Of course, this option should only be done once you’ve notified the person you wish to talk to that you’re dropping by.
Just make sure that these activities you’ve chosen can help in toning muscles, improving your posture, improving the flow of blood to your body, and ramping up your metabolism.
2. Hydration challenge!
The more water you take in, the more gains for your health overall. Aside from staying hydrated, which is definitely beneficial to both your body and mind, having to refill the water from time to time as well as being forced to use the restroom can also fulfill the need to move more, as highlighted in step one.
Benefits of consuming sufficient amounts of water include an increase in energy, better digestion, better mood and mental functioning, and weight loss. To ensure that you actually consume the right amount of water each day, don’t forget to bring your water bottle to work.
3. Consider the use of sit stand workstations.
What are sit stand workstations? Some models of sit stand workstations don’t look at all different from most office desks except for the fact that their heights can be adjusted. On the other hand, there are others—smaller models to be exact—that can be placed on tabletops to turn a part of the table into a height-adjustable one.
By being height-adjustable, sit stand workstations allow one to be productive when the desire to stand up and move arms or legs is strongest. These office essentials, therefore, can also facilitate in shedding calories, stretching muscles, and improving productivity.
4. Make sure you get enough sunlight.
Being exposed enough to sunlight during your working hours improves your physical health and your overall well-being. It’s most powerful effect is regulation of your circadian rhythm, also known as the body’s internal clock and sleep-wake cycle. Based on research, there exists a very strong positive relationship between how much sunlight one is exposed to and the sleep quality this person gets at night. The better sleep one gets, the better one’s productivity the next day.
5. Check the distance and height of your computer monitor.
Eye strain is one of those nasty conditions that office employees, especially those who spend most days facing a computer screen, are most at risk of. This happens not only because of looking at a monitor for long periods of time, but also because the monitor has been set at an inappropriate angle and distance. Fortunately, there are a number of things that can be done to prevent this from happening.
* Ensure that the top part of the monitor is at eye height or a little bit below, keeping in mind that it’s easier for eyes to look down, not up. You may need to adjust the monitor stand in order to adjust monitor height.
* An arm’s length is generally a decent distance for monitors, although there may be a need to set them further back.
* You can set monitors up on monitor arms. Then adjust these monitor arms in such a way that the screens are at an arm’s length away (if not further back) and tilted ten to twenty degrees back.
6. Prioritise healthy snacking.
Proper hydration and healthy snacking provide one with sufficient amounts of nutrients and energy, which allow for better focus and prevention of mood swings. One example of a healthy snack is grapes, which, when consumed, provide one essential compound—resveratrol—which reduces anxiety and boosts brain functioning.
7. Avoid skipping lunch break in favour of working an urgent task.
It can be tempting to skip a lunch break in favour of working a task that needs to be finished right away. But doing this may only hinder your productivity. If you’re hungry, you won’t have the energy to move parts of your body around. A state of hunger can also fog your thinking capacity and, therefore, make you less productive.