How many hours per day do you spend working? 8? 9? 10? Imagine if you could improve the quality of your health over those impactful hours of your day! According to the CDC, more than 156 million full-time workers spend one-third of their day at the workplace. Studies have shown there are several simple steps you can take over the course of your workday, to create healthy habits to better your physical and mental health.
If you’re like me, you struggle to get enough water intake throughout the day. I carry a water bottle with me to work, and occasionally leave with it as full as when I arrived. The National Academy of Medicine suggests “an adequate intake of daily fluids of about 13 cups (healthy men) and 9 cups (healthy women), with 1 cup equaling 8 ounces”. One step you can take to feel and be your best, is to drink plenty of water! Consider using a fruit infused water bottle or setting reminders on your phone or email to make drinking the prescribed amount of water achievable.
Make Good Snack Choices
I’m known around the office as the “snack girl”. I pride myself on bringing healthy snacks to curb that mid-morning or mid-afternoon hunger pain. Some of my go to snacks include: pretzels and hummus, apples and peanut butter, popcorn, and string cheese. According to the CDC, eating every 3 to 4 hours can keep your blood sugar stable (which can prevent severe health problems such as heart disease), as well as effectively control hunger. If your office has vending machines or other tempting junk food, healthy snacks are a great way to combat temptation!
Get Up and Move
Have you ever sat down at your desk, and realized after a few hours you haven’t at all moved? The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition encourages everyone to “move more and sit less” by reducing sedentary time and being physically active throughout the day. Some simple activities that can be done on the job include walking up and down a flight of stairs, doing some quick and easy stretches, or even doing arm or shoulder circles at your desk. Moving around can improve circulation and prevent muscle stiffness.
A standing desk is another great option to improve health at work. According to the Mayo Clinic, “research points to the fact that less sitting and more moving contributes to better health.” Even just standing up a few minutes an hour can make a big difference!
No matter what your job, you’ve likely experienced workplace stress at some point. An American Psychological Association survey has consistently found that work is cited as a significant source of stress by a majority of Americans. According to the APA, several tips to reduce work stress include: tracking your stressor, developing healthy stress responses, taking time to recharge, learning a relaxing technique (such as meditation or deep breathing) and talking to your supervisor. Taking steps to reduce work stressors will ensure you remain productive and satisfied during your workday.
During the workday, focusing on hydration, healthy snack choices, finding movement, and managing stress can make a huge impact on your overall mental and physical health. Work is a big part of our day – let’s ensure we maintain healthy habits throughout those pivotal hours!,