Be Healthier at Work by Breaking These Habits

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Many of us spend the majority of the work day sitting at a desk. Over time, it can be easy to slip into an increasingly sedentary and perhaps not-so-healthy daily routine. Here are some quick fixes and adjustments to your daily work habits to help you get back on track! Be Healthier at Work by Breaking These Habits -

Stop Sitting All Day

Here are some ways to break this habit:

  • Take a break from sitting by getting a standing desk, or make one by stacking boxes and placing your laptop or computer monitor on top. Just make sure it’s sturdy!
  • Set a regular reminder to refill your water bottle, which forces you to get up to move around and also helps you stay hydrated.
  • During your lunch break, venture out to a lunch spot farther than the one you usually use, or use half the time to take a stroll at a nearby park or around the neighborhood.

Try Not to Stay Hunched Over a Keyboard

Nobody likes ending the work day with back and neck pain. Often, we are slouching over our keyboards for hours, leading to poor posture and constantly tensed shoulders. To fix that, take stretching breaks throughout the day. Here are some of my go-to stretches:

  • Clasp your hands behind your back and lift your chest and chin up to open your chest.
  • Clasp your hands together above your head, palms turned to face the ceiling. Stretch upward, leaning to the right and holding, then do the same to the left.
  • Roll your shoulders forward and backward several times to loosen up the upper portion of your body.
  • Stand up and reach your arms high over your head. Reach your hands down to your toes. Exhale and let it all go!

Say “No” to Constant Treats

There always seems to be a special occasion at work, meaning someone is bringing in a new variety of cake or cookies. It’s sweet of your coworkers to bring in treats for the team, but save those for special occasions and when you really want one. To resist these temptations, keep these tips in mind:

  • Sometimes you can mistake thirst for hunger. If you’re tempted by office treats, try sipping a cup of tea or water instead, which may help curb your cravings.
  • Keep a stash of healthy snacks for when you are hungry and, instead of the brownie your coworker is offering, reach for the trail mix, nuts, fruit, nutrition bars, popcorn or carrot sticks and hummus. Having your own snacks also can steer you away from hitting up the vending machine for goodies.
  • If you’re the type of person who likes to keep candy at work, remember this: out of sight, out of mind. Move the candy dish off your desk to a common area — or consider getting rid of it completely. If you aren’t willing to do that, try using a candy container that is not transparent.
  • Set a healthy example at the office. When it’s your turn to bring treats, bring fruit instead. Somebody will be sure to thank you for that, and you never know — the whole team may catch on.

Remember, it’s possible to create a healthier office routine with a little mindfulness and some planning.

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Joanna Li
Joanna Li, RD, CDN, is a New York City-based public health nutritionist passionate about community nutrition. Connect with her on her blog, Just My Cup of Jo, Twitter and Instagram.