These are general wellness tips for the workplace but they can also be applicable if you are working from home as well.
To help keep your body pain-free, practicing good posture is important especially if you’re sitting at your desk for eight hours a day. Here are some ways to set up your workstation to keep your posture in check to proactively avoid hunching over your desk.
Use An Ergonomic Chair
One way to keep yourself healthy is to use an ergonomic chair when you sit at your desk. Your posture will be negatively affected if you don’t sit properly in your chair, sit in a chair that is too big or small for you, or if it’s poorly designed. Try to talk to your company’s HR team or manager to get an ergonomic chair that’s right for your size. It can help prevent you from dealing with years of pain and physiotherapy sessions. Better to prevent this now than to have to deal with the consequences later when you do feel pain.
Lower Back Support
Another great addition to your workstation is to get an ergonomic cushion for lower back support. A lumbar support cushion can seriously help make sitting down for long periods so much more comfortable. Your neck and back will feel less back pain overall.
It’s so important to keep active when you’re forced to be sedentary for most of the day. Being sedentary ages your body much faster and you’ll feel lazier, unmotivated, and more lethargic if you don’t exercise regularly.
Here are some ways you can stay active throughout the day.
Get Up Every Hour
A great way to stay active during the day is to get up once an hour for a few minutes. I like getting up and walking around the office once or twice to get the blood flowing once every hour. If you enjoy drinking tea or coffee, you can take a walk to the office kitchen to refill your cup every so often.
In addition to walking around the office, a good way to keep your body active during work is to stretch every few hours. Do a few back, arm, and neck stretches to elongate and activate your muscles that aren’t used when you regularly sit at your desk.
Walk To Work
A great way to keep active and exercise when you work at a desk job is to walk or bike to work if you don’t live too far away from your office.
Of course, if you live far away from work and have to commute by car or bus, this wouldn’t be an option.
However, if you drive or bus to work, you can still choose ways to increase your physical activity. Try walking up the stairs to your office instead of taking the elevator or parking a little further away from work and walking to the building.
Take Your Breaks
It’s important to recharge for your mental wellbeing especially if you’re stuck in your cubicle all day long. Taking your breaks can be a huge refresher while you’re at the office so slot in time to have a proper lunch break and smaller breaks throughout the day.
An excellent way to help you recharge halfway through the day is to walk outside during your lunch break. Stepping out of the office during lunchtime is great because it helps break up the day in half. It’s also a nice change of pace and puts you in a different environment.
If your lunch break is long enough, you can even finish some errands or get a quick workout in at the gym if it’s nearby. It’s an efficient way to save time so you’ll have more time to do other things after work and you’ll get the much-needed happy endorphins to help you last through the afternoon.
Morning & Afternoon Breaks
Don’t forget to take your morning and afternoon breaks as well.
During your morning break, try walking to the cafe to get a cup of coffee or tea. It helps to break up the morning in half and time passes by much faster.
Another important thing to do at work is to eat healthily. This is especially true because you’re sitting at a desk day in and day out since there’s not a lot of physical activity involved. Try not to be lazy and choose fast food options even though they may be really convenient and accessible depending on where you work.
To save yourself time and ensure that you bring healthy lunches to work, I highly recommend meal planning and meal prepping on the weekends.
By meal prepping, you don’t have to stress out over what to make every night or what to eat when you’re busy working.
For me, Sunday is my designated day for prepping my meals and getting ready for the week. I tend to bring healthy lunches from Monday to Thursday and then go out to eat with coworkers or by myself on Fridays to treat myself. It’s a great way to watch what you eat and at the same time, save money and have time set in your schedule to socialize with your coworkers.
Clean Your Desk
You know that feeling when your room gets cluttered and you feel more lazy and less productive?
This can apply to your work desk too.
To counter this, make time to clean your desk a priority. Find time during the day either at the start of the workday, end of the day, or just whenever you have a few minutes of spare time.
Doing this simple task can help you feel much more focused and ready to work. Put loose papers, notebooks, pens, books, and garbage where they belong because a clean desk will save you from feeling overwhelmed by clutter.
Use Your Commute Time Wisely
Do you ever feel like you never have time to do anything because your job takes up your entire life on the weekdays? If you’re spending multiple hours out of your week commuting to and from your 9 to 5 job, that’s a big chunk of your day. There’s a high likelihood that you’re spending that time doing nothing but driving on the road or sitting on the train or bus.
Use your commute time wisely so that you aren’t wasting those precious hours of the day because all of it adds up. If you drive and you’re stuck in traffic, catch up on the news on AM radio and broaden your understanding of the world instead of listening to music. If you take public transport, try reading a book, studying if you go to school part-time, or listening to an audiobook.
We all only have the same number of hours in the week to get things done so do something that brings you closer to your goals and motivates you to achieve more.
I hope you enjoyed these 6 tips on how to stay healthy and productive at a desk job. Ensuring that you have the right environment, a great support group at work, and practicing self-care will go a long way to staying mentally and physically healthy for years to come.
You’ll feel more productive and ready to work until the weekend hits.