Most of us spend at least 35 hours per week at work. Even if you love your job, time at the office can sap your energy and even harm your health. Aches, pains, fatigue, and lack of concentration are just a few side-effects of work! Luckily, it doesn’t take much time or effort to make your office a healthier place.
Here are a few steps you can take to improve your workplace wellbeing:
- Get an in-chair massage
Ask your boss or office manager whether they’d consider bringing in massage therapists. Like a regular spa-based massage, a chair massage helps you relax, boosts your energy, and reduces aches and pains. If you need help convincing your company, point them to research proving that chair massage improves productivity and morale.
If workplace massage isn’t an option, consider investing in an office massage chair that offers a superior seating experience, ideal for when you spend hours at a desk or opposite a computer.
- Drink lots of water
Struggling to focus, plagued by headaches, or falling into a mid-afternoon slump? You could be dehydrated. Keep a two-liter bottle of water on your desk and sip from it throughout the day. Tea and coffee are fine in moderation, but they don’t offer the same health benefits as plain old water. If you find water too dull, add a couple of mint leaves or slices of orange.
- Make smarter food choices
Sugary snacks and drinks taste great, but they make your blood sugar levels crash. The result? You feel tired and start craving even more sugar! Stick to light meals that give you a slow release of energy.
Eating too many carbs – even wholegrains – at lunch will make you feel tired halfway through the afternoon. Choose protein-rich foods accompanied by healthy fats, salad, fruit, and vegetables. Keep healthy snacks within reach at all times. Apples, unsalted nuts, and vegetables with hummus are all good choices. Oh, and avoid the vending machines!
- Stand up for your needs
How often do you stay quiet when your workload is too high? Do you tend to put your needs last? If so, you are probably putting yourself at risk of stress, anxiety, and even burnout. The solution is to learn how to identify what is stressing you out and learn the art of assertive communication.
If you struggle to be assertive, find a book or training course that appeals to you and start learning. You can also look to a more assertive colleague and use them as a role model. If you trust them, why not ask for their advice?
- Take every opportunity to move
Ever sit down to work and realize four hours have passed – and you’ve barely moved an inch? Sitting still for long periods of time make you feel achy and lethargic. It also increases your risk of heart problems and obesity. You’ve probably noticed that the less you move, the less often you feel like working out.
Luckily, the solution is pretty simple – move your body! Get up every 30 minutes and do a few stretches. Walk around when you talk on the phone. If you have an open-minded boss, suggest that your next one-on-one be a walking meeting. That’s right – rather than sitting down to chat, propose that you take a stroll around the building or grounds instead.
It should go without saying that lunchtime is the perfect opportunity to take a brisk walk or even hit the gym for a quick workout.
- Get a standing desk
If you want to take a more radical approach, get a standing desk. As the name implies, it forces you to stand rather than sit when doing your work. Make sure you get an adjustable model, because standing up for seven hours a day isn’t comfortable. You might also need to invest in a special mat to help reduce pressure on your feet.
Your career doesn’t have to come at the cost of your health. You can put in long hours, meet all your deadlines, and still feel great! All it takes is a few simple adjustments and a change in attitude. If you feel overwhelmed, start by picking just one of these ideas and putting it into practice this week. You’ll soon be inspired to overhaul your workspace.
[This post is written by Clara Masters, who’s on a mission to bring massage therapy closer to those who want to live a balanced, healthy life, connecting body mind and spirit. If you’d like options for convenient, online therapy, click here.]