A huge portion of our lives revolves around our professions. Therefore when it comes to being the healthiest version of ourselves, creating healthy habits around the office is an integral piece of the puzzle.
Unfortunately, with many places, the workplace is often a place filled with temptations that make it hard to stick to the best of routines.
When it comes to improving your office, drastic steps aren’t needed. Instead, small changes in behaviors and the environment are more than enough to start reaping the benefits. No need to wait until 5 p.m. to think about making healthier decisions. Start with these five healthy habits.
1. Start a committed relationship with water
Seems absurdly simple and like a no brainer. But yet, there’s a huge percentage of men and women walking around on a daily basis that aren’t properly hydrated. Water is one of the big pillars to track because it affects every aspect of our lives.
Afternoon hunger cravings, random headaches, and general feelings of fogginess can be attributed to dehydration. However, staying hydrated improves your rate of weight loss, your mood, your brain functioning, and your energy levels.
2. Replace the candy bowl for a fruit and nuts bowl
You can have the best intentions to avoid those 2 p.m. round of cookies and snacks. But, after a stressful few hours of calls and emails, resisting those foods aren’t as likely due to your willpower being drained from decision fatigue.
Instead of fighting with your natural behaviors of impulsivity (we’re humans after all), it’s better to design an environment that is set up to help you succeed despite those impulsive behaviors.
You’re going to snack regardless. Therefore, you can prep for this by having your own stash of healthy snacks around. Instead of impulsively reaching for the nearest foods (often the snack bowl full of junk food), you’ll instead reach for your fruit and nuts bowl.
Snacking on fruits and nuts will provide your body with quality nutrients and an assortment of vitamins and minerals along with providing energy to help you get through the day.
3. Implement standing and small activity breaks
Productivity is a big topic at any company and sometimes it’s tough to step away from the monitor and decompress, but your body needs breaks to recharge. Sitting for excessive periods leads you to be more sedentary which can increase your risk for diabetes and heart diseases while potentially causing back pain.
A simple strategy is to stand every 30 minutes, even if you’re in the same area. This break (5 minutes is plenty), helps your back, shoulders, hips, and neck, but also decreases your sitting time. During this break, take a stretch, or use a lacrosse ball to loosen the tension in your feet (especially important to women who wear heels consistently).
A few more ideas to get more standing & activity in is to take the stairs when possible, park further away, have walking meetings, and walk to lunch if possible.
4. Pay attention to your posture
“Sit up straight” were words many of us heard from our parents growing up. And like most things, our parents were right. Your posture makes a difference on the quality of your day.
Having less-than-ideal posture affects your mood, reduces your lung functioning leading to less oxygenated blood to the brain (this equals not being as mentally sharp), GI issues, and neck pains (hello heavy smartphone users).
When you do have ideal posture, you’re helping your confidence, energy levels, and reducing stress while becoming more productive at work.
5. Add positive elements to your office
Whether it’s an annoying co-worker or just a busy and stressful day, using positive imagery and elements can help turn this potential stressful environment into a peaceful one.
To improve your environment, decorate your area with positive affirmations, have some sticky notes or messages with reminders about why you’re pursuing your various goals. These positive reminders keep you on the right track as you’re growing in your life.
Another unique option is to add an indoor plant, which has been shown to help productivity by 12 percent.
Bonus tip: Unplug from work when you get home
Taking work to your home is becoming more and more common, but it’s important to set boundaries to prevent burnout from occurring.
Habitually checking email or mindlessly scrolling through reports or the next day’s tasks before bed not only takes you away from being present with your family, friends, and others, but it also mentally exhausts you before the next day even arrives.