There are only 24 hours in a day, and for many of us, 8 of them are spent in the office.
Our workplace is a major part of our life. It could be considered a second home given how long we’re there. So why don’t we try to improve our all-round health in the office, as part of the bigger picture in the happiness of our lives?
Now, we’re not here to suggest you make sweeping changes that are both unrealistic and impractical. But there are some small changes, that are easy to make, to improve your health and attitude, as well as the place you spend an awful lot of your time in: the office!
Enjoy a Breath of Fresh Air
A breath of fresh air is a fantastic way to revive the senses after sitting indoors for a little too long.
Have you ever had the feeling that, perhaps after a heavy lunch, you simply can’t get going? Maybe the coffee isn’t kicking in, or maybe you just need a quick change of environment. Whatever the reason may be, heading outside is a good way to get the brain going again and give yourself a break from the dark indoors.
This is a workplace wellness tip that is particularly important during the winter months when sunlight is in short supply and vitamin D isn’t as easy to get hold of. Have a few breaks throughout the day to keep your production topped up.
Getting some fresh air is also helpful in a general sense, to lessen the feeling of office fatigue when you’re stressed, as well as giving your respiratory system a break from the air conditioning and the allergies it carries!
Add Some Greenery to Your Surroundings
The fact that greenery is beneficial for human beings is becoming further understood by architects and constructors who are beginning to involve nature in their designs. But what about those of us who work in office blocks that were built years ago?
The obvious answer is to do it yourself. Make your office space greener and improve your workplace wellness by adding a dash of color to your cubicle. Flowers improve the sense of personal well-being, reducing the likelihood of feeling fatigued and stressed. They’re great for our health and may even boost productivity, so make sure you add some natural elements to your office, especially if its drab and grey.
Flowers are simply beautiful too, so what’s not to like?
Say No to Snacks
Just say no. A simple sounding suggestion but far harder to put into practice, saying no to those sweet biscuits, chocolate, or sugary drinks that our colleagues so kindly offer to share can provide huge benefits not only to your office health but also to your health in general.
Of course, the long-term effects of sugar, such as weight gain, the increased likelihood of developing diabetes, and elevated blood pressure, are well known. But short-term effects aren’t great either.
Sugar is a simple carb that’s broken down rapidly and converted into glucose by the body. Blood sugar levels in your body rise quickly, as does your level of insulin, before dropping drastically again as the sugar is absorbed. This “crash” can leave you feeling anxious, jittery, and tired.
While fruit does contain sugar, it contains complex rather than simple carbs, which take much longer to break down and therefore don’t result in the crash.
So the next time a colleague reaches for the cookie jar, you should reach for the fruit bowl instead.
Drink Plenty of Water
The warmth of humming computers and the gale blowing from the over-eager air conditioning unit both play havoc with our hydration levels in the office. It’s therefore vital that you drink enough water to keep your level topped up.
Dehydration can affect behavior, making people more irritable and less engaged. Likewise, dehydration can also affect your energy levels, promoting feelings of lethargy and tiredness. This isn’t a great combination for a productive time at work!
While tea and coffee are both quick pick-me-ups that provide a caffeinated bang for your buck, they’re also diuretic, meaning that they’ll force you to go to the toilet. Due to this, tea and coffee aren’t great choices when you’re trying to rehydrate.
Get Away from the Desk for Lunch
The need to “get away from it all” isn’t as dramatic as it sounds, nor should you ever feel embarrassed or ashamed to take a break. Leaving your desk for lunch is a healthy habit that will allow you to head away from your workplace and forget about it all, if only for an hour.
Though a lunchtime away from work isn’t as inviting as a two-week vacation, it can help in reducing the threat of workplace and office fatigue.
Walking somewhere to eat is a great idea as it lets you get some exercise to stretch the limbs and offers a few minutes of de-stressing your mind. And fresh air is always welcome.
If possible you should head to a park or a green environment. Read a book or listen to music or a podcast. Whatever gets you away and grants you a moment’s rest is key to office health.
Rest Your Eyes When Possible
Almost everyone in an office works on a computer. Other than the obvious downsides of poor posture and being glued to your desk, the other downside of working at a computer is the punishment it can do to your eyes.
Workplace wellness is about a holistic approach, so it’s important that your office health considers the entirety of your body and mind. Eyestrain or headache caused by staring at screens is a frequent complaint that can be eased by implementing the 20-20-20 rule.
This simple exercise will ward off those troubling headaches and blurred vision to reduce office fatigue and improve your working life.