Unsurprisingly, sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week can have an impact on your health. Working 9-5 in an office can be stressful and tiring, but that doesn’t mean that you should let your health slip. It’s all too easy to slip into bad habits when you are inactive for a third of your day, but by making a few small changes to your daily routine, you can easily turn those habits around and set yourself up for success. But, how do you create a healthy lifestyle whilst you’re sitting in a chair for 8 hours a day?
If you start your day with a healthy and balanced breakfast, then you will feel better for the duration of the day. It can be all too tempting to rush out of the door and grab a coffee on your way into the office, but you should allow yourself some time to have breakfast. Not eating breakfast can leave you feeling tired, moody and sluggish and your memory, concentration and performance will be negatively affected.
Slow-releasing carbs, such as wholegrain toast or porridge, are good choices as they’ll keep you feeling fuller for longer, but yoghurt, fruit and honey is also a good choice as it can be prepared at home the night before and taken into work with you.
Even slight dehydration can cause you to feel tired and moody, but many of us often mistake thirst for hunger which can lead to increased snacking. If you often feel tired or have the “mid-day slump”, then this is likely to be because you are dehydrated. Instead of reaching for a chocolate bar or cup of coffee, instead, try sipping a glass of water over half an hour.
It is recommended that we drink around 8 glasses of water a day and this might seem unachievable at work, but sipping water during meetings, in-between finishing tasks and during your breaks can help you to maintain those all-important hydration levels. If you find you’re still hungry after drinking water, then eat fruit, nuts or rice cakes instead.
Maintain A Good Posture
When you’re sitting at a desk all day, it’s all too easy to get your back and neck out of alignment. All of your body’s nerves run through your spine and if even one of them is depressed, then you will probably experience a dip in your mood and performance. If you frequently suffer from back or neck pain, then this is likely to be down to your posture and sitting for long periods of time. The top of your computer screen should be level with your eyes in order for you to sit straight.
Find Time To Move
If you’re someone who barely moves from your desk all day, then your body will probably feel stiff, achy and tight. You should be taking short breaks throughout your day where you are up and away from your desk, whether it’s filling up your water bottle, making hot drinks for the office or just walking around your desk a few times, getting up and stretching will improve your posture and make you feel more awake. Many people-whether a corporate solicitor or marketing executive-who work in an office struggle to find time to fit in gym workouts, so if this sounds familiar, you could always go for a walk on your lunch break, bring your fitness clothing and head to a fun exercise class after work with some colleagues or even just taking the stairs to your office instead of the elevator.
Take Time For Lunch
It’s so easy to skip lunch when you’ve got a busy workload, but your food is your fuel so you should be taking time out to enjoy your lunch. Not only is it important to refuel your body, but it also helps to give your mind a break, which can then help with your productivity later on in the day. It is also important to not eat at your desk, as even though you’re eating lunch, you’ll still be thinking about your work if it is in front of you.