How to Stay Healthy at Work
We spend the majority of our time at the workplace, yet sedentary work, chronic stress, and unhealthy food habits are all setting us up for ill health. Experts are now saying there are many bad work habits we need to kick to improve our health and well being.
- It’s been said that sitting is the new smoking! Reduce your sedentary time by breaking up long periods of sitting:
- Stand up every 20 minutes
- Use smaller glasses for tea, coffee and water as this increases toilet requirements
- Use your break to walk around the block, or walk to a park to eat your lunch
- Walk to a colleague rather than phone or email them
- Choose the stairs whenever possible over the lift
Chronic stress has been linked to weight gain and a cascade of problems seem to stem from chronic stress, including poor sleep, unhealthy diet, not enough exercise, and excessive alcohol intake. Stress is measured by the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood pressure and blood sugar, and can suppress the immune system. Some studies have shown elevated cortisol causes fat to deposit around the abdominal area rather than the hips, which causes more health issues.
- Take some time out in your day to remove yourself from your work commitments – eat your lunch outside or in a different venue, or read a book or listen to music
- Where possible, avoid taking work home and undertaking tasks outside work hours
- Try to take some time just for yourself a few days a week – have a bath, go for a walk, get a massage, take yourself out for coffee
- Talk to someone if you are feeling overwhelmed – a friend, a family member, or a health professional
The cookie jar, the constant birthdays, the charity chocolate box – the workplace can easily sabotage your healthy food habits! But there are many ways to ensure you avoid potential setbacks if you set yourself up for dietary success.
- Bring in your lunch and healthy snacks where possible, and leave healthy snacks in the fridge or in your desk drawer – nuts, fresh or dried fruit, boiled eggs, cut up veggies and dip, yoghurt
- Birthday cakes and treats can be problematic – remember you can say no, and there will always be another birthday, or you could ask for a smaller portion.
- When it’s your turn to bring a cake, think outside the box and opt for a healthier option such as a watermelon cake (or try our delicious gluten free, dairy free orange and almond cake! Click here for the recipe)
- Fill up on healthy fats and protein rich foods, including lean meat, eggs, fish, lentils, avocado and nuts, to curb appetite during the day
The first step to kicking unhealthy habits is being aware, and making small changes every day can point you in the right direction to improving your overall health and wellbeing.