It is no secret that finding time for exercise can be difficult, particularly when most of your day is spent at a desk. A sometimes even greater task is trying to eat healthy foods when the office break room is full of treats. Although I am a remote employee, removed from the temptation of birthday donuts and leftover Halloween candy, it is just as hard to avoid unhealthy foods if they are in my kitchen right down the hall. So what can we do to stay healthy while working at an office job? Below are some tips to help improve wellness in the workplace.
Take walking breaks and use your standing desk.
It is not uncommon to look out the windows at Zirous and see a fellow employee taking a stroll outside. If you do not have the chance to exercise before or after work, taking one or two short walking breaks during the day can help to burn extra calories¹, clear your head, and improve focus. Too cold to walk outside during the winter? Take a walk around the office or do a few flights of stairs instead.
One great addition to Zirous’ recently remodeled office space is a standing desk at every work station. While the verdict is still out on whether or not standing desks really help avoid weight gain (see: this article from Harvard Medical School), they are still a great way to stretch your legs, help you focus when you feel like moving around, and work on your posture.
Keep healthy snacks and drinks at your desk.
It is a lot harder to avoid those breakroom treats when you are hungry for a snack and have nothing else to eat. Keeping healthy snacks within reach can help you avoid the temptation of unhealthy alternatives and will keep you feeling well throughout the day. Sugary drinks have also been shown to cause weight gain.² Try keeping a water bottle close by, or reach for a carbonated water instead of the soda.
Prepare healthy lunches and don’t skip meals.
You can avoid making a trip through the fast food drive-through by preparing your own healthy meals ahead of time and bringing them into work. If you do not have time for a lunch break during the day, try to eat at your desk while you work; skipping meals can cause your blood sugar levels to dip, your metabolism to slow, and can even cause your brain to feel foggy.³
Don’t forget about mental health.
Just as it is important to care about your physical wellbeing, taking care of your mental health at work is crucial. Mental health issues can take a toll on your work, including reduced productivity, burnout, and poor relationships between colleagues, to name a few.⁴ Try stepping away for a quick break if you are feeling stressed during the work day. Also consider taking time off when you have downtime in between projects. One of the many great things about Zirous is that it offers Flexible Time Off, which allows for employees to take the time off they need.
In any work environment, it can be easy to let physical and mental health fall to the wayside. A few small changes can go a long way for improving wellness, which in turn can make a happier worker.