If you work 40 hours per week, you spend nearly a quarter of your time in the workplace. Spending so much time in one place can make you susceptible to illness, fatigue, and poor eating habits. Do you struggle with staying healthy at work?
7 Staying healthy at work tips
Each year, productivity losses linked to absenteeism costs employers $225.8 billion. If you want to avoid losses in production, check out these tips for staying healthy at work.
1. Stick to a decent sleeping schedule
You might be sabotaging your staying healthy in the workplace efforts if you don’t get the sleep you need at home.
Experts recommend getting between seven and eight hours of sleep per night. How many hours of sleep do you get?
Getting to bed at a decent time can be difficult when you’re busy running a business and leading your personal life too. If you’re having trouble getting to bed, try to get into a routine. Go to bed around the same time each night, and set your alarm for the same time each morning.
Another reason you might have trouble sleeping is due to consuming too much caffeine. Consider cutting off your caffeine after a certain point each day.
Exercising can also improve the quality of sleep you get. If you do incorporate working out into your daily routine, be sure not to do it right before your bedtime.
2. Watch what you eat and drink
Other ways to stay healthy at work are to watch what you eat and drink. What you put into your body is critical for having energy and fighting off illnesses.
Most people know that eating healthy foods like fruits and vegetables can make a world of difference in how they feel. But, how many people make an effort to incorporate healthier foods into their diets?
If you can’t bring yourself to eat enough healthy, vitamin-rich foods, consider taking supplements. Vitamins can help bridge the gap between what nutrients you’re taking in and what you should be consuming.
Avoid eating excessive amounts of greasy foods at work. And if employees bring in junk food like donuts, pizza, and chips, try to substitute your cravings with healthy snacks, like nuts.
Watching what you drink is equally as important as monitoring what you eat. Of course, water is the best beverage for you to consume. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water per day, although you may need more or less depending on your body.
Drinking water has many health benefits, such as:
- Removing waste
- Keeping your temperature normal
- Cushioning joints
- Protecting tissues
- Staying hydrated
Getting enough water sounds easy enough, right? And now for the sad news. If you want to stay healthy at work, you may want to limit your caffeine intake.
In addition to dehydrating your body and leading to that mid-afternoon caffeine crash, drinking too much caffeine can increase:
- Digestive issues
Now, I’m not suggesting you give up coffee cold turkey (I know I can’t). But, limiting yourself to one-three cups a day can significantly boost your staying healthy at work strategy.
3. Squeeze in walks, stretching breaks, and other exercises
When you’re managing the ins and outs of your small business, taking a break to get your blood pumping might not sound feasible. But, Harvard Health Publishing found that taking walks can ease joint pain and boost immune function, among other benefits.
Consider moving around once per hour or every other hour. Even if it’s a trip to the bathroom or office kitchen, make an effort to walk around throughout the day.
You might also consider taking walks during your break, commuting to work by foot, and walking to run business errands. And if you normally take the elevator, opt for the stairs instead.
Walking is great, but it’s not the only exercise you can do at work. There are plenty of desk exercises and stretching techniques you can try, such as:
- Sitting leg extensions
- Standing leg kicks
- Calf raises
- Neck stretches
- Arm extensions
- Desk push-ups
If you’re unable to set aside time to walk or exercise, at least stretch periodically during the day. Stretching can increase blood flow, relieve stress, and help with muscle tension.
4. Stay away from contagious employees
Not all of your employees who are sick will voluntarily stay home. When an employee is sick and comes into work, try to keep your distance from them.
If you’re worried about offending a sick employee by staying away from them, be honest. Let the employee know that you appreciate their dedication but can’t afford to get sick. You might also encourage the employee to work from home or offer sick pay if possible.
This tip goes both ways. If you’re sick and need to come to work, avoid getting too close to your workers. Otherwise, you could get your employees sick and continue passing illnesses around your small business.
5. Manage stress efficiently
Whether you’re swamped at work, lead a busy personal life, or both, you are no stranger to stress. Stress is often unavoidable. But if you’re serious about staying healthy at work, consider taking steps to manage your stress.
Poor stress management can damage your physical, mental, and emotional health. According to the Mayo Clinic, stress can cause the following:
- Muscle tension or pain
- Upset stomachs
- Lack of motivation
- Overeating or undereating
So, what can you do to manage stress in the workplace? Each person is different. Your stress triggers and reducers are likely very different from another worker’s. But, here are a few common stress management tips:
- Exercise regularly
- Practice deep breathing
- Get good sleep
- Take time for hobbies
- Spend time with loved ones
Analyze what stresses you out. If possible, try to limit how often you come in contact with your stress triggers.
6. Get some vitamin D
Staying cooped up in your office for eight or nine hours at a time is no way to work. Set aside time during your day to get outside and soak up some sunlight. Failing to do so could negatively impact your health.
Exposure to sunlight is a great way to get your vitamin D intake. The sun can help reduce depression, build strong bones, prevent cancer, improve arthritis symptoms, and treat skin conditions.
Not getting enough sun during the day can lead to vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can increase your risk of cancer and cognitive impairment.
You may have trouble stepping outside during the workday. But when it’s dark before and after work, you need to make time. Eat outside during your lunch break or take a walk around the block.
7. Take extra precautions during flu season
Are you frequently ill during flu season? What about your employees? If you feel like your small business is an illness minefield, consider taking extra precautions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu season can span from October-May.
Stock up on hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays and wipes, and tissues. And, consider distributing supplies to your employees.
Wipe down frequently touched surfaces like computers, phones, headsets, and door knobs at the end of each day.
After flu season, continue being proactive to stay healthy at work. Nobody wants to get that pesky midsummer bug.