20 / April / 2017

Keeping healthy in the workplace


Posted 20 April 2017

These days, sitting is considered ‘the new smoking,’ and with Australians spending 80 percent of their working day sitting down, it’s good to know how to keep healthy in the workplace. A sedentary lifestyle has been shown to have links to premature mortality, heart disease and diabetes. Research shows that going for a run or to the gym for a workout after work fails to counterbalance the effects.

With the increasing popularity of standing-desks and even treadmill-desks, what else can be done to stay healthy while at work?

Six in 10 Australians reportedly feel that work interferes on their work-life balance. Making time for exercise is vital to remaining healthy. In terms of a workplace environment, standing and treadmill desks may not be a viable option, considering the cost and culture shift that comes with them.

In an office, it’s advised to stand up and stretch those legs every hour and if possible, alternate between standing and sitting at the desk regularly.

Screens also have an adverse effect on the eyes, as human eyes prefer to look at something six metres away, it’s understandable why blurred vision and headaches come about frequently in the office. To remedy this, it’s recommended to rest the eyes as often as stretching.

Exercise and diet

Outside of work, exercising at the gym for around 45 minutes, 2-3 times a week is enough to keep a healthy balance, which allows time to pre-cook meals for the week. Maintaining a healthy diet is an important factor to be aware of. Going several hours without food can cause blood sugar levels to drop so it’s recommended to eat fresh or dried fruits, nuts, yoghurt, and similarly nutritious food. It’s advised that eating light snacks throughout the day are more beneficial than a heavy lunch between breakfast and dinner.

Drinking plenty of water is also important, to stay hydrated and refreshed rather than a second coffee. People should only really be having one cup of coffee in the morning – any more can lead to an increase in stress levels.

Reducing stress is another key issue that many Australians combat in the workplace. Sleep is one of the most important stress-reducers. It’s advised sleeping 7-8 hours at the same time every night is the optimal routine.

Time management is just as important, prioritising tasks and delegating responsibilities are decent means to reduce stress, as well as postponing tasks with little urgency to avoid an overload of work.

Take the time…make a change

While taking care in the office is important, the key to remaining healthy is managing time. Taking time to stretch muscles is as important as setting specific times to go to the gym or pre-cook a few meals, which makes the difference between a healthy and sedentary lifestyle.

A change to commuting options can also lead to avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. Cycling and public transport are viable options. The key point, however, is to be as active as possible, as much as possible, especially in today’s technology-driven world where everything is so easily accessible at the touch of a button.