Even the healthiest people can fall into unhealthy practices at the office. When you’re hyper-focused on meeting a deadline or staying connected with clients, your healthcare habits tend to take a backseat. When the majority of your day is spent sitting at your desk fielding emails, phone calls, and new project developments, there’s very little time for anything else. It’s easy to fall into patterns that don’t promote healthy habits at work. Sedentary lifestyles, poor posture and constant interaction with digital screens are the most common unhealthy workplace habits that are developed over time.
The good thing is, these habits are fairly easy to counteract. Correcting these three common things will help you maintain healthy habits at work.
Avoid a Sedentary Lifestyle.
Sedentary behavior can have a big impact on your life and health. Sitting for prolonged periods of time can cause you to feel less focused, alert and productive short-term. It can also cause health complications like heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity long-term. As a result, it’s important that you take breaks from your desk and move around throughout your day. You can try going for a walk around the building or outside, practicing desk exercises or stretches, or using a Fitbit to track your activity. Find activities that work for you and your work environment! Just be sure you’re getting up and moving somehow.
Correct Poor Posture.
Along with sedentary lifestyles, you can also develop poor posture from sitting and interacting with screens for a prolonged period of time. As you’re engaging with your device, your shoulders tend to hunch forward, your neck begins to stick out and your eyes get closer and closer to your screen. This happens so gradually that it often goes unnoticed. Some side effects of this motion will include pain in the neck, back and shoulders and digital eye strain. Ouch!
To avoid these side effects, make your workspace as ergonomic as possible. Lift your monitor or adjust your chair to maintain eye level with your device. You can also request an ergonomic desk chair that is supportive. Make sure your mouse and keyboard are nearby so you’re not overreaching either. Optimizing your desk to can fix neck pain, reduce tension headaches, and keep your back healthy in the long term.
Cut Back on Screen Time.
As previously mentioned, digital eye strain can be a side effect of engaging with digital devices. Either by using them for too long or sitting too close to them. And these days, it’s not possible to avoid screens altogether – especially in the office. Overuse of screens results in vision impairments like headaches, blurred vision and dry eyes. These things all worsen based on your amount of digital screen use. The symptoms can be triggered by poor lighting, glare, poor posture and uncorrected vision problems. Limiting the amount of time that you stare blankly at a glowing screen is key to helping you maintain healthy habits at work.
Combat these side effects by making sure your office is well-lit and using dark mode on all your devices. Additionally, it’s a good idea to take frequent breaks between long stints at your computer. To fix one of the most overlooked sources of eye strain, double-check that your eyeglass prescription is up to date. Wearing the wrong prescription can actually damage your eyes. Be sure to purchase eyeglasses with your proper prescription as soon as you can if it’s been a while since your last check-up.
While healthcare habits can slide to the back-burner when things get busy, you shouldn’t let them slip away altogether. In addition to regular self-care, take 15-30 minutes out of your day to practice some of these healthy habits at work. You’ll feel more focused, productive, and healthy before you know it!