Having a career doesn't have to mean sacrificing your health. By following these simple steps, you'll not only feel better, but you'll likely be happier and more productive too.
1. Stay hydrated
Dehydration not only impacts your health, but it can also affect your productivity, making you feel sluggish and unfocused. How much water do you need? The amount of water you need each day depends on the type of work you do, for example, field workers who work outdoors, and are standing most of the day will require more water than those who work in an office. A general rule of thumb is if you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated (you can also use this test to see if you are!). Our tip is to set a hydration goal and add some friendly competition by getting your team involved in a weekly challenge.
2. Improve your work-life balance
Being happy at work is being healthy at work, so maintaining a positive work-life balance is one of the most important aspects of managing your workplace health. So important that we’ve written a whole article on it here: top 10 ways to improve your work-life balance.
3. Walk and talk
Next time you have a phone call or meeting, why not walk and talk? Walking meetings can do wonders for perspective, improve your daily step count and fill your lungs with some fresh air. Keep a pair of sneakers at work - it will encourage you to walk more!
If you sit down all day for work, you'll be familiar with the aches and pains of being inert for long periods. To counteract this, set yourself hourly reminders to get up, stretch, and take a walk around the block (or your office).
Outdoor workers and others who stand all day also need to ensure they have correct footwear and posture to avoid overuse injuries.
5. Look after your eyes
If you work in front of a computer, eye strain can cause you a lot of problems, both short-term and long-term including headaches, blurred vision and short-sightedness. Take regular screen breaks, make sure you're blinking enough, and reduce glare on your screen.
If you work outdoors, look after your eyes with sunglasses and appropriate safety eyewear.
6. Make hygiene a priority
In the workplace you'll come in contact with a lot of different germs. Make sure you wash your hands frequently, including before meals or after coming into contact with a sick coworker. Keep hand sanitiser on your desk and use it regularly to help keep germs at bay.
Good workplace hygiene also means not coming to work when you're sick.
7. Eat well
Start the day with a nutritious breakfast, and try to pack a lunch, even if it's just two or three times per week to start with. Packing your lunch means you have greater control over the ingredients and portion sizes, and help you avoid risk of developing uncontrollable hanger when things get busy and you missed the chance to get out to buy lunch. Keeping healthy snacks at work, help you avoid reaching for caffeine or sugar when you need an energy boost.
8. Limit caffeine intake
We recommend limiting caffeine intake to one coffee a day, to avoid a caffeine crash later in the day and get a better night's sleep. If we're being realistic, however, the tip here is to just focus on reducing the total amount of coffee consumed in the day:
A healthy snack or piece of fruit can help satiate your afternoon coffee craving
If you have back to back meetings all day, try and substitute one coffee meeting for a walking meeting instead (see point 3)
Try and avoid caffeine after 12pm
Exercise may happen in our outside of work but it is vital to being healthy at work. Exercise gets the blood flowing, improves your mood, reduces stress and makes you a nicer person to deal with!
Don't have time to exercise? Setting up a weekly work exercise activity encourages team bonding and also removes the excuses – at Alloc8 we run on Wednesday afternoons, but it could be something as simple as a weekly game of frisbee at the park, creating an office ping pong tournament or hiring a PT to do group exercise once a week.
10. Don't smoke
Need we say more? If you do smoke - avoid smoking around your non-smoking coworkers.
11. Keep your workspace tidy
A tidy space means a tidy mind. Always try to clear the clutter in your workspace, so you can focus on the tasks at hand and minimize distractions. If your 'office' is your ute or van, take the time to set up your toolboxes or buy some storage boxes for all your work equipment to easily find what you need when you're starting work at 5am.
Making small adjustments to your routine and habits can make a big difference to your long-term health. Focus on continuous improvement and working in new healthier habits and you’ll be a much healthier (and happier) you in no time.