It’s easy to get a bit…well…lazy at work, especially cushy office jobs where you sit most of the time in an air-conditioned building with plenty of access to treats. But don’t worry—making healthy choices at work is actually a lot easier than you might think! Whether it’s taking some time out for deskercise or bringing healthy snacks for when you get the afternoon munchies, health in the workplace is just a few easy tricks away!
- Get up and move!
Not only is more movement good for variety during the day, it can be great exercise, too. Try parking farther from your place of work and walking in, or getting off the bus one stop earlier. And when you’re in the building, take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible.
- Stock up on healthy snacks
Have healthy options handy for snack time to avoid being tempted by treats and vending machines. Nuts, granola bars, and fresh fruit are easy to carry and not too expensive to keep around for that 3 o’clock snack break.
- Pack your lunch
It’s easier to make healthy choices at work if you’re deciding ahead of time—not when you’re stressed and hungry at noon. Pack your lunch, even if it’s just a simple turkey sandwich on whole grain bread. This makes it easier to control portions and make sure you know every ingredient you’re consuming. If you don’t have easy refrigerator access, try bringing a small fridge you could keep under your desk.
- Make healthy suggestions
Want to go out to lunch with your coworkers? No problem, if it’s only once in awhile—but why not suggest a place with healthy options? You can also check out the restaurant’s menu online before you go so you know the healthiest dishes available beforehand.
- Take mini exercise breaks
Not everyone has an office door they can shut, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a bit of exercise in! Gentle stretching or using resistance bands or small hand weights can do wonders. You can also stretch a bit at the water cooler or do 15- to 30-second leg lifts underneath your desk.
- Get up and move some more!
It’s important to take breaks throughout the day. Try taking a walk during your lunch break, or walk to a coworker’s desk instead of emailing. Have you tried walking meetings? Sometimes discussing challenges while moving can generate new and interesting solutions!
- Drink lots of water
Aside from keeping you hydrated, drinking a lot of water will ensure that you have to get up fairly regularly to use the restroom—and even that little bit of movement can be great for your health!
- Preplan office holiday treats
It seems like it’s always a holiday or someone’s birthday, which means treats in the break room—often not very healthy treats. It’s totally okay to splurge once in awhile, but if you feel like the treats are getting out of hand, consider arranging with the rest of your coworkers for one day a month to celebrate. That will keep the empty calories from piling up.
- Keep happy hour tame
Happy Hours can be a great way to blow off some steam and bond with coworkers, but they can also lead to less-than-healthy food and drink choices. Try limiting yourself to one drink instead of three and maybe fewer Happy Hours throughout the month.
- Try standing rather than sitting
A lot of people swear by standing desks. There are a variety of options, some cheaper than others, and by standing rather than sitting all day, you’re likely to keep moving. You could also try using a balance ball instead of a desk chair to keep your posture in check. Other tips on limiting the amount of time you spend sitting can be found here.