12 Effective Health Tips for Staying Well in the Workplace
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated March 28, 2022 | Published March 8, 2021
Updated March 28, 2022
Published March 8, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Staying healthy in the workplace can help you improve your mood and job performance. If you make some small changes during your workday that help improve your physical and mental health, you may have more energy and be able to focus more easily. Implementing healthy habits can boost productivity and improve your quality of life outside of work as well. In this article, we discuss a list of ways you can be healthier at work.
Why is health in the workplace important?
Some people only consider health relevant to their personal lives and relegate healthy habits to their lives outside of the workplace. However, many people spend a majority of their week at work. Therefore, implementing positive changes in the workplace can make a big impact on your life as a whole. More specifically, staying healthy at work can help you be more productive, creative, involved and positive. Additionally, it can boost your morale and lower your stress in the workplace. You might even influence your coworkers to make similar changes for the better.
12 ways to stay healthy at work
No matter where you work, making some minor changes can have a major impact on your health. Here are 12 tips to help you improve your health at work:
1. Stay hydrated
One of the easiest steps you can take to stay healthy at work is drinking enough water. The amount of water you need depends on your environment, weight and diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables also helps improve your water intake. If your workplace is dry or hot, you may need more water to keep yourself hydrated.
2. Limit your caffeine intake
Too much caffeine can cause insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure and exhaustion after the effects of the caffeine wear off, which often occurs in the afternoon. If you are sensitive to caffeine, you may want to limit yourself to one or two cups of coffee in the morning to make sure you can maintain focus throughout the day. Proper caffeine intake can also help you improve your sleep at night.
Your daily recommended amount of caffeine depends on your weight and your reaction to caffeine. Some signs that you are having too much caffeine include trouble sleeping, rapid heart rate, racing thoughts, irritability and headaches. Your doctor or proper online research can advise you on how much caffeine is appropriate for you.
3. Maintain proper posture
Pay attention to how you sit during the day, particularly if you work in front of a computer. It's important to ensure that your back is straight and your shoulders are relaxed. If you notice that your posture changes throughout the day, consider trying some core exercises to strengthen the muscles that help you maintain your posture. You can even do some of these exercises at your desk. You may also want to review your desk setup to ensure that your computer is at the proper height for your frame.
Related: How To Sit Properly at a Desk
4. Take breaks
If possible, take short breaks away from your desk during the workday. Consider walking around your building or using part of your lunch break to walk outside. Taking some time to stand and walk around can give you a boost of energy and keep you active.
5. Keep your workspace clean
When your desk is tidy and organized, you can easily find anything you need, which helps reduce stress. You can also choose to add some family photos or other personal mementos to improve your mood. A clean workspace is beneficial to your mental health and helps you stay focused during the workday.
Related: How To Set Up a Home Office
6. Bring your own food
If you pack food from home, you can ensure that you have a well-balanced meal with the nutrients you need to stay energized throughout the day. Not only can you save more of your paycheck, but you can also eat more fruits and vegetables, which enhance your health and focus. You could also invite other coworkers to bring food in as well and start a small group willing to trade meals or recipes to enjoy more variety.
7. Look away from the screen
If you spend most of your day at a computer, consider following the 20/20/20 vision rule to keep your eyes healthy. Look at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen. By doing this, you allow your eyes to refocus and rest.
8. Add some greenery
Consider adding some plants to your office area. Many plants are easy to care for and keep the air in your office clean. Simply being around greenery can also improve your mental health. Even if you don't have a window near your desk, some plants are well-suited to low levels of light, so do some research to find the best plant for your workspace. If your company welcomes suggestions, perhaps you could look into herbs to grow in the kitchen that you can use to flavor food brought from home.
9. Make connections
If you spend a lot of time at work, consider building positive relationships with your coworkers. Building and maintaining meaningful friendships with the people you're with during your workday may help you enjoy work more and look forward to coming to work each day.
10. Get enough sleep
Falling asleep at the same time every night and waking up around the same time every morning, even on weekends or during vacation, helps your body maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night, although some people may need more or less depending on age, health and other factors.
If you have trouble falling asleep, consider setting up a nighttime routine that alerts your body that it's time for bed. Some tips you could try include:
Putting away your electronic devices about 30 minutes before you plan to go to sleep
Reading a book, drinking some herbal tea, stretching or meditating before bed
Taking a warm bath
Journaling about your day and reflecting on what went well or what you're grateful for
Listening to calm music
Lighting a candle or diffusing an essential oil with a calming scent, such as lavender
If you want more personalized advice to improve your sleeping habits, including whether you might need medication, consult your doctor.
11. Spend time in the sun
Sunshine improves your mood and provides a natural source of vitamin D. Vitamin D strengthens muscles and bones, improves the immune system, helps reduce hypertension and lowers cancer risk. Something as simple as a walk outside during your lunch break is enough to give your body its daily dose of vitamin D, and it helps you finish your workday feeling alert and energized.
12. Stay safe during flu season
Take extra precautions when a coworker is sick. Try to keep some distance between yourself and anyone showing symptoms, particularly if an illness has affected multiple colleagues. If you feel sick, stay home to protect your coworkers and give yourself time to recover. During flu season, sanitize surfaces regularly and keep hand sanitizer nearby. You can also improve your immune system by consistently maintaining other healthy habits.
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