Although the traditional 9 to 5 work day is disappearing, people continue to spend a significant amount of their time in the workplace. As the lines between work and life increasingly blur, people and companies alike are now prioritizing health and wellness in the workplace.

While there are plenty of examples of what companies can do to improve the wellbeing of their employees, there are also plenty of things that workers can do themselves to make sure that they’re staying healthy at work.

Today’s workplaces are fast-paced and can be overwhelming at times. However, it’s important that professionals devote as much time to themselves as they do to their job, otherwise they’ll find their physical and mental health negatively impacted. At the end of the day, the goal is to perform one’s job in the best way possible; this is only achievable and sustainable in the long-run if people take a proactive approach to taking care of their mind and body.

5 Tips to Improve Your Health at Work

1. Mind what (and when) you eat

While it’s tempting to reach for a chocolate or sugary snack when you’re tired, under stress or under a lot of pressure, this can have negative effects on your mind and body. Sugary snacks can give you an instant energy rush, but they just as rapidly lead to a crash, which resuts in reduced cognitive function — leaving you feeling even more tired.

Moreover, unhealthy foods also mean a lot of extra calories that you don’t necessarily need to consume in a day. If you’re hungry or feel like eating while at work, take a healthier approach to snacking and be mindful of why you’re eating. Ask yourself: are you really hungry? Or are you dehydrated or maybe just anxious?

Also, if you don’t have time to go back home to eat lunch, consider bringing your lunch with you at least a few times a week. Not only can this help you save a lot of money, but you’re more likely to eat a healthy and balanced meal than when you eat out.

Pro tip: avoid eating at your desk, at all costs.

2. Stay hydrated

Sometimes, feelings of hunger or tiredness are caused by dehydration. Make sure that you drink plenty of water when you’re in the office to prevent fatigue, headaches, and cravings. Staying hydrated can give you an energy boost and help you feel refreshed and focused.

If you feel the afternoon slump creeping in, reach for a glass of water before you go for that second or third cup of coffee.
A dry mouth, tiredness, less need to go to the bathroom, headaches, and lack of concentration can all be signs of dehydration. If you’re not too keen on water, consider drinking coconut water, sparkling water, or infused water to make sure your body is getting enough liquids.

Pro tip: keep a water bottle handy on your desk and try to fully drink it at least twice a day.

3. Keep moving

Don’t stay glued to your desk all day, ever. Sitting is the new smoking; the American Heart Association found that greater time spent in sedentary behavior is associated with all-cause and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in adults. As if that wasn’t enough, the World Health Organization has reported a worldwide trend in insufficient physical activity.

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