Long office hours can take their toll on our health. If your eyes never leave the screen and you eat, sleep and breathe work, it’s time to take action
Small changes to your office are all it takes to ensure a healthier, happier you. Set aside ten minutes and let our detox tips work their magic.
Tidy desk, tidy mind
If your desk is covered in Post-it notes, mouldy mugs and piles of paperwork, it’s time for a tidy up. A report conducted by OfficeMax, a global office supply company, found that messy desks have a direct impact on work performance – they can decrease productivity, motivation and sociability.
Distractions take your mind off the task in hand, resulting in poor quality work.
Adopt the mantra ‘tidy desk, tidy mind’. An organised and clutter-free space will make day-to-day challenges seem much more manageable. Recycle old papers, throw away rubbish, organise stationery and keep personal items to a minimum. You’ll soon notice the difference.
Most offices manage their workload digitally. Gone are the days of paper and pens; everything’s available at the touch of a button. However, this doesn’t make our working lives any less cluttered.
From random files saved to your desktop to month-old emails, we can all benefit from a digital spring clean. If you have documents named ‘untitled’ and countless folders on your desktop, we’re talking to you.
Dedicate five minutes each day to a deleting spree; send unwanted documents to the trash and file everything in the folder they belong. It will save ‘future you’ a great deal of time.
Snacking at your desk is a common crime. Sometimes sugary treats are the only thing to help us in our time of need. While a bite here and there seems harmless enough, constant snacking can steadily increase your calorie intake, without you realising.
If you’re not keen on packing fruit for work; popcorn and pretzels are great low-calorie snacks to pick at during the day. They’re ideal for ‘mindless eaters’ and help to keep boredom at bay. Make sure you choose popcorn without butter as this quickly ups the calorie count.
If you’re being good and sticking to your New Year’s resolution to be healthy, try almonds. Just a handful of these can stop tummy grumbles between meals. But remember, nuts are high in ‘good’ fats, which can be equally calorific if you over-indulge.
If your guilty pleasure is a coffee – or five – it’s time to think about going green. While a strong cup of java seems like the perfect quick fix, excessive caffeine consumption can be extremely bad for your health. It causes headaches and digestive issues and exacerbates symptoms of anxiety – that’s before the sugar you add to your cup.
For a healthier alternative, switch to green tea. Packed with antioxidants, it can improve brain function and increase energy levels. It contains less caffeine than coffee so it won’t give you the jitters – helping you stay focused throughout the day.
Play by the rules
To make desk life as comfortable as possible, play by the rules and sit in the correct position. This sounds simple, but we often forget the impact slouching and crossing our legs can have on our health. Slouching can damage your posture; trigger back pain and cause weight gain.
By getting into the habit of sitting tall, with your feet flat on the floor and eyes level with your computer screen, you’ll soon feel healthier at work. If sitting at your desk causes you pain, seek support from your company – a change of chair might do the trick.
Get up and go
If you can’t stand being at your desk any longer, get up and go for a quick walk. Experts are regularly telling us that “sitting is the new smoking”. The American Medical Association agrees that “sitting for extended periods of time can be bad for personal health” and suggests standing desks as a solution to the problem.
As a part of your detox, take regular trips to the kitchen or go outside your building to enjoy a walk. This not only gives your mind the break it needs from staring at your screen, it also stops you from being stationary for too long. It’s not quite a half-hour gym session, but it helps maintain good circulation and work-wellbeing.
Up the h2o
Busy workdays can make us forget fundamental things, such as drinking water. However, the amount we consume has a massive impact on our health, in and out of the office. Dehydration can result in tiredness and headaches. What you thought were signs of a long day in the office could actually be signs that you need to drink more water.
By topping up your glass at least eight times a day you can relieve fatigue, flush out toxins and keep your body fighting fit. What’s more, we often mistake hunger pangs for thirst; in which case water acts as a healthy appetite suppressant.