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5 Tips for Better Health at Work

With the impending holidays and all the goodies that come with celebrations coming up soon (it's almost Thanksgiving after all), it might be a good time to step back and examine your health habits at work.

The average person spends 99,117 hours at work during their lifetimes, or approximately 8.7 hours a day. That's just about one-third of your day. There's a good chance you're not taking optimum care of yourself while at work.

Work is often a place where we're tempted to fall out of our good health habits. With sedentary work styles, break rooms with doughnuts, birthday cakes and other goodies, and working in close proximity to a large group of people, sharing space, bathrooms, computers and phones, staying healthy at work requires some thought and conscious effort.

Take a break and walk.

According to a study from the University of North Carolina, people gain an average of 16 pounds within 8 months of starting a sedentary office job. If you work at a desk, chances are you're sitting too much. Unfortunately many offices haven't adopted the standing desk phenomenon which helps with back problems and neck strain. If your job requires you to sit 8 hours a day, make sure you get up and move around every half hour or so. Walking around your office space, to the bathroom or just a stroll around your floor, or at least just standing for a few minutes, helps.

Other ideas to get some physical activity in during your workday? Park further away than you normally do, take the stairs, or take the "long way" to a meeting.

Avoid the office goodie temptations.

It's tough to avoid the goodies on the kitchen counter at the office, but if you don't, you might not be able to avoid unwanted pounds that will creep up if you help yourself day after day. Try to get a few coworkers to go in on fruit bowls or some other healthy treat instead of candy or other sweet goodies. If you can't, try avoiding those coworkers' desks that have bowls of candy.

Drink more water.

Instead of slurping down liquid sugar like soft drinks or coffees with sweetened creamers, try sticking to black coffee, unsweetened tea, or water. Having water as your go-to beverage not only eliminates calories from your daily intake, but hydrates your body. That 3'clock lull you feel during the day? It's probably dehydration.

Set goals for yourself. Bring a bottle of water and finish it by lunch. Then refill and finish it by 3 p.m.. Refill again and finish by 5 p.m. Set your computer alarm when it's time to refill in case you forget easily!

Pack your lunch.

When you eat at work or eat out at work, your portions are uncontrolled and probably packed with extras that you don't need. Do your best to bring in your own healthy snacks and lunchs. You'll not only consume less calories, but you'll also save money!

Health professionals say to also watch your portions. Often times it's not that you're eating unhealthy food, it's that you're consuming too many calories and then sitting in a chair all afternoon. Those extra calories add up!

Clean your work space often.

Your keyboard, mouse and phone can harbor thousands of germs. Get out the disinfectant! Viruses can live and survive for hours or days on a hard surface. Clean off your desk and other items you use throughout the day at least weekly to save yourself from unwanted illnesses.

Making yourself and your health a priority will help you be the most energetic and productive person you can be, both at work and everywhere else.




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