The human body wasn’t designed for today’s digital work routine: sit at desk, stare at screen, eat snack and repeat. Research shows that the office environment is catching up with a lot us, too. A new study from CareerBuilder reveals that 44 percent of employees say they’ve gained weight in their present jobs, and 25 percent have packed on more than 10 pounds. The reasons are fairly straightforward. More than half blame sitting at their desks for the majority of the day, and 45 percent say that the workday makes them too tired to exercise. Others are putting more on their plates because of work worries; 36 percent say they eat to manage their stress.
“Workers are becoming more and more health conscious, but due to higher stress, longer work days and constant multitasking, it is more difficult to find the time to act on wellness goals,” Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer for CareerBuilder, said after reviewing the findings from the research. “To make wellness at work a priority, companies should emphasize its importance from top leadership down and focus on engagement, motivation, support and strategy when implementing new programs.”
But what if your employer doesn’t offer a wellness program? How can you make sure you’re taking care of yourself while taking care of your work? Here are three simple piece of advice.
1) Hydrate. Then, hydrate some more.
Forget the coffee, the soda or the mid-day cookie. Go to the water fountain instead.
“The 3 o’clock lull that many people feel at work can be due to dehydration, so drink lots of water,” Dawn Jackson, a registered dietitian told WebMD in a recent interview. “Bring a 16-ounce bottle of water to work and try to finish it by lunch, and then fill it up again and finish that by 3 p.m. By 5 p.m., finish a third bottle.”
2) Stand up.
Yes, I know you’ve heard the whole “sitting is the new smoking” mantra. While science hasn’t determined if sitting should come with a warning label, it has figured out that standing comes with powerful benefits. A recent study conducted at the University of Queensland in Australia shows that standing for an additional two hours each day can improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
3) Get your phone away from your ear.
Speakerphone, Bluetooth, a hands-free headset — whatever tool tickles your fancy, you should aim to reduce the time you spend with your phone cradled between your head and shoulder. Why? All that time can add up to a real condition. No, it’s not client fatigue; it’s called tension neck syndrome. Alan Hedge, Professor of Ergonomics at Cornell University, told WebMD that it can lead to muscle tightness and tenderness. And when you’re in that kind of pain, it’s easy to skip the exercise routine.
Looking for more advice on staying healthy when you’re not
in the office? Check out “5 Top Ways To Eat Well While Traveling.”