Leave Unhealthy Work Habits in 2018
Is your New Year’s resolution for 2019 to improve your physical health and well-being? You’re not alone! Making conscious decisions to improve your health requires persistence and dedication, so it can be easy to lose sight of your goals when faced with everyday distractions and stressors. Time at work is no exception! In fact, we average up to 47 hours a week at work. If you factor this into a total of 168 hours per week, we spend almost a third of our time on the job where our focus is our day-to-day tasks. It’s easy then for health goals to fall to the wayside.
Making healthy choices while at work is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and achieving your overall wellness goals. And taking care of yourself at work can even improve your performance and make you more productive. Here are a few health tips that can help you make sure those unhealthy habits remain in 2018, so you can stay on track to a healthier and happier you!
Constantly catching yourself running out the door without anything to eat? Unhealthy breakfast habits can come at a big cost. Skipping breakfast can delay brain function, decrease energy levels, and increase weight gain. Having a protein-based breakfast can help you maintain your energy throughout the day and improve functionality. Many nutritionists suggest combining carbs with protein for a well-balanced breakfast. Carbs will help energize your body, and protein will give you staying power. Foods like eggs, fresh fruit, and oatmeal are all considered healthy and nutritious foods to start out your day.
Stand Up / Stretch
Whether you’re sitting in a chair all day or standing in a production line, take the time to walk around and stretch. Sitting for too long can have a negative impact on your health, such as an increase in anxiety or the occurrence of back problems. Taking time to get up and walk away from the screen in front of you can help reduce other health problems as well. Health professionals suggest to stand up every 30 minutes and take a couple minutes to stretch.
Many people in the manufacturing industry suffer from repetitive motion injuries from doing the same motion with their hands or standing still for too long. If you can’t step away every 30 minutes, taking the time to walk around on your break, practicing good posture, and taking care of the parts of your body involved in your daily tasks can help reduce repetitive motion injuries. Overall, engaging in anything that will get your heart pumping for a minute can improve your quality of health after you’ve been sitting or standing.
Drink Less Caffeine
Although consuming toxic levels of caffeine is pretty difficult, you can still experience negative side effects before reaching that limit. In an article posted on CNN , gastrointestinal problems, trouble sleeping, nervousness, anxiety, and an irregular heartbeat are all indicators that you’re consuming too much caffeine. Keeping a caffeine diary to know how much you’re consuming, knowing what has caffeine and what doesn’t, cutting back on the number of cups, and trying coffee alternatives (like green or black tea) are all things you can do to cut back on your caffeine consumption.
According to Charles Gerba, Ph.D. Professor, Microbiology & Environmental Sciences, “The average desktop has 400 times more bacteria than a toilet bowl.” This is due largely in part to people not cleaning their desks as often as they should. So how can you prevent yourself from getting sick at work? According to Gerba, washing your hands often, using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, not touching your face, using disinfecting wipes to clean work surfaces, and not skipping out on meals (which hinders your immune system) are among just a few tips. If you happen to become ill, determining if you are contagious or at risk of infecting others can help you decide if you should stay home.
Take Time Off
Psychologist and stress expert Francine Lederer, says that your time off doesn’t have to be long to see health benefits. Stepping away for just 24 hours in some cases can be all you need. Whether you regularly enjoy a day off every week, or you qualify for vacation time, taking the opportunity to separate life and work can be the right thing you need to feeling refreshed. 52 percent of employees reported having unused vacation days at the end of the year. Taking advantage of the time you have off can relieve stress, help you live a healthier and longer life, keep your nerve cells healthy, and much more. Making the most of your time off can be as simple as unplugging yourself and focusing on the things that make you happy.