The rigors of a 9-5 can be grueling. Not only is work mentally stressful, but it also can do a number on your physical body. However, there are many things you can do to create a healthy work life for yourself.
Take a Break
First and foremost, take a lunch break. Eating lunch at your desk does not equate to a solid lunch break. Use your lunch break for an actual break. Look away from the computer screen, go for a walk, eat a healthy meal that will sustain your energy for the second half of your day. You may find that you return from lunch more focused and energized to cope with your remaining workload.
Some companies now offer ergonomic alternatives to the traditional desk set-up. Check with your employer to see what options are available. You could also create your own routine so you don’t get stuck in the same position all day. Experiment with standing up while you are on the phone, or choose to walk to your co-workers office instead of sending them a message when you need something.
Grant yourself five minutes mid-morning and mid-afternoon to take a stretch break. If you are injury free, explore moving your spine in all five directions. Reach your arms overhead and bend laterally to each side. Extend your hands back to the ceiling then slightly back to open your chest. Fold forward by bringing your hands to the edge of your desk and walking your feet back until you make a ninety-degree angle with your hips. Bend your knees if the back of your legs feels tight. Stretch your back by lengthening your spine. Finally, return to your seat and use the arms of your chair to rotate your spine, twisting right, then left. Take a few deep breaths to exhale tension from your body and notice if you feel a bit more calm and open before returning to your work.
Finally, inquire if your company offers workplace wellness programming. This is becoming more mainstream in corporate America and may even come with incentives for reaching certain health goals. Companies are beginning to recognize that healthy employees are potentially more productive and perhaps a bit happier in the workplace. This is also a nice way to create a positive culture at the office and connect with your coworkers as a team.
Making a few simple changes to prioritize your health while at work can make a big difference. With a healthier work life, you may even notice your productivity improve, your job satisfaction grow, and your body feeling better even after a long week at the office.