8 Super Simple Ways to Be Healthier at Work
At your desk and beyond.
You walk in on Monday to a pile of haphazardly smoothed-out receipts (you’ve been slacking on filing your expenses), a mug of something you can only guess was from Friday, heaps of memos and printouts of god knows what, and, well, all those other tchotchkes that have mysteriously accumulated around your laptop. Add that to the stale, circulated office air, flickering fluorescent lighting that highlights every pore, and those should-be-prohibited grey cubicle walls, and you have one not-so-healthy work space.
Since we’re all for bettering your life (and ours), we found some quick (we’re talking a minute quick) things you can do to make your work space that much more pleasant, and, yes, actually healthy.
1. Desktop Garden
Even if by some off chance you don’t buy into all the physiological underpinnings of why desktop foliage might be good for your health (y’know, filtering the air), it’s definitely nice to look at. And that counts for something. But in case you needed a bit of extra coaxing, there have been studies that show cacti can actually reduce computer radiation. We say, grab two.
2. Download the Ergonomics App
Ten hours in front of the computer = 10 hours of sitting. And with mounting evidence that sitting for an extended period of time can kill you (even if you exercise! petrifying), getting up and moving is a non-negotiable. That’s why an app that reminds us to get out of our chairs and away from the glaring blue screens is just as important as your daily water intake. Ergonomics app demos quick posture-correcting stretches (can you say techneck?), tips for adjusting your keyboard and mouse, and pings you for break time.
3. Sit on a Stability Ball
Dare we suggest you swap out your swivel-y, ergonomically challenged office chair for a big ol’ bouncy ball? As it may not look like a Herman Miller, it’s bound to straighten your slouched-over-a-laptop-from-9-to-5 shoulders, all while you get some core strengthening in.
4. Create an Oasis
From stress-relieving lavender to refreshing and energizing eucalyptus, there’s an essential oil that smells just as good as it works on all your office-induced side effects. Add some crystals not just because they’re pretty, but for their believed physical and metaphysical benefits.
5. Drink Water
Shall we state the obvious? Water is good for you. But wait, there’s reasoning behind our superfluous repetition. Staying hydrated keeps your energy levels high, may help you avoid those bacon-and-toasted-marshmallow doughnuts, and helps your skin stay luminous, even with the dry office air.
6. Eat a Banana
The simple addition of a banana to your green smoothie will give you more health benefits than you might expect. They contain tryptophan, a protein that your body converts into serotonin, which can relieve the stress of a particularly hectic day and improve your mood.
7. Wipe It Down
Accidental spillage from your sushi lunch, interoffice mail making its rounds (and possibly passing on that elusive cold)—let’s just say things can get a little germy. Make a habit of wiping down your keyboard, phone, and your desk. Think of it as giving your immune system a helping hand.
8. Light It Up
For some of us, winter months outnumber the summer. And by month eight of 5:00 PM (or earlier) sunsets, our moods are anything but high. To thwart seasonal doldrums and our vitamin D deficiency, light-therapy desktop lamps mimic natural sunlight to stave off those winter blues.