Quick Health Tips for Office Workers

If you think that working in an office is all rainbows and butterflies, sitting 8 hours (or more) in front of a computer can actually take quite a toll on your body. Aside from eye strain, headaches, back and hand pain, prolonged bouts of sitting can also increase your risk of developing a chronic health condition.

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Research has shown that the amount of time you spend sitting on your chair per day is directly proportional to your risk of developing chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Don’t miss these quick tips for mitigating the effects of sedentary work and staving off future illnesses:

Don’t Skip Your Breakfast

Many office workers tend to skip breakfast for fear of being late for work. If you don’t eat a healthy breakfast, however, you could be setting yourself up for unhealthy cravings later on in the morning that drive you to gulp down sugar-laden processed snacks from the vending machine.

Make a healthy breakfast a priority by preparing your fixings the night before – i.e. go ahead and make a fiber-rich oatmeal and refrigerate, then just quickly heat up in the microwave in the morning. Nutrients like fiber and protein in the morning can help to kickstart your metabolism, stave off cravings, and give you the energy you need to start your day right.

Do Gentle Stretches

Sitting for hours and doing desk work can earn you a sore neck and a back pain. You can relieve this by doing a simple neck exercise. Start by relaxing your shoulders then, using your right hand, gently pull your head and neck to the right side for a few seconds until you feel the stretch. Then tilt your head and neck to the left side using your left hand.

You can also exercise your neck by doing a neck retraction or making a double chin. Tuck your chin gently as if you’re making a double chin. Hold this position for a few seconds and repeat for about 5 to 10 times.

For back stretches, stand up from your desk, interlock your fingers in front of you and stretch your arms over your head. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then, interlock your fingers again but this time, behind your back. Stretch your arms upwards as far as they can go while bending your back forward. Hold this position for another 5 seconds.

Mind Your Hand Health

Repetitive hand use such as typing on a computer keyboard and using a computer mouse is a risk factor for hand injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. If you are already diagnosed with a carpal tunnel syndrome, you might find it difficult to accomplish your computer work as the pain and discomfort can hinder your productivity.

To address these issues, mind the position of your hands and wrists when typing and consider wearing a compression glove. Compression gloves provide still allow for complete range of motion of but compress tissues in the hand and wrist to aid blood flow and reduce inflammation.

Snack Better

If you’re finding you’re still hungry in between meals at work, make sure to stock up on healthy snacks you won’t feel guilty about munching on. Healthy snacks can help replenish your energy, prevent you from overeating at lunch, and improve your concentration and energy for the remaining work hours. Healthy snack ideas include:

  • Nuts and string cheese

  • Greek yogurt with fruit toppings

  • Low-fat popcorn

  • Fresh or dried fruits

  • Bananas

  • Hard-boiled eggs

  • Carrot sticks with dip

  • Whole grain bread with peanut butter spread

If you’re looking to avoid sitting down as much at work, you may also consider getting a standing desk, taking meetings on the go, sitting on a stability ball instead of an office chair, and taking short breaks to do laps up and down the stairs in your office.

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