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5 Healthy Tips For The Office Novice

Posted by Jessica Thiefels on

You landed your first desk job, congrats! With new people, new processes and a whole list of new responsibilities, your health is easy to get lost in the adjustment. Whether you’re in an office or not, you’re in control of your health, and there are a number of small actions you can take to stay healthy. Here are our top 5 tips for office novices (and veterans) to stay energized, productive, and healthy during the 9-5 grind.

Invest in a Refillable Water Bottle

Water doesn’t just keep you hydrated—it stops you from mindlessly snacking by keeping you full throughout the day. Invest in a refillable water bottle that you can keep at your desk and fill throughout the day.

Note that a bigger bottle may encourage you to drink more water because it stays full longer, but a smaller water bottle will require you to get up and move more often, which is also a good thing. Choose the bottle based on what you know about yourself: if you’re not good about drinking water, and aren’t likely to go get more when you run out, stick with a 32 ounce bottle, which will likely take a few hours to finish.

water bottle desk

Set a Timer to Get Up and Walk

Office workers tend to sit most of the day, but that doesn’t mean you have to be sedentary from 9 to 5. A simple walk can be just what you need to feel refreshed while restoring natural blood flow through your body. If you can’t remember to get up and move around, set a timer on your phone, or better yet, a fitness tracker:

“The best way to start keeping yourself more accountable for your activity level is to get an activity tracker. You can set your tracker to vibrate on your wrist to remind you that you’ve been sitting too long and it is time to get up and move,” says Mandy McClellan, of Fit2Run.

Decorate With Plants

Health isn’t just physical, and it is important to take care of yourself emotionally and mentally as well. Maintaining good mental health during the workday could be as simple as buying a few plants. In fact, a 2013 University of Exeter Study found that office plants improved staff well-being by up to 47 percent.

The best part? You don’t have to spend more than $10 to upgrade your space with one or two simple green plants. Choose one of these 20 plants that ProFlowers found to be most effective in the office.

plants on work desk

Find Time for Healthy Movement In the Office

Don’t just walk around your office to stay active. Do subtle exercises throughout the day to keep your muscles working and blood pumping. For example: do calf raises at the coffee machine, lunges down an empty hallway, and squats as you take the stairs. This will not only help you stay healthy, but the Organizations in Movement study by New Balance found that these small movements boost your mood and success at work:

“More importantly, the increased movement appeared to have a positive impact on the energy levels and engagement of the associates. 37 percent of associates specifically reported high energy levels in the middle of the day (11 percent higher than pre-program) and 42 percent reported increased engagement and focus at work,” explains Jack Groppel, PhD.

Prep Healthy Lunches and Don’t Eat at Your Desk

There are so many reasons to bring your own lunch to work, and your health is just one of them: It’s impossible to be 100 percent certain of what’s in your food when you eat out—whether the restaurant preps it in a lot of oil or butter, or they use sauces or dressings that are filled with sugar, sodium, and preservatives.

Buying lunch every day is also expensive: The average American worker spends $11.14 per meal, twice a week—which means in 6 months, you’ve already spent more than $500 on lunches alone. Not to mention, spending too much can lead to stress in your personal life, which can, in turn, affect your mental health in the office.

lunch time flat lay

An office job doesn’t have to lead to a sedentary lifestyle. Use these tips to stay active and healthy during the day, whether you’re drinking more water or decorating with plants. You’ll feel happier and more energized every day when you take care of yourself as much as your work.