You might be surprised to learn that we spend one-third of our lives at work, racking up a total of 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime. Being healthy at work and being healthy generally are therefore somewhat synonymous. And we all know why being healthy generally is beneficial (reduced obesity rates, greater energy and vitality, better sleep…you know the spiel).
What you might NOT know though, is that healthy employees are actually more effective and productive workers. They have higher morale at the office and take fewer sick days. In 2017, 12.5 million sick days taken were attributed to work-related stress or anxiety. Indeed, a study by the London Business School found that organisations with high levels of employee well-being have outperformed the stock market by around 2%-3% per year over a 25 year period.
All it takes is to make a few small changes to what you already do on a daily basis at work. Let us show you how easy it can be to form healthy habits at work. Here are our top 10 tips to keep your mental and physical health in top condition while smashing deadlines and executing projects.
1. Drink lots of water!
Probably the most important one. Did you know that even tiny water losses can lead to significant changes in mood and cognitive performance? Even going 4 hours without water can be enough to result in a 1.5% loss of hydration, bringing on difficulties concentrating, dizziness, and sometimes headaches.
Feedr hack: bring a full 1.5L bottle to work and don’t leave the office in the evening until it’s empty.
2. Don’t skip breakfast!
A study conducted by Harvard University found that men who regularly consumed breakfast were 27% less likely to suffer from coronary heart disease in older age than those who skipped. This was thought to be due to the irregular blood sugar levels that your body suffers from when you don’t inject it with fuel first thing in the morning. Enough said. Protect your heart. Eat your cereal.
Feedr hack: Eat it on the way to work, or first thing when you arrive at the office if you’re short on time at home in the morning.
3. High protein snacks are your best friend
We all know what it’s like to feel that 3pm sugar craving kick in. Especially if your office is one of those that always seems to have a cake or sweets lying around. It can become a bit too easy to lunge for a slice during the mid-afternoon slump. Having some high-protein snacks on hand can go a long way to curb cravings and leave you feeling fuller for longer! (Plus combined with all the water you’ll be drinking, you’ll be feeling full much more often anyway!).
Feedr hack: Keep energy balls, a bag of nuts, or other high-protein snacks conveniently stashed in a handy spot at your desk, like these babies from Deliciously Ella.
4. Pack a home-cooked lunch the night before
Beyond the obvious benefit of being kinder on your wallet, eating home-cooked food for lunch instead of going out and buying lunch out can actually be kind to your health too. A study from the University of Cambridge found that people who eat home-cooked meals on a regular basis tend to be happier, healthier, and consume less sugar and processed foods than their counterparts. This results in higher energy levels and better mental health. On top of this, eating home-cooked meals five or more days a week has been associated with living a longer life.
Feedr hack: Make a double the dinner portion you normally would and voila – you magically have lunch for tomorrow sorted!( Or if you’re a time-management whizz, you can even meal prep on the weekend for the week ahead). #smashingit
5. Get a desk plant for an instant mood boost
Psychologists have found that, as well as oxygenating the air, bringing some office plants into the workplace can improve employee satisfaction and can increase productivity by up to 15%!
Feedr hack: Get your new desk friend from our buddies at Patch Plants!
6. Add some citrus to your life
Lemons are high in antioxidants, which help prevent cellular damage and ward off free radicals – including those that lead to wrinkles. Drinking lemon water has also been associated with improved digestion and less bloating!
Feedr hack: Keep some lemons handy in the fridge at work, and add them in to your water bottle first thing when you arrive at work
7. Breathe in…Breathe out…
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just stopping and taking 10 old-fashion deep breaths can go a long way to calming stress. There’s a whole slew of breathing exercises recommended for stress management and anxiety, you can find some of them here.
Feedr hack: Don’t be afraid to sit back from your screen for a few minutes to close your eyes and breathe. You’ll feel much better for it, and that will reflect in your work.
8. Take a walk at lunchtime
The health benefits to breaking up a sedentary day with some activity are many. But beyond physical health, taking a break and getting outside will allow you to reap several psychological benefits too. It will break up your day, allowing you to return refreshed, feeling the sun on your skin boosts mood, and stimulating blood flow by moving around circulates more oxygen to your brain, improving concentration, focus and productivity
Feedr hack: Go for a deliberate 30min walk. If that seems like a huge void to fill, call a family member or friend in thattime and have a catch-up. 30min will pass before you know it.
9. Pay attention to your posture
There’s a whole science behind optimal posture and comfort. Ergonomic design is something that pops up on our radars now and again, but it is not to be brushed aside. When you consider we spend a third of our life at work, it is crucial to be comfortable to avoid aches and pains which can become chronic.
Feedr hack: Do a posture check every hour. Take 2 minutes to mentally scan your body from top to bottom and notice where you carry tension.
10. Order lunch from Feedr!
If all else fails, you can always order lunch from Feedr! With menu choices from over 80 healthy, independent vendors, we’ve always got your back.
Feedr hack:Browse our menus now!