Health is built upon numerous choices day in day out, throughout the day. It is not something that can be packed into an hour or a specific part of the day. But with never ending to-do-lists, constant activity and full schedules, it is extremely easy to neglect our health and wellbeing.

However, at the end of the day when we are not looking after ourselves at work (which for most of us is where we spend the majority of our waking hours), it greatly affects our functioning at both work and at home.

Therefore, today’s blog focuses on some easy tips to improve during the workday…

1. An Active Lunch Time

Lunchtime can often be a great time to de-stress and get some personal time to rejuvenate. If you have an entire hour for lunch, consider spending 20-30 minutes of it eating and the remainder going outside for a brisk walk. A study conducted in 2015 found that office workers who participated in 30-minute lunchtime walks for a period of 2.5 months saw a significant increase in mood. Participants overall felt more enthusiastic and relaxed and less nervous at work.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

While we’ve all heard this before, it’s often overlooked. According to the Victorian State Government, the daily recommended intake of water for healthy adults is 2.1 litres a day for women and 2.6 litres a day for men. You may be saying to yourself, “Yeah, right!”, but consider the following:

  • We’re constantly losing water throughout the day via urinating, sweating, and even breathing.
  • Drinking water consistently prevents dehydration and protects our joints and sensitive tissues.
  • Steady water intake improves mood, reduces fatigue and anxiety, and improves concentration.

Try keeping a reusable water bottle at your desk and even setting a reminder on your desktop or phone so you can replenish frequently. Calculating your daily fluids may seem like a daunting (if not dull) daily task, but the more you do something, the less you think about it. And before you know it, a healthy habit is formed. If you think you may still need a little help meeting your daily hydration goals, try researching water-rich foods that can easily be incorporated into your everyday diet. After all, 20% of your daily water intake comes from solid foods. Head over here for more information on hydration.

3. Take A Deep Breath And Meditate

Meditation is powerful stuff. Carving out some time each day to practice breathing and mindfulness can transform your mental state in ways you may not have even realised were possible.

Regular meditation decreases stress, anxiety, depression, pain, and inflammation. It has been shown to increase immune function and social connection, and improve memory.

Many people begin with as little as 2-3 minutes of meditation each day, slowly working up to a longer practice. All you need is a quiet, comfortable place to sit or lie down—yes, this can be your car while at work—and a timer. There are several free apps (CalmSimple HabitHeadspace) that can help guide you, too.

4. Pack Healthy Snacks

Vending machines may be convenient, but they’re not doing you any favours when it comes to proper nutrition. Keeping healthy snacks at your desk can help curb cravings for junk food and keep you on track when that afternoon itch for something sweet starts to kick in. Snacks like raw almonds, nut butter packets, instant oatmeal, fruit bars, granola, low-sodium beef jerky, and roasted seaweed are all nonperishable items that fit easily into a desk drawer.

Another way to support healthy eating habits while at work is recognising when you’re feeling the urge to have something unhealthy and take a few big gulps of water instead or fix yourself an afternoon cup of herbal tea with a little honey. Convenience is the biggest enemy of a healthy eating plan, and having nutritious options within grabbing distance is your safest bet for staying on track.

5. Give Your Eyes A Rest

Computer screens put a tremendous amount of strain on the eyes, and once you’re home, cell phone often replaces that 9-to-5 screen. Digital eye strain can cause headaches, neck pain, blurry vision, and shoulder pain. Typically, people blink about 15 times per minute, but that number is reduced to half when we’re reading on smart devices. The glare from screens, along with the flickering of images, can cause a significant amount of eye irritation.

Cutting screen time significantly isn’t a reasonable solution for most of us, but there are other things that can be done to lessen the effects of eyestrain:

  • Try using the 20-20-20 rule: take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, and focus your vision on something 20 feet away.
  • Blink more often to lubricate your eyes and prevent redness.
  • You can also check your screen resolution by making sure your monitor has a high-resolution display since higher-res creates sharper images and reduces eye irritation and the need to squint.

Overall, following these simple tips will ensure a healthier mood, a more focused mind and a more healthy body and therefore help you be your best self every day. Have a great work day!

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