Most of us spend the majority of our daylight hours at work, which is why the office can make or break a healthy lifestyle. And unfortunately, 80 percent of jobs are sedentary these days. The good news is that little changes can make a big difference. Check out these tips – and don’t forget to chat with a doctor before making any big changes!
Don’t just sit there. Stand there.
Sitting is harmless as long as you exercise, right? [Annoying buzzer sound.] Inactivity researchers learned that when electrical activity in muscles plummets as we sit, an entire host of unhealthy ramifications follow, putting couch potatoes at higher risk for obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Say goodbye to the sedentary workday by trying out a standing desk (you don’t have to spend oodles; check out this DIY guide from Bob Vila. Bob Vila!).
Green that cube.
If your officemate is green and leafy, research shows that you may experience less stress and fatigue, not to mention fewer coughs, headaches, dry throats, etc. Make foliage the centerpiece of your decor! Not sure what kind to get? Here are some beautiful, low-maintenance options.
Don’t settle for videos of cute animals…
Does your office have pet-friendly policies that you’re not taking advantage of? Quit ruffing it and bring along a furry pal. Having a pet present – even a turtle or goldfish – can reduce your stress and increase morale, according to clinical psychotherapist and stress expert Terri Bodell.
Take frequent breaks
Your brain isn’t wired to concentrate for eight hours straight – it needs time to recharge. Without breaks, you’re more likely to experience stress and exhaustion. Keep your creative pathways roadblock-free by allowing yourself mini bouts of respite. If you find yourself daydreaming or losing focus, that might be your cue, says Professor John P. Trougakos. Since exposure to natural light helps keep your body running smoothly, the best kind of breather might be a stroll outside.
Image: double the computers, double the fun!, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from lauren_pressley’s photostream.