10 Healthy Habits for the Workplace

You spend a lot of time at work, you might as well feel great there

Keeping healthy at work is just as important as practising healthy habits at home

Given how much time we spend at work, practising healthy habits in the workplace is vital to overall health and well-being. These 10 work habits that will leave you feeling healthier

Canadians invest a great deal of their time, energy and talent in doing their jobs. Statistics Canada (2009) reports that the average employed Canadian spends 36 hours a week at work. 
With so much time being spent on the job, practising healthy habits in the workplace has become just as vital to overall health and well-being as living well at home.

10 Habits that Will Lead You to Being Healthier at Work

  • Limit Caffeine – Coffee provides an energy boost, but too much caffeine can be dehydrating and lead to jitteriness. Limit coffee to three (or fewer) cups a day. Drink more water and herbal teas.

  • Check Ergonomics – Ensure your workplace equipment (e.g., seating, keyboard, monitor, mouse and phone) is at the optimal position to prevent repetitive strain injuries. 

  • Keep Moving – Get up to move and stretch every 20 minutes. Physical activity stimulates blood flow, relaxes muscles and reduces stress.

  • List Priorities – Write a to-do list in priority order to help you stay on track. If a difficult task has you feeling totally stressed, move to less complex work, then go back to the original task later.

  • Bring Your Lunch – Pack a nutritious lunch at least three times a week. This will lessen the temptation to eat high-fat, high-calorie, high-sodium fast foods, and save you money.

  • Manage Stressors – Rethink how you handle all work-related stressors (e.g., the constant interruption of e-mail). Solution: Don’t respond right away; check e-mails four times a day. 

  • Think Positively – How you think dramatically affects how you feel at work. Try to approach everything, including problems, from a positive perspective.

  • Manage Conflict – Conflict at work can be stressful, to the point where it can affect your health. Learn how to manage and address conflict.

  • Speak Up – When issues come up at work, talk them over with your manager. Being fully engaged at work will help you have a say in the decisions that affect you. 

  • Seek Balance – Leave work at work. Making time for family, friends and leisure pursuits refreshes the mind and body, and makes you happier and healthier on the job.

Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.