Between the fluorescent lights, “ergonomic” desk chairs, and perpetually stocked vending machines, working in an office can feel like the complete antithesis of healthy living. Luckily for both your sanity and chances of making it to retirement, it doesn’t have to be.
This week happens to be Employee Wellness Week (2-6 July), so we teamed up with Fitbit help you stay active at your 9-to-5.
1/ Zen Out Your Desk
You might not have control over your office building’s overall aesthetics, but you can control your little corner of the world. How you set up and organise your workspace has a huge influence on your overall mood and ability to shake off stress. After all, in one Princeton University study, researchers found that cluttered environments overwhelm your senses and cut down on your brain’s ability to focus. The result: even more stress. So take a trip to a Typo store, throw out those old papers, toss any candy bars that might be hanging around, and put up a few pictures to make your desk feel a little more relaxing and cheerful.
2/ Fill Your Wellness Drawer
While you’re rummaging through your desk, go ahead and dedicate a drawer to healthy living. You’ll have everything you need to nourish your body right there — no excuses. Fill it with healthy snacks like fruit, nuts, (non-buttery) popcorn, tea, and anything else that makes you feel healthy.
3/ Drink More Water
It’s a fact — the more we hydrate ourselves, the better our whole body functions. And with so many hours spent at the office every day, you can’t afford to hold off hydration until you get home from work. Try that, and you’ll wind up suffering from headaches, constipation and fatigue. Not sure how much water you’re taking in? Good news: Trackers like the Fitbit Charge 3 can help you keep track of your daily water intake! So take a refillable bottle of water to work every day, and refill it the second it hits empty.
Bonus: All of those trips to the water cooler — and the bathroom — will help you hit your step goal (which you can set on your activity tracker). Which brings us to our next tip…
4/ Take A Post-Lunch Walk
Your lunch break is meant for more than just eating. Following your meals with a short walk can help prevent blood-sugar spikes to improve your energy levels, prevent inflammation, and keep cravings at bay. So however long your lunch break is, factor in 15 minutes for a post-meal stroll and hit your step goal. Walk your halls, or climb a few flights of stairs. If you can get outside, even better: Research published in Frontiers in Psychology shows that spending time outdoors can automatically lower your levels of stress and anxiety, as well as your risk for depression.
READ MORE: 9 Healthy Snacks You Can Keep At Your Desk
5/ Move Every Hour
We all know that sitting all day is bad for you: It makes your circulation slow, metabolism drop, muscles tighten, mood plummet, and waistline expand. Make it a point to move — whether it’s stretching, walking across the office, or climbing stairs — every hour. Famous for “forgetting” to take a break from work? Set yourself a reminder. The Fitbit Charge 3, for example, will ‘nudge you’ if you’ve been sitting for too long so you can get up and step away from your desk. Technology FTW.
6/ Close Your Eyes And Just Breathe
Every woman can benefit from a little mindful meditation at her desk. It can increase your energy levels, combat stress, and even lower your sensitivity to pain. And according to a series of brain scans from Harvard Medical School, it leads to measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, and stress. But you don’t have to sit on the floor and start saying “ohm” to reap the benefits. While you’re at your desk, activate your Fitbit’s ‘guided breathing’ feature, close your eyes, and breathe in and out through your nose, focusing on your breath for a few minutes — or however long you have.
WIN Your Own Fitbit Charge 3
So, now that you’ve got those tips down it’s time to put it into practice and you could WIN 1 of 2 Fitbit Charge 3’s worth R3 000 each!
[gravityform id=”252″ title=”true” description=”true”]
The Fitbit Charge 3 does more than ‘just count steps’ — it tracks your heart rate 24/7, keeps tabs on the calories you’ve actively burned, has 15+ exercise settings, helps you stay calm with guided breathing, keep track of your goal progress, sleep and more.
Basically, it’s everything you need to help you stay active and live a stress-free office life. We’re sold!