Although people’s lives (especially our commutes) may be hectic, it doesn’t escape the fact that the majority of us spend our working week sat at a desk. The dangers of a sedentary lifestyle are well-known – higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, stress, and lower productivity being the most prominent. Sadly, the mad dashes for the train aren’t enough – so as part of our #HubbleHealth campaign, here are some top tips for staying healthy at work.
1. Use Technology
It’s 2019, and the wearable fitness tracker market is a booming billion-pound industry. There are lots of options out there, but the most well-known devices are Fitbit and Apple Watch. You can set all kinds of activity-related goals, or track behaviours such as taking a certain amount of steps a day, and calories burned.
One particularly useful feature allows you to set a ‘move’ reminder, doing just what it says on the tin – notifying you after a certain period to get up and, well, move. Standing up from your desk and walking around every 30 minutes has a multitude of health benefits, and helps mitigate health risks associated with being sedentary, according to Psychology Today – fascinating stuff.
Fitness trackers and apps such as Strava can be connected with social media, too, meaning you can compare data or compete over a challenge/goal with friends. Let the games begin!
2. Ergonomic Furniture
We spend a long time sat at our desks. Therefore, it’s really important to have an optimal setup to stay healthy at work. Small changes to your sitting posture, for example having your arms bent at a 90-degree angle to the desk, can make a big difference to posture and prevent injury, such as back pain. But what about the furniture itself?
On the desk front, many offices now come with standing desks. Proponents say that working standing up is healthier for you, but according to research, the jury’s still out on whether it’s in fact any better than sitting down all day. What some at Hubble do is alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day – a very sensible option.
Regarding your chair, if you’ve exhausted your adjustment options, maybe the chair itself is the problem. It’s necessary to do some research and find one that works best for you. Renowned ergonomic furniture brands include Herman Miller and Humanscale, although more affordable alternatives such as the lauded Ikea Markus exist.
3. Use Lunch Breaks to Your Advantage
The majority of us have an hour’s break at lunch, so why not use it to its full potential? A midday session can power you through the afternoon slump, and get your daily dose of activity in. Whether it’s a walk around your nearest park or a quick gym session (made easier if your office has one), you’ll be reducing stress, increasing productivity, and generally feel super healthy. If this isn’t doable, well…
4. Take an Office Stroll
Another really simple way of staying healthy at work is to walk wherever possible. Whether it’s taking the stairs instead of the lift (a classic, but it works), using printers on different floors, or seeing a coworker to discuss something in person instead of messaging them, these mini journeys can add up to a substantial amount of steps. Lots of offices encourage this, thanks to their open plan, collaborative layouts.
If you’ve got a meeting with someone, how about doing it whilst walking? A routine favoured by the likes of Steve Jobs, Charles Dickens, and Sigmund Freud, walking and talking will get those steps in and may promote fresh ideas that only a change of setting could achieve.
5. Evening Classes
We know that one of the last things you want to do after a hard day’s work is…more hard work, but there are hundreds of evening classes that can help maintain your health.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be labour-intensive; even something therapeutic like painting or meditation will revitalise the mind, allowing you to wake up refreshed and ready for the next day’s challenges.
It could also be a social experience – how about joining a yoga or running group? There are plenty of options out there, with something for everyone. Apps such as Meetup are perfect for this sort of thing.
It’s also worth looking at your office space’s events schedule to see what’s on; Second Home, for example, have an excellent wellness programme.
6. Eating Well
Of course, regular activity isn’t the only way of staying healthy at work – diet is just as important. A balanced diet with an emphasis on wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds will regulate energy, help you stay full (thanks fibre), and ensure that you’re getting all the vitamins you need.
Although there are healthy lunch options these days on the high street, it can get pricey; why not use an onsite kitchen to prep your own, or to store something you made earlier? Furthermore, there are plenty of spaces on our platform which offer free fruit so you can get your daily amount in.
We hope that you found these tips useful. Although some of them may seem small, their impact – particularly when combined – is the opposite, helping maintain and improve your health. You’ll be able to do your best work, and feel great doing it!
There are hundreds of offices on our platform with gyms, excellent events programmes, ergonomic furniture, and much more. Discover them by clicking the link below: