How to stay fit and healthy at work

How to stay fit and healthy at work

When in office environments and spend long periods sat down at a desk in front of a computer, how can you ensure you stay fit and healthy at work?

Many of us work in office environments and spend long periods sat down at a desk in front of a computer. While there are fewer health and safety risks associated with this working environment than other jobs, there are still potential risks to be aware of and steps you can take to ensure you stay fit and healthy at work.

Spend less time sat down

Research has shown that on average we spend 65% of our waking hours sitting down, largely due to the sedentary nature of the office-working environment. But there are ways to reduce the amount of time we spend sat down, such as using the stairs instead of lifts or escalators, or walking around when taking a phone call.  Here are some more ideas about how to stay on the move during the working day.

Look after your muscles

If you spend long periods hunched over your mouse and keyboard, you’re bound to feel a bit stiff at the end of the day. Finding time for a few simple desk-based exercises throughout the day will help ease those aching muscles. Here’s an easy one to get you started:

  • Roll your shoulders back as far as they can go.
  • Hold, release, repeat.

Find more desk-based exercises to help prevent aches and pains. 

Protect your eyes

If like many people you spend several hours a day staring at a computer screen, you might often have dry or tired eyes at the end of the day. Prolonged screen use can also lead to eyesight problems. Try some of these tips to help minimise the impact on your eyes:

  • Look up from your screen every 5-10 minutes and let your focus drift into the distance
  • Whenever you have a screen break do the following exercise:
  1. Keeping your head and neck straight, roll your eyes in the following directions, holding each position for one or two seconds: up, down, right, left, top right corner, bottom left corner, top left corner, bottom left corner
  2. Hold your thumb out 6 inches from your nose and focus on it for a few seconds. Then stare into the distance for a few seconds. Repeat up to 15 times
  3. Finish by blinking rapidly for a few seconds to moisten your eyes

Our wellbeing zone is full of tips and advice on staying well in the workplace.

Avoid burnout

Stress is a normal part of life for most people, but when it gets too much it can start to have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. A major cause of stress in the workplace is having too much to do. If a growing to do list is causing you sleepless nights, try some of these tips to help you take back control:

  • Prioritise your tasks. You can’t do everything at once so identify which are the most urgent and important tasks and tackle those first
  • Take regular breaks. This may seem counter-intuitive but pausing to recharge and refocus will improve your concentration and motivation in the end

Try this one-minute breathing exercise to help you pause and refocus.

Access more career related resources on cabacareers.org.uk

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