5 Habits to Make Work Healthier—Starting Today

Whether you have a nine-to-five job or tend to work overtime, chances are you’re not particularly healthy while at work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 11 million Americans spend more than 59 hours per week working and – depending on where you work – you’re likely faced with breakroom cupcakes, prolonged time sitting down or standing up, and stressful deadlines. But it’s easier than you think to transform your time at work into a chance to boost your physical and mental health.

Here are five simple ways you can make your workday habits healthier:

  1. Download the BCBSM mobile app to check out health & wellness content and tools. Get your coworkers excited about doing a step competition or workout challenge—and use this app to stay on top of your progress. It helps you keep track of your fitness goals in one place, syncing with other apps and fitness trackers, and offers exercise videos and healthy recipes. You can take a health assessment and get personalized health-improvement content, and find WebMD’s symptom and health information.
  2. BYO healthy food: One of the easiest ways to fall into an unhealthy work routine to is to eat out for lunch daily and live off snacks from the vending machine. Instead, try to meal prep on Sunday, cook ahead in batches, and take leftovers whenever possible. You’ll save time during the week and save money in the long-run. If you’re a snacker, be sure to pack a few healthy snacks – like nuts, fruits, vegetables or low-sugar energy bites – so you aren’t tempted to eat the chocolate on your coworkers desk or grab a bag of chips from the cafeteria.
  3. Stray from the sedentary lifestyle: Mayo Clinic recommends adults get at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, but busy agendas can make it tough to squeeze in a morning or evening gym session. On those days, try taking a quick stroll around the office every hour (go refill your water glass!), walking during your lunch break, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing simple exercises at your desk.
  4. Regularly clean surfaces and wash your hands: Studies show that desktops and phones can have more germs per square inch than a toilet seat. That’s why it’s so important to routinely clean your desk and other objects, like your phone, keyboard, mouse and light switches, with disinfectant wipes. It’s also good practice to wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your nose or mouth so you don’t spread germs.
  5. Leave work at work: Many people don’t stop working just because they leave the office, but a healthy work-life balance is crucial to preventing burnout. There are simple changes you can make to be more productive at work so you can actually enjoy your personal time at home. Every morning, create a to-do list and prioritize it in order of deadline so nothing falls through the cracks. Take a couple of short breaks throughout the day after you’ve accomplished big tasks to reset your mind and refocus your energy. Lastly, set realistic expectations – not everything needs to be done day-of and after-hour emails can usually wait until the next day.

Photo credit: Pexels

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