8 Ways to be a Little Healthier at the Office


If you work an office job, you’re spending 40 or more hours each week confined to a desk. Naturally, this causes some health concerns. Sitting, looking at a computer monitor, eating convenience food and stressing all take a toll. But it’s hard to escape these habits! You can’t just abandon your work.


Despite being cooped up in an office five days out of the week, there are a few ways to be a little healthier at work. Here are eight simple things you can start doing today to improve your health. Give them a try one by one, until you’ve incorporated each of them into your workday routine:

  1. Take breaks: Taking a lunch break is nice, but the real benefit to your health comes from hourly breaks. At the end of every hour, take two minutes to stand up, stretch and breathe deep. You’ll feel stress melt away! Limbering up also helps prevent muscle fatigue from sitting all day. Two minutes is all it takes. Refill your water bottle, go to the bathroom or walk a lap of the office.
  2. Stand, don’t sit: If possible, try to stand as much as possible at work. If your office will allow a standing desk, get one! Sitting for extended periods of time will cause compression in your lumbar spine, strain your hamstrings and quadriceps muscles, and reduce your circulation. Standing remedies these problems, keeping you healthy and fit.

  3. Keep drinking water: Drinking more water is something most people need to do. Try filling up a water bottle and making it your goal to drink at least 8oz of water per hour. Keep track by filling up a 16oz water bottle every two hours. You’ll start to feel the positive effects of better hydration in just a few days. You’ll be more alert, have more energy, enjoy a better complexion and feel generally better.

  4. Keep your workspace clean: A clean workspace has both physical and mental wellbeing benefits. Physically, a clean workspace is less prone to germs and bacteria. Mentally, the cleaner your workspace, the more organized and on top of things you’re likely to be. Take a few moments each day to give your area a once-over. Tidy it up, clean up any trash and make sure it’s sanitized.

  5. Invest in ergonomics: Ergonomics focus on best practices for supporting the body’s biomechanics. Things like sitting up straighter, looking forward and supporting the low back are all examples of ergonomics in action. Design your workspace to be ergonomic by getting a supportive chair and ensuring your computer monitor is properly positioned. Ergonomics go a long way towards helping you feel comfortable throughout the day.

  6. Manage stress: Stress is unavoidable at work. Learning to manage it is a great way to avoid a slew of health problems. Stress can cause everything from inflammation, to autoimmune reactions, to physical pain! Avoiding these issues means learning how to recognize when you’re stressed and having an outlet for it. Use a stress ball, get up and go for a cooldown walk, put on some calming music—whatever it takes to give you room to process stress appropriately.

  7. Take the stairs: make the conscious decision to embrace physical effort! While your coworkers are cramming into the elevator, take the stairs and get a small workout right away in the morning. If you work on a floor in the teens, build yourself up to climb a few floors at a time. At the end of the day, take the stairs down as a last triumph before leaving work. As much physical activity as you can work in will help offset sitting for eight hours at a time.

  8. Vary your tasks: It’s easy to get involved in one task as the hours fly by. Do your best to switch things up and vary your work. When you focus too intently for too long, your body suffers. Your muscles tense up, eyes strain, back hunches and more. Your mental health can suffer too—especially if task fatigue sets in. Try to keep yourself engaged with new tasks every half hour if possible. The variability will do your mind and body good.

It doesn’t matter how much money you’re making or how happy you are with your work, there’s no substitute for good health. Take these tips to heart and try incorporating them into your day. The more you can include, the better you’ll feel when the weekend rolls around and the real fun begins!