Working in an office environment definitely has its perks.
The socialization, teamwork, and access to office resources are some of the top reasons why people prefer a desk job over telecommuting.
But what about your health?
For many, working in an office comes at the expense of keeping a healthy lifestyle.
Sitting for long periods of time, eating more junk food than usual, and breathing in poor quality air are just a few of the ways your health can be negatively impacted at work.
So, if you want to know how to stay healthy at a desk job, then this post is for you.
We’ll go over the top ten ways you can improve your health while on the clock. That way, you can ensure better well-being throughout your career.
10 Tips for How to Stay Healthy at a Desk Job
1. Use an Air Purifier
Did you know that up to 30% of new and remodeled office buildings around the world have poor indoor air quality?
Things like copying machines, paint, adhesives, carpeting, and furnishings reduce the quality of air at work because they emit volatile organic compounds. And not all ventilation systems are equipped to filter out those particles and exchange them with fresh air.
Poor air quality has also been linked to lower productivity and improving the air indoors can lead to a 60% increase in decision-making performance.
So, what can you do to create cleaner, fresher air around you at your desk job?
Add an air purifier to your desk.
Air purifiers suck in and trap the surrounding particles that negatively impact your health. Then, these machines push fresh air back out for you to breathe.
Desktop air purifiers are not that expensive either. You just want to make sure that the one you purchase includes a high-quality True HEPA filter since it removes the finest particles in the air.
Take a look at our dedicated guide on the best desktop air purifier options here. It shows you what features to look for and offers a few top suggestions to keep you healthy at work.
2. Create a Standing Desk
If your company can afford to buy you a standing desk, ask for one.
A standing desk can help reduce your overall body strain and standing actually better for your well-being.
If you can’t get your boss to pay for a standing desk, another option is to create your own version of by getting a laptop stand and putting it on top of your regular desk.
But what if you’re not a fan of standing all day long?
A final option that’s healthier than sitting in a chair is to swap it out for an exercise ball. Sitting on an exercise ball increases the activation of your trunk muscles and thus increases core strength, improves posture, and decreases discomfort.
3. Prep Meals and Snacks
When you’re in the zone, it’s so easy to walk down to the vending machine and grab unhealthy snacks.
To avoid this poor snacking habit, prep healthy meals and snackable items at home that you can bring in each day.
Snacking on high-sugar and high-fat items from a vending machine throughout the week is a receipt for excessive weight gain.
4. Drink Water
Did you know that when you start to get dehydrated, you can feel sleepy or sluggish?
And a simple way to prevent this is by staying hydrated.
Ideally, you want to drink between 8 and 10 glasses of water every day.
You can improve the taste of water too, by getting an infusion bottle that lets you add fruit to the mix, giving your water a whole new flavor. This gives you tons of flavor without the calories.
Another simple trick for how to stay healthy at a desk job is to stretch periodically during the day.
Don’t sit at your desk for eight hours.
Doing so can cause stiff muscles, soreness, and poor circulation throughout your body.
A good rule of thumb is to get up and stretch every hour. Even standing for a few minutes and letting the tension melt away is a great way to get your blood flowing, so you feel more productive.
On your lunch break, take a short walk outside or around your building. If that’s not possible, walking around your desk is the second-best option.
6. Improve Your Posture
Bad posture can be a nasty habit to break and it can cause excessive back and neck pain.
If you work on a computer, it’s best to put the monitor screen a eye level or slightly higher. This subtle shift in positioning can help prevent the craning of your neck.
As for chair height (if you use one), you should be able to sit with your shoulders relaxed but back, and your forearms should be parallel to the ground. Finally, your feet should be flat on the ground as well.
7. Give Your Eyes a Break
Staring at a computer screen or papers on your desk for hours at a time can put a real strain on your eyes.
Giving them short breaks throughout the day can save your eyesight and reduce strain.
Close them for a few seconds every 20 minutes or so. Also, look at faraway objects and focus for 15 to 20 seconds periodically. This will help reduce your eye focus from locking.
During lunch and breaks, stay away from staring at computer screens and mobile phones.
8. Wash Your Hands
Offices are a breeding ground for germs and once someone gets sick, it seems to sweep through the entire building.
You can stay healthier by practicing good hand hygiene.
Make it a point to wash your hands every time someone hands you something or touches something of yours. Or get a small bottle of hand sanitizer to keep at your desk for disinfecting yourself.
One of the healthiest things you can do actually occurs before you get to your desk job.
And that is to get a good night’s sleep.
Lack of sleep causes you to feel fatigued and sluggish during the day.
To fight this, you want to try and get at least eight or nine hours of sleep each night.
One simple way to get to bed earlier is to cut out caffeine after 5 p.m. in the evening. Even a small dose of this stimulant can keep awake.
If you need to drink something, try herbal teas. Some blends have mild tranquilizers which are sleep inducers that can help you drift off to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
10. Exercise in the Morning
Another way to prepare yourself for a healthy day behind a desk is to exercise just after waking up.
You can get your blood flowing before work if you make a conscious effort to exercise.
Squeezing in a 30-minute workout or yoga session is an excellent way to get you energized to tackle all of those tasks you have at work. These routines are also a good way to burn calories and help maintain a healthy weight.
Don’t Stop Here
We hope you enjoyed these 10 ways for how to stay healthy at a desk job.
But, don’t just stop here.
Starting tomorrow, try to incorporate one or more of these tips into your work routine. Doing so will kickstart the process of you feeling healthier.
As a reminder, investing in an air purifier is one of the top ways you can stay healthy at the office. And for many people, it’s the only way they can control the air they breathe while at work.
So, check out our guide on the best desktop air purifier options here. You’ll find everything you need to make the right decision for your needs.