3 Ways Your Job Can Improve Your Health

You spend about half of your waking hours at your job or in your car going to your job.

One of the most overlooked places to your personal health is at your workplace. Since you spend so much time there, this means making your workplace—whether that’s a traditional office, shared space or home office—super important.

Going to work, does not mean that you have to take time away from yourself or your personal health. It can aide immensely in your health journey.

More and more employers are advocating for healthy habits and that may be the perfect opportunity for you to either take advantage of those opportunities or push to bring them into your work environment.

Here are 3 things you can do to better your health:

Photo by Jeff Sheldon on Unsplash

Stand up for yourself

What’s one of the biggest modern-day obstacles to better health? Sitting. The average American adult sits for nearly eight hours each day, which exacerbates a chain of problems from head to toe. For example, when you slump in a chair, your abdominal muscles go unused and become mushy. That—combined with tight back muscles—makes for a posture-wrecking problem that exaggerates the spine’s natural arch and can cause disk damage. Too much sitting also leads to poor circulation, softer bones, inflexibility, sore shoulders and neck, and even heart disease and colon cancer.

If your workplace allows it, switch to an adjustable stand-up desk that enables you to sit less and move more during the day.

If you need help convincing your employer that providing the option for stand-up desks is in her best interest, remind her that one in four adults sought treatment for back pain in the last 12 months because of sitting too much, and that ample research shows that standing at work increases productivity and alertness. Visit standdesk.co for more stats and resources to help build your case.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

Dine away from your desk

According to Brian Wansink, professor and director of Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab, and author of Slim By Design, office workers typically have 476 calories’ worth of food stashed in their desk and within arm’s reach. His studies also show that people who have candy in or on their desk weigh an average of 15.4 pounds more than those who don’t!

Store meals and snacks in your company’s kitchen and clear your desk and office of stockpiled foods and drinks as a step toward preventing senseless snacking and unwanted weight gain.

It is also agreed that you should step away from your desk for lunch. True, it can be tempting to eat at your desk in order to power through emails or other pressing projects. Did you know about 62% of professionals do? But, in addition to getting extra crumbs in your keyboard, you’ll likely take in more calories when munching in front of a screen.

Employees who leave their desks for lunch and head outside or to a break room also report higher workplace satisfaction and better work relationships—and research from MIT found that employees who socialize are actually more productive than those who don’t.

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Relieve traffic tension

Did you know that your morning commute could set you up for a slew of health issues? Driving more than 10 miles each way for your daily commute is associated with higher blood sugar, higher cholesterol and higher risk of depression, according to research from Washington University in Saint Louis School of Medicine, The Cooper Institute in Dallas and published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

So much of it has to do with stress. With the right mindset and tools, you can relieve some of the stress by reframing the time spent in your vehicle.

Before starting the ignition, take a deep breath and accept that the next 25 minutes (or however long your commute takes) is an opportunity for “me-time,” especially if it’s the only chance you have to be alone all day. Too-slow or too-fast drivers, traffic jams and aggressive mergers will happen, but try your best not to give them too much of your energy. Instead, use this time to mentally transition from home to work or vice versa. Stash your cell phone and other dangerous distractions out of reach, and perhaps listen to a favorite podcast, audio book, meditation guide, playlist or radio channel.

Even though you have obligations each day that demands a large part of your time, you really do have control over how you make it work for you. The key is to take steps to shift it to work in your favor!

Did you know that starting out your morning with “me time” helps to decrease stress throughout the rest of your day (and makes you healthier)? Here is my morning routine to help get you started. Click the link below!

Get my instant download of the “5 Simple Morning Tips To Instantly Create Your Destressed Day” (It’s Free!)

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