20 February 2013

How to keep yourself healthy at work

Working a 9-5 office job can be a serious strain on your health, and with more British employees working longer hours, keeping your wellbeing in mind is paramount.

A new survey of over 2,000 people commissioned by the British Heart Foundation has revealed that 1 in 10 people have not done any real physical exercise in more than a decade! Plus 94% did not deem physical activity as being an important aspect of their lives.

While you might be questioning what this has to do with your wellbeing in the office environment, the most notable revelation to come from the nation-wide study was that many people blamed their lack of physical appetite on long office hours and the general impact of working. 41% of respondents said that long office hours meant they didn’t have time to exercise, with childcare and getting married also blamed for a lack of recreational activities.

Ellen Mason, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “Adults should try and be active every day, and build up to at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity each week. A way to do this is to be active for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. Moderate intensity means any activity which causes you to become warm, increases your heart rate and gets you breathing a bit harder.”

There are also ways to improve your health during office hours, and as a provider of commercial property, we thought we’d give you a few tips on how best to achieve this.

Plan your day to keep healthy

A little bit of planning and a few small additions to your daily routine can improve your wellbeing in the office, leading to fewer days off sick and a generally positive attitude towards the working environment.

  • Drink enough. Drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water each day will help you physically and mentally.
  • Keep your work area clean. This will reduce your exposure to germs, microorganisms, viruses and bacteria, and wash your hands regularly.
  • Don’t slouch in your chair – keep a good posture to reduce pressure on your back
  • Take regular breaks to give your eyes a rest and your muscles from getting stiff.
  • Eat well in the office. Super green foods, probiotics and omega-3 essential fatty acids can often have a huge impact on your overall health.

Simple exercises you can do at work

Exercise doesn’t have to be exhausting. Simple things such as taking the stairs up to the office or walking to work can improve your general wellbeing. Even taking a walk at lunch time can bolster your efficiency in the workplace. A recent study by Dr Marc Berman at Rotman Research Institute in Toronto revealed that people improved their working memory span by about 20% after a 50-minute nature walk.

Some experts have gone so far as recommending you use the desk area as a mini-gym, using your chair or the edge of the desk to do dips. If you have more space around your desk, do some press-ups or sit-ups during your lunch break – just remember to warn your colleagues before you embark on a full gym routine!