Head-To-Toe Health Strategies For Office Workers
by Guest Blogger Jennifer McGregor co-founder of PublicHealthLibrary.org
Sitting at a computer for 40-50 hours a week can put a strain on your body. In addition to the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome, you can also suffer from poor posture, eyestrain and lack of fitness. You may also be endangering your mental health.
Additionally, work-related stress can bring on bad habits and has been shown to have a high correlation with substance abuse.
It’s time to change that. Let’s see how we can fix each of these bad work habits.
Managing Daily Stress
It’s important to adopt healthy techniques to manage your stress rather than opting for drugs or alcohol to cope. That can harm your health, and women, in particular, are at a higher risk for health problems related to drinking, particularly when it comes to breast cancer. Research shows there is a higher risk of breast cancer for women who consume at least one drink a day.
Meditation and drinking herbal teas are better ways to relax. At the office, you can use breathing techniques during stressful moments. Learn how else you can manage stress “in the moment” at HBR.org.
Relieving Common Work Ailments
Sitting for long periods of time at your workstation can cause some serious health issues. Here’s how to relieve some of them.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Experts aren’t exactly sure what causes this issue but it does affect millions of Americans each year. Severe cases can even end up in surgery, but there are a few steps you can take:
- Try these three wrist exercises that Healthline recommends.
- Apply cold compresses.
- Consider using a vertical mouse or a split keyboard to relieve pressure.
- See your doctor for additional solutions.
Sitting at your desk all day puts a strain on your back and can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome. Long drives to and from the office can also impact your spine as much as your office chair. Spine-Health recommends these tips:
- When sitting or standing at work, keep your body in alignment. Distribute your weight evenly on year feet and adjust your chair to properly support you.
- Use ergonomic props or office chairs when sitting. It can be as simple as a pillow or donut on your chair to buying a chair with better support. You can also consider a standing desk if your boss will invest in it for you.
- Get up and move or stretch frequently.
You may want to see a chiropractor for help as well.
This is a common complaint, which has some fairly easy fixes:
- Visit an eye doctor to make sure that your vision is being properly corrected.
- All About Vision advises you reduce glare. You can use an anti-glare screen and adjust your monitor’s display settings.
- Use a blue light filter on your smartphone and/or tablets.
Lack Of Fitness
Fitness can be a struggle when you spend so much of your week at your computer. Make these smart choices throughout your day to help:
- Get up and stretch your legs regularly. Better yet, for long days when you can’t get to the gym, do some exercises at your desk. Here are 33 smart ways to exercise at work from Greatist.com.
- Make healthy choices. If you have to eat at your desk, order a salad with a protein, stock up on protein bars, and hydrate with nearby water bottle regularly.
Work Habits For Better Mental Health
Here are ways that you can also improve your mental health while at work:
Taking A Break
Taking regular breaks at work can improve your productivity, boost your creativity, and lower your stress. Learn four different break methods from Buffer.
Get Into Nature
No one knows exactly why, but spending time in nature helps to relieve stress. Even if you can’t step away from your desk, studies have shown that just seeing nature (or hearing its sounds) can reduce anxiety and depression. Be sure to have outdoor photos at your desk.
Office workers can take these simple steps throughout the day to protect themselves from poor physical and mental health caused by working long hours.
Special Thanks to Jennifer McGregor for her guest blog post.
Jennifer McGregor co-created Public Health Library to write about health and wellness topics and to create a forum for sharing reputable health and medical information.
The content shared on this post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. Please contact your health care provider for medical advice.
Workvie is a work wellness brand dedicated to providing pain relief products and education for hardworking professionals working with pain. I started the company to help my mom that was in pain from years of working as a hairdresser.