10 tips to nail health in the 9-5 grind

Sitting down with little movement for so long each day and that ever growing feeling by three o’clock that you’re starting to feel too tired for the gym; there’s no denying that having to sit at a desk for eight hours straight can have serious impacts on your health over time. It can be frustrating feeling like you’re not moving enough, but with a few tips and some initiative you can easily fit well-being into your work day.

  1. Keep moving

I know it sounds impossible but with a little focus you can getmoving at work! Try and aim to take a break at least every hour, and move around the office. If you have a question to ask your colleague, instead of sending them an email or calling from the other side of the office just get up and walk over. By just taking a few minutes to stand up and move you’ll get the blood circulating through your body and refresh your brain.      

2. Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water each day is essential for everybody, but when you’re zoned in on your work sometimes it’s easy to forget, which leads to dehydration. Dehydration can also trick you into thinking you’re hungry which can lead to those sugary afternoon snacks. Set some goals on finishing certain amounts of water by specific times of the day or try and pick a smaller glass from the cupboard so you’re constantly having to get up to refresh yourself.

3. Use your lunch break!

It’s a break for a reason – not only is it good to try and switch your mind off of work for half an hour or so and eat away from your workspace, but it’s another excuse to move your body. If you can’t, or don’t like hitting the gym during your lunch break, use it as an excuse to stretch your muscles or go for a walk around the block for some fresh air.

4. Manage your snack drawer

It can be easy when your office is home to a delicious snack pile, vending machine, or leftover event catering and birthday morning teas to just grab all the great sugary snacks and be on your way. Dedicate your drawer to being stocked with healthy snacks like rice cakes, peanut butter, nuts and dried fruits etc. that way when the three thirty munchies hit, you’re already set!

Credit: @LeahItsines

5. Prep, prep and more prep!

Meal prep can be time-consuming but it’s also super beneficial. Take a couple hours out of your Sunday and pre-plan your lunches for the week. Not only will this save you money each week but this also enables you to eat healthier during the week and not have to rely on takeaway food.

6. Initiate walking meetings

If the weather is nice, another way of squeezing in some exercise at work is to host a meeting outside, while you take a walk around the block. So instead of talking about everything you need to in a meeting room inside, get outside and do the same thing! Or Combat the Canberra cold by having it in a local cafe, delicious latte and a walk to get there – best of both worlds!

7. Ask for a standing desk

We all know that sitting for extended periods of time can have some serious impacts on our health. If you already have a standing desk, make sure you take full advantage of it! Not only is it better for your back but it can also help to increase your focus. Don’t have one, why not try your hand at asking for a stand up desk? Sell the boss on the health benefits – what’s the worst that can happen? They say no.

8. Exercise as much as you can outside of work

When you’re swamped with work, it can be easy to feel fatigued and want to just go home and rest. Bring a change of your gym gear with you to work and if you can, change before you leave so you’re ready to hit the gym or exercise at home straight away. Try setting small exercise goals to meet each week like scheduling 10-15min of cardio three times a week and gradually start to increase the amount once you’ve managed this.

9. Sit up straight

It can be so easy to sink deeper and deeper into your chair; we tend to hunch over when sitting at a computer which can often lead to shoulder and neck pain. Check yourself and hold yourself accountable for your posture. You can start by rolling your shoulders back and down to reset yourself and make sure that your computer screens are set up correctly – your eyes should be lined up with the top of the screen.

10. Look after yourself outside of the office

Not only is movement and nutrition important to staying healthy, so is getting enough sleep. Work can often be a stressful environment. Make sure you look after yourself in your downtime and do something nice for yourself to clear your mind. Waking up rested and refreshed will help curb the coffee breaks and mindless snacking during the day.

Written by Alannah Andreini

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