When it comes to improving your office, drastic steps aren't needed. Instead, small changes in behaviors and the environment are more than enough to start reaping the benefits. No need to wait until the end of the work day to think about making healthier decisions. Start with these five healthy habits:
Water Is Key
There's a huge percentage of men and women walking around on a daily basis that aren't properly hydrated. Water is one of the big pillars that affects every aspect of our lives.
Afternoon hunger cravings, random headaches, and general feelings of fogginess can be attributed to dehydration. However, staying hydrated improves your rate of weight loss, your mood, your brain functioning, and your energy levels.
Take Small Standing and/or Activity Breaks
Productivity is a big topic at any company and sometimes it's tough to step away from the monitor and decompress, but your body needs breaks to recharge. Sitting for excessive periods leads you to be more sedentary which can increase your risk for diabetes and heart diseases while potentially causing back pain.
A simple strategy is to stand every 30 minutes, even if you're in the same area. This break (5 minutes is plenty), helps your back, shoulders, hips, and neck, but also decreases your sitting time. During this break, take a stretch, or use a lacrosse or tennis ball to loosen the tension in your feet (especially important to women who wear heels consistently). A few more ideas to get more standing & activity in is to take the stairs when possible, park further away, have walking meetings, and walk to lunch if possible.
An added benefit is that studies have shown that you are more creative when you are walking. If you are brainstorming a new initiative or trying to solve a problem at work, take a walk.
Work On Posture
"Sit up straight" were words many of us heard from our parents growing up. And like most things, our parents were right. Your posture makes a difference on the quality of your day.
Having less-than-ideal posture affects your mood, reduces your lung functioning leading to less oxygenated blood to the brain (this equals not being as mentally sharp), GI issues, and neck pains (hello heavy smartphone users). A possible idea, is that I have seen people try to improve their posture in the office is by sitting on an exercise ball or they have chair versions of this that require you sit with good posture to stay on the chair.
When you do have ideal posture, you're helping your confidence, energy levels, and reducing stress while becoming more productive at work.
Positive Elements in Office = Happy
Whether it's an annoying co-worker or just a busy and stressful day, using positive imagery and elements can help turn this potential stressful environment into a peaceful one.
To improve your environment, decorate your area with positive affirmations, have some sticky notes or messages with reminders about why you're pursuing your various goals. These positive reminders keep you on the right track as you're growing in your life.
Another unique option is to add an indoor plant, which has been shown to help productivity by 12%.
Bad habits are hard to break, but once you adopt a healthier lifestyle, you won’t regret this decision. Healthy habits reduce the risk of certain diseases, improve your physical appearance and mental health, and give your energy level a much needed boost. You won’t change your mindset and behavior overnight, so be patient and take it one day at a time.