According to the United States Department of Labor, the average American spends 8.8 hours per day working or on other work-related activities.1 That’s about half of your waking hours that may be spent in the office or sitting at a desk, so it’s no surprise that your workplace habits have a major impact on your health. June is Professional Wellness Month, and is a great time to recognize the importance of wellness in the workplace and to incorporate healthy habits into your workday.
BYOL—Bring Your Own Lunch
At the workplace, there’s more temptation to eat out, eat too much, or just skip a meal altogether. Forgo the fast food run, and start eating healthier at lunch by packing your own meal from home. Not only will you save money, but you’ll know exactly what went into your meal and can better control how much you’re eating. Consider bringing your own healthier snacks, too. With vending machines so easily accessible, junk food may be temptingly within reach. Instead, bring healthier alternatives like dried fruit, nuts, and yogurt that will keep you satisfied and fueled throughout the day.
These days, people are working more hours and, as a result, working out less. But “I’m-too-busy-to-work-out” is no longer an excuse because you can actually work out at work. Whether it’s taking the stairs, walking around the office, or stretching between conference calls, find small ways to get moving. While it doesn’t seem like much, any exercise is good for your body and mind, and the benefits are cumulative. Consider trading your desk chair for a fitness or stability ball. You’ll improve your balance and tone your muscles while sitting at your desk.
Work Hard, Play Hard
In today’s fast-paced, multitasking world, many employees don’t take the vacation time they’re given. Rest and relaxation are very important for your well-being and health. When we allow ourselves time to recharge and renew the body and mind, productivity increases as well. So take a break from the 9-to-5 grind to relax and rejuvenate. Where you get your break is up to you, whether it’s spending time at home reconnecting with family and friends, a day at the spa, or a tropical getaway, as long as you make the time. Trust us, when you return to your workplace after some time off, you’ll feel refreshed and more motivated to take on the day.
1. American time use survey. United States Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site.
http://www.bls.gov/tus/charts. Accessed May 6, 2013.