You wouldn’t think that going to work would be a cause for worrying about your health. There are many things you do as second nature while you’re at work that could be compromising your health in several ways. Once you know what they are, you can make tweaks to your workday routine that can help keep you healthy. Here are some easy things you can that will make your time at work productive and prevent you from having to take sick days too often. Here’s to the healthiest life yet.
1. Stop Crossing Your Legs While You Work
It’s probably a habit to cross your legs when you sit at your office desk, especially if you’re wearing a skirt. However, that habit can cause joint issues because sitting with one leg over the other puts excess pressure on your hips. Experts recommend sitting with your feet flat on the floor, which transfers the pressure to your butt and legs, both of which are areas that are designed to handle it.
2. Sit up Straight and Quit Hanging Your Head
When you sit at your computer and work, you probably naturally hang your head a little bit. Sitting like this puts too much pressure on your neck and back, which can cause all sorts of issues, from headaches to back pain. You need to practice sitting with your chest and shoulders back and take a 10-minute break from time to time to give your body a chance to stretch.
3. A Sedentary Job Can Lead to Weight Gain
It’s no secret that you have to get enough activity to prevent weight gain. The sad truth is that many people with an office job find themselves putting on some pounds because they sit all day long. It happened to me when I got my first job after college. But you aren’t doomed. Take a walk on your lunch break, stand and pace while you’re on the phone and ask your boss if you could get a standing desk. Also, make sure to include a workout as part of your routine when you’re off the clock.
4. Don’t Sit Too Close to the Monitor
When you put your face too close to the computer screen, your eyes have to work harder to focus on what you’re seeing. This can lead to eyestrain, especially if you spend a lot of time on your computer during the day. Eyestrain can cause headaches and pain in your eyes. The magic number is 25 inches so measure it out and make sure you sit that far back from your monitor. Don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.
5. Hunching Your Shoulders is a Bad Idea
Slouching is bad for your back, shoulders and neck, but you might not even realize you’re doing it. Not only can this lead to pain, but experts say that you can really injure yourself by slouching too often or for long periods of time. Try using a lumbar pillow on your chair to help remind you to sit up straight while you work.
6. Leaning on Only One Armrest
I love chairs with armrests because you can really sink in and get comfy. However, if you find yourself leaning on only one armrest during the course of your work day, you shorten and tighten the muscles on one side of your body, which can lead to spasms, pinched nerves and tingling. Either use both at the same time or neither of them.
7. Hitting the Drive-Thru for Lunch
Whether you want to share a meal with your favorite co-workers or you want to get back to your desk, many office workers rely on fast food at lunchtime. This habit can lead to all sorts of health issues, including weight gain, nutrient deficiencies and too much sugar and salt in your diet. Bring a healthy lunch from home and you can still eat with friends and make lunchtime quick.
What office habits are making you unhealthy?