Healthy Habits in the Workplace | ACV Health

Healthy Habits in the Workplace

It’s common knowledge that maintaining healthy habits improves productivity, reduces stress and enhances overall well-being. The challenge lies in balancing what we know and what we do, especially when we spend a significant amount of time in our work environments. To truly make positive changes, we need to focus on cultivating healthy habits. Here are some ideas that can help.

Regular Movement and Stretching

Active movement is the best way to prevent the adverse effects of prolonged sitting.

Take Breaks

  • Use alarms or reminders on your phone or computer to prompt you to stand up and move every hour.
  • Incorporate simple stretches for the neck, shoulders and back to alleviate tension.

Fitness-Friendly Workplace

  • Encourage colleagues to join you for a brief walk during discussions, promoting both movement and collaboration.
  • Ask if you can set up designated stretching stations around the workplace and post diagrams showing different stretching routines that can be done in a few minutes, such as neck rolls, shoulder shrugs and wrist stretches.
  • When developing agendas, add a few minutes for stretching and moving around the room for every hour planned for meetings.

Desk Exercises

  • Sit on the edge of your chair and reach your arms above your head, stretching your back and shoulders.
  • Extend your legs under your desk and flex your toes toward the ceiling to stretch your calves.
  • Sit upright and twist your torso to the left and right, holding each position for a few seconds to stretch your back.
  • Stand during phone calls or while reading documents to incorporate more movement.
  • Try using a standing desk, and adjust throughout the day.

Exercise Routines

  • Organize short group exercise classes or walking sessions during lunch breaks or after work.
  • Create friendly competitions with challenges or goals to motivate everyone.

Movement Apps and Tools

  • Use fitness trackers to monitor and encourage daily steps and movement.
  • Download apps that provide reminders and short desk exercise routines.

Healthy Eating and Hydration

Nutrition and hydration help you maintain energy and focus throughout the day. By incorporating these strategies into your daily routine, you can maintain a balanced diet and stay hydrated, promoting overall health and well-being in the workplace.

Make a Plan

  • Plan your meals and snacks for the upcoming week to ensure healthy options are readily available.
  • Make extra servings so that you have plenty of leftovers for lunches at work.

Balanced Meals at Work

  • Aim to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal.
  • Opt for lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, beans or tofu.
  • Choose whole grain options like brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat bread for sustained energy.

Healthy Snacks

  • Prepare portion-controlled healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, yogurt or fresh fruit. Advanced planning will help you avoid reaching for unhealthy options.
  • Choose naturally sweet options like fruit if you crave something sweet.

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink plenty of water, and limit caffeine and sugary drinks.
  • Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk, and set reminders to drink water throughout the day.

Mindful Meals at Work

  • Slow down and take your time to savor and enjoy your meals without distractions, practicing mindful eating to avoid overindulgence.
  • Pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues to prevent unnecessary snacking.

Mental Wellness and Stress Management

Incorporating these strategies into your daily routine can help you manage stress effectively and prioritize your mental well-being, leading to greater resilience and overall satisfaction in the workplace.

Practice Mindfulness

  • Practice deep breathing exercises to reduce stress and promote relaxation. Inhale deeply through your nose for a count of four, hold for a count of four and exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of four.
  • Set aside a few minutes each day for meditation to clear your mind and increase focus. Use guided meditation apps or videos if needed.
  • Take short breaks to go for a walk outside, focusing on your surroundings and the sensations of movement.

Manage Workload

  • Use time management techniques or time blocking to stay focused and productive.
  • Make a list of tasks and prioritize them based on urgency and importance. Break large tasks into smaller, manageable steps.
  • If you have the option, learn to say no to or delay additional commitments when your plate is full. Delegate tasks when possible.

Seek Support

  • Reach out to a trusted colleague or friend to share your feelings and experiences. Sometimes, simply talking about your stressors can provide relief.
  • Utilize resources offered by your workplace, such as counseling services through an Employee Assistance Program, for confidential support and guidance.

Practice Self-Care

  • Prioritize self-care activities such as regular exercise, adequate sleep and nutritious eating to support overall well-being.
  • Make time for activities you enjoy outside of work, whether it’s gardening, painting or playing a musical instrument.
  • Explore relaxation techniques such as yoga, tai chi or progressive muscle relaxation to unwind and reduce tension.

Positive Mindset

  • Keep a gratitude journal and write down three things you’re grateful for each day. Focusing on the positive aspects of life can shift your mindset and reduce stress.
  • Practice positive self-talk and affirmations to counter negative thoughts and build self-confidence.
  • Acknowledge and celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small.

Don’t underestimate the power of prevention. See your primary care physician when needed and maintain your health routine including appointments, medications and follow up visits. Implementing some of these habits will strengthen your morale and motivation and help build a healthier, happier and more productive workplace.

ACV Health wants to support your commitment to health and wellness. Start making small changes today, and share your progress with colleagues and the community. Stay tuned for more tips and updates from ACV Health.

*Disclaimer: This blog is not intended as medical advice. Consult your physician before beginning strenuous exercise or making dramatic changes to your diet.

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