By Dustin Reinbold, PT

Working in an office can be hazardous to your health.  If you work in an office you likely spend hours working on the computer or phone, feel stressed, work extra hours, don’t take breaks, have unhealthy eating habits and go home feeling exhausted.  A sedentary lifestyle + stress + poor nutritional habits = poor health.

Now I know those of you who work in an office probably can’t change your career, job duties, or responsibilities.   I will say you can change your work habits and improve your health.  One of the best things you can do for your health at the office is be aware of what you are putting into your body. 

Many of us eat or drink to keep our mind stimulated and alert.  If you choose pop, candy, and chips to keep you on task and alert you could be increasing your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity.  Yes, it is OK to have a couple of cups of coffee in the morning and afternoon, if you need caffeine to keep you going.  Try adding in some water between those cups of coffee.  Instead of having a high-sugar snack that will give you a burst of energy, but will cause you to crash quickly, try having some unsalted nuts or a low-calorie granola bar.  This will provide more of a long-lasting energy.

Breaks are very important.  You are all very busy and have pressing deadlines, but it is very important that you don’t skip your breaks.  Taking a 10-minute break away from your desk will help clear your mind and give a moment of relaxation.  When you come back to your desk, you will be more focused and more productive.  Stop eating your lunch at your desk while still working.  Get up and out of the office, eat a quick lunch, visit with co-workers about something other than work, or go for a short walk.  You will be more energized and ready to take on the rest of your day.

The best part of changing your habits in the office is you will go home less stressed, less tired and happier.  This will allow you to have more quality time with your family and feel more like exercising or doing a physical activity after work.