Eight hours in a chair in front of a computer, five days a week can take a toll on your body. From avoiding eye strain and tension neck syndrome to passing on those extra calories that co-workers leave invitingly on their desks, experts give WebMD 10 tips that will help you stay healthy and in shape at work.
1. The snacks that your co-workers so nicely place on their desk can add a few hundred calories to your daily diet if you’re not careful, and they can leave you with unwanted pounds if you help yourself day after day.
“If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind, so if you know someone has a candy dish on their desk, walk around his or her desk so you don’t feel the temptation,” says Dawn Jackson, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. “Take a break, get a breath of fresh air, and skip the candy. Or, if you are hungry, have fruit at your desk, like cherries or grapes.”
Three out of five Americans are overweight, explains Jackson, which means there is likely more than one person in your office who is dieting.
“In most offices, people are trying to lose weight, so go in with people and get fruit bowls instead of candy bowls,” says Jackson. “And see if you can get people to replace their candy bowls with something healthier.”
2. Drinking an adequate amount of water — eight to 10 glasses every day — can help keep you hydrated. Many foods are also good sources of water; fruits like oranges, grapefruit, grapes, watermelon, and apples can help keep you healthy and hydrated.
“The 3 o’clock lull that many people feel at work can be due to dehydration, so drink lots of water,” Jackson tells WebMD. “Set goals: Bring a 16 ounce bottle of water to work and try to finish it by lunch, and then fill it up again and finish that by 3 p.m. By 5 p.m., finish a third bottle.”
Another tip from Jackson: Set your computer alarm to go off so you remember it’s time to refill.