September 20, 2011
Staying Healthy at Work
Spending an average of 40 hours per week at work can be physically and mentally draining, but the workplace can also be unhealthy in other ways as well.
Sitting or standing for long periods of time can cause pain and other adverse effects, and there can also be nutritional traps, such as vending machines, that could contribute to weight gain.
But experts say there are numerous things people can do to make their workplaces healthier. The following includes simple tips for keeping healthy at work.
Take a Walk in the Park
The idea: we have two forms of attention -- directed and involuntary. In the workplace, employees use directed attention that is finite and depletes leading to mental fatigue. During a nature walk, stimulation and the environment capture our involuntary attention, which research suggests may allow for directed attention, which we use to do our jobs, to recover.
Surf the Web
After you take that stroll, spend some time cruising the web. Experts are now encouraging employers to lighten up when cracking down on workers' Internet access, thanks to a recent study.
Researchers at the National University of Singapore discovered that web browsing rejuvenated exhausted employees and boosted their productivity. The results were shared earlier this month at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management in San Antonio, Texas.
In an experiment that observed 96 students broken into a control group, a "rest-break" group and a Web-surfing group, those who were allowed to use the Internet during 10 minutes of leisure were found to be more productive and effective at their tasks. According to scientists, they also reported less mental exhaustion and boredom.
While sitting at a desk for long periods of time may seem like a good way to stay productive, experts say it's very unhealthy.
You need to take breaks every hour or two to get up and move. A lot of low back conditions happen from just sitting for a long period of time. The muscles get weak.
Email and other office technologies are undoubtedly convenient, but delivering messages the old-fashioned way, while it may be more time-consuming, is a much healthier option.
The workplace is often full of tasty temptations, such as vending machines and celebratory desserts. While responsibilities at work and at home make it difficult to find time to plan meals and snacks for work, experts strongly recommend it.
It's really important to eat at least every four hours. You need to make sure you're setting some time aside to make sure you're getting food in.
It's difficult to avoid hitting the vending machines or indulging in a tasty treat in the office, but it helps to have pre-portioned snacks on hand.
Small bags of nuts or snack mix you make yourself, or a small bag of fruit like apples or grapes. Keeping big bags of snacks can lead to mindless eating.
It's also important to drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration and to keep muscles healthy.
Posted by Lisa at September 20, 2011 5:38 AM
To send a trackback, use this url. If you know anything about this subject, please post a comment.