Studies Reveal How To Stay Healthy at Work

You may feel like a slave to your job at times, but that doesn't mean you have to let it affect your health. Most Americans spend 40 or more hours at work each week – which can be both physically and mentally draining. Whether you work in a cubicle, at a construction site, or in a retail store, there are a few simple things you can do to stay healthy.

1.  Walk during your lunch break.

Dr. Marc Berman of the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto recommends taking a nature walk (or even just viewing pictures from nature) to improve your working memory span by 20 percent. Be aware of mental fatigue and take a break as needed. Try to look out the window or put a plant on your desk to utilize a different part of your mind every now and then, he says.

2.  Take a leisurely internet break.

Ever wonder what to do during those two 15-minute breaks? Researchers at the National University of Singapore found that students who were given a 10-minute internet break to visit sites they like were more productive and effective at their tasks.

3.  Practice good posture.

The American Osteopathic Association discovered that two-thirds of employees suffer pain on the job and 25 percent believe it’s just “part of having an office job.” To alleviate pain, they recommend sitting up straight, keeping both feet flat on the ground, keeping elbows close to the body while moving the mouse, placing the monitor straight ahead at eye level, and getting up to move around every so often.

4.  Keep healthy snacks nearby.

Researchers from Brigham Young University report that “employees who rarely eat fruits, vegetables and other low-fat foods at work were 93 percent more likely to have a higher loss in productivity.” So it’s a good idea to keep a drawer of healthy snacks like raisins, dark chocolate, almonds, and fresh fruit. This will not only boost your productivity, but your immune system too.

5.  Take time to eat away from your desk.

A study by the American Dietetic Association found that 62 percent of Americans eat lunch at their desks and 50 percent snack at their desks. Experts say that is how the desk becomes a breeding grounds for bacteria when crumbs fall and are not sanitized the same way a kitchen table would be wiped down after dinner. Additionally, many people do not store their food properly when they bring lunches to work. Re-heated food must get up to at least 165 degrees. So, to stay healthy, pack a cooler and get away from the desk for a little R&R.