How To Stay Healthy Working At A Desk All Day

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Wondering how you can stay healthy working at a desk for the majority of your day? Then this post is for you, my friend!  Watch or read below to discover the top 5 self care habits that will help you stay healthy, nourished and hopefully, pain free! 

How To Stay Healthy Working At A Desk All Day

WATER RIGHT AFTER WAKING UP

The first self-care habit that I encourage you to develop is to drink a glass of water right after waking up to:

  • increase energy levels 
  • help the body to flush out wastes and toxins
  • keep fluids and electrolytes in balance

In other words, water should always be the first thing that you ingest on any given day (i.e. a glass of water before your coffee, tea or breakfast). 

How can you make it happen?  

Here’s what you can do:

  • Either, put a glass of water on your bedside table before going to bed so that you can drink it as soon you wake up the next day.

OR

  • Keep a glass of water on your bathroom sink to remind yourself to drink it while you go about your morning business.

But wait, there’s more!

UP YOUR HYDRATION GAME

Rather than jugging a bottle of water right before bed and setting yourself up for multiple nighttime bathroom trips, spread your water intake throughout the day. 

Here’s how to go about it.    

  • Firstly, learn to drink a glass of water right after having diuretic beverages like caffeinated drinks or alcohol since diuretics increase the rate of urination.
  • Secondly, set yourself up for success and adjust your environment to help you drink more water wherever you are. For instance, keep a water bottle in your vehicle, on your work desk, the kitchen counter, the water holder on your bike, or in your back pack.

How much water should you drink daily?

Well, this will depend on personal factors like your size, physical activity, climate, and of course the diuretic substances that you consume. But as a rule of thumb, aim for at least 2 liters of water per day.

CAUTION: 

Many people are not in tune with their sense of thirst so watch out for signs of dehydration (dry lips, dry mouth or dark urine). 

Moreover, some tend to mistake thirst for hunger so the next time you feel hungry, have a glass of water first to see if that’s what your body was truly craving. Chances are that you were just feeling thirsty!

How To Stay Healthy Working At A Desk All Day

GIVE YOUR EYES AND BODY REGULAR BREAKS

The second self-care habit will save you a lot of pain and discomfort if you train yourself to give your body and eyes a little rest from your work station. 

Basically, the idea is to take little, strategic actions during the day to:

  • live a healthier desk job
  • prevent yourself from excessive fatigue and injuries associated with sedentary jobs (neck pains, lower back problems, wrist aches)!

In practice, these seemingly trivial mini-breaks are about:

  • simple stretches
  • short-walks
  • breathing exercises
  • mini meditations
  • looking away to stare at something green for a few seconds (my favorite strategy)!

How can you make sure that you follow through?

Well, you’ll need to set up a system that works for you, and you alone. For example, I like to set my interval timer to prompt me to switch between standing and sitting at my desk every 30 minutes.

In addition, I usually take a break to drink some water, walk outside or stretch on the floor at the top of each hour. Above all, I like to prevent myself from getting distracted so I stick to an old fashioned interval timer.

But what if you prefer some tech-based solution? 

Luckily, there are a lot of free options available to you: 

  • mobile apps (Stretchly, Eye Care 20-20-20, Fix Your Posture)
  • Google Chrome extensions that let you set up customizable breaks and remind you to take them.

Check Out These Resources:

How To Stay Healthy Working At A Desk All Day

GET YOUR DAILY DOSE OF PHYTOCHEMICALS

The third self-care habit that I’d like you to consider developing is to make yourself a colorful, yummy smoothie in the morning. And guess what? You’ll be able to make it in less than 60 seconds if you have all ingredients ready to go.

Here’s why smoothies are so good for you: 

  • Firstly, smoothies made of fresh fruits and veggies are an easy way of supplying our bodies with beneficial plant chemicals (phytochemicals). Therefore, we protect ourselves from diseases and free radical damage (antioxidants).
  • Secondly, smoothies are packed with nutrients and beneficial fiber, which feed our good gut bacteria and help to eliminate accumulated wastes by keeping our digestive system moving.

Do you see the value here? 

How To Stay Healthy Working At A Desk All Day

EMBRACE THE SKILL OF BEING ORGANIZED

The forth self-care habit is very simple, it doesn’t cost you anything yet we tend to underestimate the power of being organized.

But wait, wait!

If you already feel overwhelmed by reading the word organized, please know that this is not about being obsessive about keeping things clean and tidy.

Let me clarify. 

The true essence of being organized is positive, helpful and very resourceful in a sense that it can help you be more productive, focused, calm and grounded. In fact, the science of positive psychology is showing how keeping things clean and organized is really good for us.

For instance, staying organized can help us to make healthier food choices, sleep better, reduce stress, and stay in shape. Moreover, the skill of being organized gives us more freedom, time and ultimately it enables us to live a more balanced life.

How can you become more organized?   

A great question! Firstly, focus on being proactive at decluttering your work space, home, emails, desktop, document folders etc. on a regular basis. Secondly, create an easy routine to work on developing the skill of being organized.   

Here’s a tip on how you can start today. 

Simply take 10 minutes before the end of your work day to:

  • clean up your work station
  • get rid of any clutter
  • write down a list of your top 3 priorities for the next day to help you switch into a focused, productive mode as soon as you get back to your workstation the next day.

Sounds good? 

Let's declutter!

How To Stay Healthy Working At A Desk All Day

EAT REAL, NATURAL FOODS 80% OF THE TIME

The fifth and last self-care strategy goes back to nutrition, which plays a huge part in our health and well being yet, many of us never really take the time to learn how to feed themselves properly.

Here’s how I look at it.

I think of nutrition as a personal affair because we all have our unique nutritional needs depending on our actual health situation, lifestyle and environment.

The bottom line?

Make sure to keep yourself nourished, balanced and far away from the blood sugar roller-coaster, which is a problem that can be very damaging to your health in the long term. 

The best strategy? Simply make a plan and stick to it!

And I’ve got 3 options for you:

  • Firstly, the ideal approach: eat real, natural foods at least 80% of the time which means that you’ll need to learn some preparation skills. But, you can totally do it if eating healthy is truly important to you and if you resonate with the idea of making healthy eating a way of life.   
  • Secondly, the happy medium solution: combine the meals that you prepare at home with some healthier options that you can buy in the store.
  • Thirdly, the least favorable option: not to have a plan, freestyle and ultimately let your emotions and taste buds make the final call, which usually ends in making very poor food choices. Not to mention the expenses that you could put towards something that gets you closer to reaching your health or financial goals!
Wondering how to switch to healthy eating? Here, you'll find tips on how to optimize your day-to-day diet, break poor eating habits and more!