10 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

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Most of us spend a lot of our lives at work.

An estimated 10.3 total years, actually.

That’s why it’s so important that we try to keep healthy while at work. This not only means making sure we don’t dig into the donuts in the staff kitchen too often, but also making sure we stay active and create a healthy workspace.

10 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

1. Pack your desk with superfood snacks

Oh, those treats in the staff kitchen — they’re hard to resist. And while there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, delving into those donuts everyday isn’t the healthiest choice.

Keeping healthy snacks in your desk will help you resist temptations. Nuts and coconut flakes are both great options since they’re packed with healthy fats that will keep you feeling satiated through the day. Plantain chips and dark chocolate are also healthy alternatives to potato chips and sweet treats. (I buy all of these healthy snacks at Thrive Market, which helps me save a ton.)

2. Keep an air-purifying plant near your desk

Indoor air can be up to 7 times more polluted than outdoor air! Clean it up with an air-purifying plant. Golden pothos is a great option since it’s really sturdy (i.e. hard to kill), doesn’t require a ton of light, and removes formaldehyde, monoxide, and benzene from the air.

Related Post: 7 Plants that Improve Indoor Air Quality by Removing Chemicals

3. Schedule alerts to get moving

Sitting for long periods of time at a desk is not healthy, regardless of whether you get your sweat on at the gym for an hour each day or not. So if you have a desk job that includes a lot of time sitting, schedule an alert to get up and moving every 30 or 60 minutes. Of course, you can’t take a 5 minute break every 30 minutes! But standing up, moving your arms in circles, or doing a few squats for just 30 seconds will get your blood pumping and do your cardiovascular system good.

4. Make the most of your lunch break

Take the opportunity to get out of the office and MOVE during your lunch break. If you can’t go for a quick walk outside, find a stairwell to climb up and down a few times — anything to get your heart rate up and blood moving!

5. Invest in a balance ball chair

I have one of these and absolutely love it. The Balance Ball Chair was developed to strengthen core muscles and improve spinal alignment — it’s really helped my back. Plus, the ball can also be removed and used for exercises on or off the chair if you have a few minutes to spare throughout the day.

6. Bring your own hand soap and sanitizer

Chances are the hand soap and sanitizer supplied by your office or building manager is filled with some unhealthy chemicals. So bring your own!

I really like these CleanWell natural antibacterial soaps. And if there’s nowhere in the bathroom to store your soap and you feel silly carrying around your own bottle, these 2-oz Dr. Bronner’s castile soaps are small enough to slip into your pocket or discretely carry to the bathroom (since castile soap is very concentrated, use a small amount — this 2-oz little bottle will go a long way). This natural hand sanitizer smells great and keeps germs away naturally.

7. Pack your own lunch

Not only will packing your own lunch save you some major moolah, but homemade lunches are often much healthier than whatever you may pick up at the office cafeteria or local deli. Batch cooking your meals over the weekend will help save you time in the mornings before work as you’re rushing to head out the door.

8. Keep your desk clean and dust-free

Dust is more than just dead skin cells (ew) and carpet fiber — studies have shown that most dust contains a lot of unhealthy chemicals.

Most office cleaning companies don’t touch the desks, so be sure to keep your desk space clean and dust-free.

9. Amp up the lighting situation

If you can, turn off the fluorescent lighting and instead use lamps with full spectrum light bulbs. Fluorescent lights are known to increase stress and mental fatigue as well as strain your eyes and cause headaches. Full-spectrum light bulbs can help remedy this, increasing mental clarity and reducing eye strain. Better lighting can also make your office feel more cozy and inviting, improving your happiness while in the office (always a good thing)!

10. Stay hydrated! … with a filtered water bottle

OK, this one is a must at all time — whether you’re at work or not. But it’s especially easy to get wrapped up in tasks at work and forget this vital healthy habit. Keep a large water bottle at your desk and refill it throughout the day (it’s a good excuse to get out of your chair and moving a little bit). And if your office doesn’t offer filtered water, invest in this filtered water bottle — it’s glass and removes over 99% of bacteria, lead, and chlorine.

How do you stay healthy at work?

Have any other tips? Please share with us in the comments below!


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  1. Thank you for the tips. From today I’m going to swop out my BPA free plastics water bottle with the glass jar and cup set that I keep at home. I love the tip on using a balance ball and keeping an air purifying plant, I’m going to ask our facilities manager if it’s allowed. We have ergonomic chairs but I find that I still get back and shoulder pains after a long day, so I really hope they’ll allow me change to a balance ball chair. I also wipe my desk every morning when I get to the office. I usually work late, and I’ve seen the routine of the night shift cleaners and I much rather clean my own desk… I should keep some healthy snacks in my locker, I usually pack those daily and thank Jess for some ideas. Nadia, I’ll take a look at your suggestions from Thrive and search for those in South Africa.

  2. Hey, Jess! I’m so sorry for the belated reply!!

    Love the idea of a salt lamp! And the colorful paper – I agree that decorations TOTALLY affect your mood at work.

    LOL your desk drawers sound like mine! From Thrive, I love the sprouted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, Epic bars, Mary’s Gone Crackers crackers, and plantain chips, which all make great desk snacks 🙂

  3. Love these tips! I work in a cubicle farm and try my best to make my home for 8 hours each day an oasis, of sorts.

    I have a salt lamp and a few plants, including a snake plant which is really difficult to kill and also purifies the air. I decorated the drab gray sides of my desk with colorful paper and hangings. It helps cheer up the place quite a bit! Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast blog created a beautiful sketch and watercolor calendar that highlights seasonal produce, I have that hanging on a cabinet.

    I also have two drawers of snacks and condiments. I try to keep the non-refrigerated essentials on hand (olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, hot sauce, S&P, and almond butter along with TONS of tea bags). I keep small jars of chia seeds, flax seeds, and dates to add to food (usually breakfast) or snack on the fly. I also keep a decorative bowl full of fresh fruit within arms reach. Right now I have a persimmon, apples, clementines, and a pear.

    Can you give more examples of your favorite desk snacks from Thrive Market? I’m a customer of their’s and always looking for new ideas!