You may claim that your job – or your boss – is killing you, and the truth is, it could actually be harming you. Poor lunch decisions when you’re on the go, uncomfortable chairs, and germy work stations might be taking a toll on your immune system. With a few thoughtful workplace changes, though, you can make your office a place of health and not harm. (Unfortunately, we can’t help you with your boss.)
If you work in an office, you probably spend the majority of your day at your desk. Make sure it isn’t a breeding ground for bacteria. “Sanitize your workspace,” suggests life coach Stacia Pierce ofUltimate Lifestyle Enterprises. “Keep disinfectant wipes near to wipe down your mouse, keyboard and phone.” Don’t just expect the nighttime cleaning crew to wipe away those desk germs.
Pierce also suggests getting fresh air by eating lunch outside whenever possible. Kathy Gruver, PhD, a health and wellness practitioner, agrees. “Get outside for fresh air and sunlight, which can help that after lunch feeling of sleepiness,” says Gruver. “Add in exercise and stretching throughout the day. We are still when waiting for things to load, fax, and copy. This is the perfect time to stretch and move the body.”
You might be surprised which careers offer the healthiest lifestyles. According to Leslie Caccamese, Director of Strategic Marketing and Research at Great Place to Work, grocery clerks are often in good shape. “At Whole Foods, team members are educated on healthy eating so they can share that information with their customers,” says Caccamese. “Team members also get an extra discount at Whole Foods stores for maintaining healthy biometric standards. Their annual Green Trek Challenge awards team members points and prizes for eating healthy, exercising, and choosing alternative forms of transportation.”
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Find ways to sneak a little exercise into your workday. Get your blood flowing with a few lunges or heel lifts at your work station. If you’re shy about the desk workout routine, burn calories more discreetly by parking farther away from the building, or opting for the stairs rather than the elevator. Or just go for a walk during your lunch break.