Simple Ways to Get Healthy in the Workplace with Minimal Effort
Work Wellness

Simple Ways to Get Healthy in the Workplace with Minimal Effort

|Aug 12, 2023

Being mindful of your health is a full-time job, and figuring out how to become healthy in ways that work with your busy schedule can be a challenge. It can be difficult to squeeze in regular workouts and healthy eating habits when you work all day, but there are simple ways to help you get healthy at work without much disruption. 

Using the tips provided in this guide, you can successfully maintain good health habits in the workplace and follow a healthy lifestyle while remaining productive and focused at work.  

Why is Staying Healthy at Work Important?

Most adults spend a significant portion of their time at work, whether remotely, on the road, or in an office. The average working week in the US is roughly 35 hours (not including unpaid breaks), which is a lot of time to spend neglecting your health. A lot of people don’t realize the impact sitting down for that amount of time has on your body. 

On top of that, it is also easy to falter on other important healthy habits while you are busy at work, including eating well and drinking enough water. All-in-all, if you don’t take steps to stay healthy at work, you could quickly find your physical and mental well-being on a downward spiral. 

Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do that don’t require much effort, are easy to maintain, and can actually improve your productivity and focus.

Why is Staying Healthy at Work Important?

10 Ways to Get Healthy in the Workplace

Let’s get started! First, it is important to note that most of these tips work for any workplace- not just an office. It also doesn’t matter whether you work from home, in a shared office, or another type of facility- if you spend long hours at a desk or otherwise busy getting a job done, these suggestions can apply to you. 

1. Invest in an Adjustable Desk

An automatic sit-stand desk is the must-have tool for modern offices and anyone who has to spend time working at a desk as part of their job. The number of calories burned sitting vs. standing is impressive and offers great benefits without doing very much at all.  

Investing in an electric standing desk allows you to stretch your legs, straighten your back, and keep your mind focused without having to take a break from getting work done. It opens up the possibility to do light standing exercises, balance practice, or even treadmill walking- and saves your bones and muscles from staying stuck in one position for hours. 

The beauty of a standard or L-shaped electric desk is the versatility it allows. You don’t have to spend the whole day standing, but you can switch between the two at any time. You can find a fantastic range of stylish, efficient, and health-booting standing desks at Autonomous. 

Invest in an Adjustable Desk

2. Go for Walks During Your Breaks

We know it is tempting when you have a break to just sit and relax, but if you spend most of your time sitting anyway, this is not the best use of your time as far as health is concerned. Use your break to get a change of scenery, and to stretch your legs.

It doesn’t need to be far. Even just a walk around the room is better than nothing. Calories burned when using active energy vs. resting energy are higher and more effective, and using some of that energy to go for a quick walk at break time can help you get healthy more easily.

Go for Walks During Your Breaks

3. Drink Plenty of Water

Water is the single most important thing you can put into your body, so drinking lots of it throughout the day is vital for your health. Experts recommend drinking around 2.7 liters of fluids daily for women and 3.7 liters for men as a general ballpark figure- but it is different from person to person and depends on the climate you live in. 

Many people struggle to drink enough water at work, usually because they forget or don’t have time to go and get glasses of water. The best solution is to get yourself a water bottle, fill it at the beginning of each morning, and refill it during your lunch break. If the bottle holds around one liter, then you know you are drinking a good amount if you finish at least two per day.  

An even better solution is to bring a smart water bottle with you to work. You can connect it to your phone to set reminders and trackers to motivate you to keep your body hydrated.

Drink Plenty of Water to get healthy

4. Pre-Pack Your Lunches and Snacks

One of the main inhibitors to staying healthy at work is fast food and snacking. We have all been there when your day gets busy, and you want an easy, tasty pick-me-up to keep you going. Ditch the cookies and take-out lunches and prepare yourself healthy, filling snacks to enjoy guilt-free throughout the day. 

Pick things you enjoy eating that don’t send the calorie counters soaring. Carrots and hummus, healthy granola bars, nuts and fruits, and other healthy snacks are great to have on hand. Get yourself a lunch pack and take it with you to work each day.  

It may take a little extra time in the morning (or the evening before if you are organized), but it saves you from temptation- not to mention the money you will save by saying no to daily junk food purchases.

Pre-Pack Your Lunches and Snacks

5. Do Sitting Stretches in Your Chair

If your job involves a lot of sitting down, that doesn’t mean a little bit of activity is completely off the table. You can do some light but effective stretches while sitting in your chair, which is good for your posture and muscles and can also help you stay alert and focused. 

Stretching is great for the body in many ways. It keeps your muscles flexible and strong and prevents them from tightening and restricting movement. If you ever feel stiff and sore getting up from your chair after sitting there for a while, it is probably because of this. 

Doing a few easy stretches while sitting down keeps blood moving, reduces pain, and helps your body stay healthier for longer. There are a few lower back stretch in-chair movements that are especially beneficial for people who spend a lot of time at a desk.

Do Sitting Stretches in Your Chair

6. Choose the Stairs Instead of the Elevator

A small change can make a big difference. Taking the stairs is the perfect example. Rather than hopping in the elevator every morning, challenge yourself to walk up the stairs. This gets your heart rate going, exercises your lower body and core muscles, and is a great way to start the day mentally. 

Don’t worry if you can’t walk the whole way up from day one- especially if your workplace is on a high floor. Start with one or two stories and take the elevator the rest of the way. You may find that doing this regularly improves your stamina and ability to climb more stairs in less time.  

Here are a couple of tips if you intend to make this change. 

  • If the shoes you wear for work are not comfortable for walking in, take them in a bag and wear trainers on your way. Just don’t leave the bag at home!
  • Time yourself from bottom to top and set challenges to beat that time in the future.
  • Remember to give yourself a little longer to get to work since stair climbing will probably take a little longer.
  • Don’t feel the need to push yourself or sprint up the stairs- walking slowly and steadily is already a huge step towards helping you get healthy at work.

Choose the Stairs Instead of the Elevator

7. Take Your Meals Sitting Down

Many busy professionals find themselves grabbing lunch on the go, which often means gulping down bites while walking to the next meeting, site, or task. What many people don’t realize is that eating while walking or standing up interferes with your body’s ability to process hunger signals and feel full. 

That leads to people eating more or feeling hungry sooner than they should. It is much better to take a few minutes to sit down and eat your food. 

8. Use a Health Tracker

Staying healthy at work involves drinking more water, eating the right things at the right times, keeping your heart rate in a good spot, and moving enough to look after your muscles. The question is, how do you keep track of it all? 

While many of these changes are easy enough to implement without support, the overall mission of maintaining healthy work habits (and life habits) is much more manageable with some sort of smart health tracker to help you. 

Smart bands are extremely popular and very effective- especially the ones you can connect to your phone. They monitor certain levels in your body to help tailor your healthy living plan, including heart rate tracking, hydration monitoring, stress analysis, and more.  

The HEALBE GoBe3 Smart Band ticks all the boxes, is designed to look professional and discreet for wearing at work, and has an advanced calorie intake tracker that works completely autonomously.

Use a Health Tracker

9. Move as Much as Possible

Lack of exercise during the day is one of the things that contribute to poor sleeping habits and stiff, achy muscles, so it is important to keep your body moving. If your job involves a lot of moving around, great, but if not, you need to actively look for ways to be, well, active. 

It might sound like a lot of work, but it is not. Moving around can be as simple as arranging the layout of your office to ensure you need to move between things during the day. It can also be keeping your lunch away from your desk so you can’t be tempted to stay there. 

Other good ideas include spending set hours on the day standing rather than sitting, getting into the habit of stretching or walking when you don’t have to be at the desk, and picking out some simple exercises to do at a standing desk

Another great tool for those who have their own office space is an under-desk treadmill. These are especially popular with home office desks for remote or hybrid workers who want to use their space for two-in-one working and fitness.  

These simple walking pads slide discreetly under the desk so you can walk and work at the same time. They are perfect for standing desks or for people who spend a lot of time on calls. The WalkingPad Foldable Treadmill by Autonomous is one of the best, and you can even pick it up and put it away when you are not using it.

Move as Much as Possible

10. Take Screen Breaks and Get Some Fresh Air

Most jobs today involve a lot of screen time, it is unavoidable. It is well-known that over-exposure to the blue light that comes from screens can impact your ability to sleep, which in turn impacts your ability to do everything!  

If a screen is an integral part of your job, try to take short screen breaks throughout the day to work on something else. Whether it is writing down notes, tidying your desk, or going to make a coffee- as long as it gets you away from the screen, it is a good thing.

It is even better if you can step outside for some fresh air and sunlight. This is more a mental health benefit than physical health, but the two are closely woven, and taking care of one usually helps the other. 

Final Thought

Deciding to get healthy is the best thing people can do, and having a busy job doesn’t have to stand in the way. It is often the little things that make the biggest difference when people are trying to change their lifestyle, and these 10 tips could go a long way to helping you achieve your goals.

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