The responsibilities of a job keep you focused on work and not necessarily on your physical well-being. Whether you sit a desk or work on your feet all day, our jobs can lead to 40 hours of unhealthy habits each week. Luckily, these habits can be broken with a few small changes that will help you engage in healthy behaviors at work.
Sitting at a Desk
- Poor posture – With the amount of time spent sitting at your desk, it is important that you maintain proper posture to avoid aches and pains. Tip: adjust your chair height so feet are flat on the floor and your knees and arms at a 90-degree angle. Adjust your computer screen to tilt slightly upward so your eyes are even with the top edge.
- Disorganized desk – A messy work space can cause stress and lead to inefficiency. Your desk, phone, and computer can harbor many germs as well. Tip: Once a week, clean your work space with antibacterial wipes. Organize your desk in a way that minimizes strain on your body and is easy to maintain over time.
- Sitting too long – Sitting for long periods of time makes your body and mind fall asleep. Tip: Once per hour, get up and walk or stretch to get the blood flowing through your body and to your brain.
- Unhealthy eating- Eating unhealthy snacks or skipping lunch during the day can drag down your energy. Tip: Healthy mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks can keep your mind sharp and energy levels up. Try simple and nutritious snacks such as fruit, almonds, or yogurt. Choose water or a cup of tea for an energy boost instead of sugary sodas or coffee.
Working on Your Feet
- Wear the right shoe – Flat sole or low quality shoes can lead to weakness and soreness in the legs, feet and back when standing for long periods of time. Tip: Shoes should have a heel that is elevated by at least 1/4″ and with good arch support. If your shoes do not provide enough support, you can purchase arch support insoles.
- Check your fit – Wearing shoes that are too small cuts off circulation in your feet, increases your chance of blisters, and makes walking and standing uncomfortable. Tip: Get your feet properly sized at the shoe store to make sure you are purchasing the best fit. Since feet swell during the day, buying shoes that are slightly too big can also help decrease foot pain.
- Stretch – Muscles can become stiff or painful from overuse during the day and constant standing or walking. Tip: Stretch once an hour to relax and lengthen tight muscles. Use simple exercises like calf raises or the runner’s stretch.
- Home care – After a long day on the job, most people do not take the time to care for their feet and sore muscles at home. Tip: Help your body recover and get prepared for tomorrow by taking simple steps such as icing, massaging, and elevating your aching legs and feet at home.