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Healthy You

Improving Your Workday: Work Smarter and Healthier

Monday, September 18, 2017 7:32 AM

Staying healthy while working can seem like a daunting task; where to begin? John Lin, MD, Internal Medicine at NorthShore, shares tips to keep you energized all day.HealthyWorkday

At the beginning of your day:

  • Fuel your body. Mom was right; breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day! Avoid energy crashes with a hearty and healthy meal full of whole grains and lean protein in the morning.
  • Brighten your desk with some flowers or plants and personal pictures. Flowers and plants help combat office emissions and pictures can brighten your mood.
  • Set up an ergonomic workspace. Make sure your chair is at a level that allows your feet to rest flat on the ground. Elbows should rest by your side and wrists should be relaxed when typing.
  • If you are on your feet most of the day, wear supportive shoes and evenly distribute your weight to both feet when standing and avoid slouching. Proper posture for sitting and standing helps ease the pressure on your joints.
  • Bring healthy snacks to keep in your desk drawer or locker. Items such as dried fruits, fresh fruits, vegetables and crackers will help you avoid the temptations in the vending machine!

Throughout the day:

  • Move every 20-40 minutes. The average worker sits approximately 10 hours a day, from work at the desk to lunch and the commute. Get your blood flowing by standing up every 20-40 minutes – walk to the bathroom, get some water or take a lap.
  • Practice the 15-15-15 rule to combat eyestrain. Every 15 minutes look away from all screens; focus on an object that is at least 15 feet away for approximately 15 seconds.
  • Drink up! If you work inside, air conditioning can dry out the air. Continuously drink water to avoid dehydration.
  • Walk during lunch. If the weather is nice outside, try to get out for a 20-minute walk. This can boost your mood, let you breathe fresh air and helps you re-energize for the day. Regular physical activity also helps keep energy levels up.

At the end of your day:

  • Declutter your workspace at the end of the day. A clutter-free workspace can help increase productivity. Coming in the next morning to a clean workspace can help start that day on the right track.
  • Prepare your meals and snacks for the next day. This will give you a chance to pack healthy foods and spend less time thinking about what’s for lunch – and maybe even help you avoid hunger!
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Get between 7-9 hours of sleep. This will help make sure you wake up well-rested and ready to take on the new workday!

What do you do to ensure a healthy workday?