People are most likely to eat poorly while at work, when time constraints and lack of options can limit a person's choices.
To help maintain better nutrition habits at work follow these easy tips:
- Instead of caffeinated or sugary beverages, drink a glass of water on your break.
- Keep a water bottle or glass visible on your desk to remind you to drink water throughout the day.
- Working long periods without meals can increase impulse eating; be sure to keep a stock of healthy snacks in your desk to avoid binging on junk foods from the vending machine.
- Better yet, stock the vending machine with healthier choices, such as juice, cereal bars, yogurt, fruit, nuts, pretzels, etc.
- To help re-fuel during meeting breaks, avoid high-fat foods like donuts and croissants, and offer instead low-fat muffins, bagels, and fruit.
Water & Nutrition
In order to be used by your body, most foods need to be broken down into simpler substances, a chemical reaction that requires water. A number of your body's organs and systems are involved in the process, such as salivary glands, digestive tract, stomach, pancreas, etc., and all require water to function properly. In addition, it is water that carries the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients contained in the food to the cells in your body.
Given the need for water in all of your body's functions, is it any wonder that water is an essential part of a healthy diet? Water has zero calories, is low-carb, has zero grams of fat, it helps to reduce the appetite and assist the body in metabolizing fat. knowing that it exists in the first place and ensuring employees have work-life balance is a step in towards overcoming the problem.
Your Well-Being Exercise
Finding time for exercise during your busy day may not always be easy, but there are some simple things you can do to keep yourself fit.
Doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity a day as part of a healthy lifestyle, but finding time for exercise during your busy day may not always be easy. However, there are some simple things you can do at work that can help:
- Take a walk during your lunch break; asking friends and co-workers to join you can help keep it fun and keep you motivated.
- Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Take a stretch break – performing some stretching exercises throughout the day can help relieve common aches and pains, tension, and loosen stiff muscles.
The following are some simple stretching exercises you can do at your work station. Perform the following stretches frequently throughout your work day. Hold the position for 5-10 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times.
- Finger Stretch
Clutching a pen or typing on a keyboard can make your hands stiff and tight. This stretch will help reinvigorate the muscles in your hands: Separate and straighten your fingers until you feel a stretch, keeping your hand in alignment with your wrist. Next, bend the end and middle knuckles of your fingers, keeping your hand and wrist in the same position.
- Arm and Shoulder Stretch
Place your fingers together and turn your palms facing out; straighten your arms in front of you and hold.
- Back Stretch
Reach behind your head and place your hand on your upper back, keeping your arm close to your ear. Gently hold your elbow with your opposite hand. Pull your elbow toward the back of your head and reach your hand toward the middle of your back until you feel a gentle stretch. Pause, and then repeat on the other side.
- Neck Stretch
Tuck your chin in, lengthening the back of your neck. Then turn your head to the left. Pause and then bring it back to the centre. Pause and then turn to the right.
- Shoulder Rolls
Roll your shoulders up towards your ears, hold; then roll your shoulders back and down, squeezing briefly between your shoulder blades.
- Leg Stretch
Standing and holding on to something, lift one foot up towards the buttocks, keeping the knees together. Pause and then lower the foot to the floor. Repeat with the opposite foot.
Stress Management at Work
Here are some simple techniques can help you improve your well-being and quality of life.
Do you spend more time at work than you do at home?
In today's global workplace of advanced communications people now have the ability to work almost anywhere – from their home, their car, even while they are on vacation. Thanks to technology like cell phones, laptops, and video conferencing, many people are working longer hours than they used to and the boundary between work and personal time has blurred. But when your work life and your personal life are out of balance, your stress level can soar.
Pressures at work or at home can increase your stress level and lead to muscle tension and tightness. Squinting eyes, hunched shoulders, tight jaw, back pain, can all be symptoms of stress. Here is some good advice on how you can combat stress-related muscle tension while at work:
- Clenched jaw or grinding teeth
Open your mouth as wide as you can, stretching your jaw muscles, pause, and close. Repeat 3 times, and then relax your jaw towards the ground.
- Squinting eyes
Focus on an object in the distance for 10 seconds while relaxing all facial muscles.
- Hunched shoulders
Raise your shoulders toward your ears, pause, and then roll your shoulders back and down towards the ground. Repeat 3 times.
- Furrowed forehead
Relax all facial muscles, close your eyes, and imagine your face melting towards the ground.
It isn't easy to juggle the demands of career and personal life. For most people it's an on-going challenge. Here is some advice from the experts on how to maintain the balance:
- Protect your day off
Try to schedule some of your routine chores on workdays so that your days off are more relaxing.
- Keep a log
Track everything you do for one week, including work-related and non-work related activities. After you see your patterns, decide where to make adjustments, such as cutting or delegating activities you don't enjoy, or which aren't priorities.
- Manage your time
Organize household tasks efficiently, for example: doing one load of laundry every day, rather than saving it all up for your day off.
- Nurture yourself
Set aside some time each day for an activity you enjoy, such as reading, listening to music, or practicing a favourite sport or hobby. This will help you to decompress after a hectic day.
- Get enough sleep
There's nothing as stressful and potentially dangerous as working when you are sleep deprived. Not only is your productivity affected, but you can also make costly mistakes. You may then have to work even more hours to make up for these mistakes.
- Communicate clearly
Eliminate time-consuming misunderstandings by communicating clearly and listening carefully. Take notes; write lists, etc. to keep yourself organized.
- Set aside one night each week for recreation
Take the phone of the hook, turn off the computer and TV, and discover the activities that you can do with family and friends. Making time for the people and activities you enjoy will rejuvenate you.
- Bolster your support system
During times of stress it can often help just to talk about it with a trusted family member, friend or co-worker. You may also want to consider professional help such as your doctor, a psychologist or a counsellor.
Ergonomics at Work
Some simple things can make a big difference.
If you are like many people who spend hours each day hunched over a keyboard and in front of a computer screen, then office ergonomics is an important issue for you. Sitting at a desk all day puts pressure on your back, neck and shoulders. A properly designed work space is the key to preventing many musculoskeletal disorders. Here is some simple advice on how to improve the ergonomics of your work station:
- Chair set-up
A chair that is adjusted properly helps you maintain good posture, which helps reduce the amount of strain on your back. Take a moment to adjust your seat to suit your height:
- Lower back (lumbar) support and cushioning - adjust to your comfort level.
- Backrest angle - approximately 90o.
- Seat height and angle – relative to the desk height and your leg length – the desk should be at waist/navel height, your knees should be parallel with your hips, and your feet should rest comfortable on the floor.
- Work Station set-up
- For the optimal set-up of your work station, frequently used items should be easily visible and within a 45o radius to minimize any twisting movements of your back; they should be within arms-reach, so there is no need for your back to leave the chair.
- Position your monitor directly in front of you approximately arms length from your eyes.
- Keep the top of your screen at eye level or slightly below, so that you look down slightly at your work.
- Position your keyboard directly in front of your monitor; if you place it at an angle or the side, your eyes have to focus at different distances, which is tiring.
- Place documents on a document holder beside your monitor at the same level, angle and distance as the monitor to prevent your eyes from constantly having to readjust focus.
- Computer Screen set-up
- Making some minor changes to your monitor can greatly reduce eyestrain:
- Adjust the brightness of your screen and keep it clean and free of dust.
- Enlarge the image or documents on your screen to make them easier to read.
- Where possible position your monitor on your workstation to reduce reflections from lights or windows.
- To test for glare, sit at your desk with the monitor turned off; this allows you to see the reflected light and images you don't normally see when the monitor is on. Adjust the source of glare if possible, or move the monitor accordingly. Tilting the screen down slightly often helps.
- Reducing Eyestrain
Eyestrain is a common sign of prolonged computer use, which may manifest itself in many ways:
- Sore, tired, dry and itchy eyes,
- Blurred or double vision,
- Headache and sore neck,
- Difficulty shifting focus between monitor and paper documents,
- Increased sensitivity to light.
To give the eyes a much-needed rest, follow this simple advice:
- Rest your eyes frequently during the day by closing them for 5 seconds.
- Throughout the day, force your eyes to focus on something other than your screen for a few seconds.
- Give the eyes a five-minute break from the screen at least once every hour – stand up, move around, or do non-computer work during this period.
- Make a conscious effort to blink more - many people blink less than normal when working at a computer, resulting in dry eyes. Blinking helps moisten and lubricate the eyes.