Whether we’d like to admit it or not, we spend a lot of time at work. If you’re aiming for a heart-healthy lifestyle, it benefits you to consider that what happens at the office can have a big impact on your health. From eating healthy to moving more, our workplace can impact our health in more ways than one.
The American Heart Association is working with businesses and organizations to create a culture of health everywhere we go—including where we work. There are simple steps we can take to make healthier choices throughout the day. Some tips for being healthy at work include:
- Have a walking meeting. Is your calendar packed with meeting after meeting? Do you normally sit and talk with your coworkers during these meetings? Consider having a walking meeting instead. Either walk around the office or head outside for some fresh air. You’ll still accomplish your work, but you’ll be taking steps to better health while you do it!
- Take frequent breaks. How many times have you looked at the clock and realized that hours have passed without you getting up from your desk? We all have project deadlines that take all our focus for long periods of time but sitting at your desk for too long can decrease your productivity. Set up a timer to remind yourself to take breaks after accomplishing certain tasks. For instance, for every hour of work, you take a five-minute break to stretch or take a quick walk. Getting the blood flowing with help increase productivity so you don’t burn out.
- Bring fruits and veggies for snacks. If you’re someone who likes a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack (or both!) consider packing healthy snacks instead of running to the vending machine for chips or a candy bar. Like sweets? Try a fruit salad or smoothie. Looking for munchies that crunch? Try unsalted nuts or seeds.
- Reach for water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. Quit the sugar habit today! The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and 9 teaspoons of added sugar per day for men. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda has eight teaspoons of sugar! Instead, reach for water or sparkling water, and if you need a little flavor, add slices of fresh fruit such lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit!
- Bring your lunch instead of ordering out. When you cook at home, you have a lot more control over the ingredients in your food. Plus, planning ahead won’t leave you to decide on something unhealthy, such as fast food. Need help with lunch meal prep? We got you covered! Check out these healthy lunch ideas.
- Take steps to stress less. Let’s face it. We all stress at work sometimes. Whether it’s a deadline or an unhappy client, there are days when our stress is through the roof. We all know too much stress is not good for your health, but the good news is there are steps we can take to manage our stress. From learning positive self-talk to finding stress-busting activities, find an outlet that works for you!
- Keep a gratitude journal. A recent study showed that people who expressed more gratitude had lower levels of inflammation and better heart health. One of the best ways to achieve the benefits of being more thankful is to keep a gratitude journal. Set aside ten minutes each day to write down one or two things that you are thankful for that day. And in return, your heart will thank you!
These are just some of the simple steps we can take everyday to feel healthier at work. For more tips on healthy living, visit www.heart.org/healthyforgood. If you would like more resources on creating a culture of health at your workplace, visit www.heart.org/workplacehealth.