There has been a lot of noise about health and wellness in the workplace as of late, and we think it’s important, too. We all know that healthier colleagues mean a happier, more productive organisation. And let’s be honest, the life of the IT Consultant or Software Developer involves long periods of time sat behind a screen, or perhaps walking to the car, only to spend the next several hours stationary in traffic jams. So, we’ve curated a list of simple health hacks that you can turn into everyday habits that work, in work (and on the road).
1. Start the Day Right
It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and although many of us have good intensions, add the pressure of time into the mix and we often neglect this aspect of our daily routine. For commuters that take long journeys in the very early hours, why not consider taking your breakfast with you to eat in the office. Get in a little early and find a quiet spot away from your desktop, and make it a contact time to share with colleagues, or moment for quiet reflection before starting up.
Many companies now provide healthy breakfasts or pantries with fruit and cereals for staff to help themselves. Just be sure to avoid the temptation of sugar laden options, which is never a good way to start the workday, and try to stick to raw, natural and whole foods as much as possible.
2. Stay Hydrated
Another obvious one that most of us forget. When sat at a desk for hours staring frustrated at screen when “computer says no”, consuming fluids is not high on the priority list. Make things simpler for yourself by keeping a bottle of water on your desk next to you, and keep sipping throughout the day. A hydrated body helps keep your head clear and temperature balanced, not to mention the benefits for your joints and muscles. So, stave off tiredness and give your body the opportunity to perform to its highest level. Keep hydrated and you’ll be shouting “hallelujah H2O!”. It’s simple.
3. Keep on Moving
Developers, Consultants, what does your typical day look like? How much of that is spent doing physical activity? If you consider us human beings as a species that has evolved to survive outdoors in the most challenging conditions, and move in extremely efficient and effective ways, and then take a look at your current work environment. It’s fair to say the vast majority is spent indoors, sat down, right? Sure, it’s tough when that’s part of what your job requires you to do, but there is always room for improvement. Moving more, matters.
That doesn’t mean sacrificing lunch to hit the gym for those precious 40 minutes. Swap the elevator for the stairs, make a call outside, take a ten-minute walk during lunch each day, or if you’re feeling very adventurous, do a 60-second high-intensity workout every 90 minutes. Small adjustments in high frequency overtime will make a big difference.
4. Satisfy Your Inner Caveman (or Cavewoman)
Cave-people diets if the Palaeolithic era were chock full of nutrient rich foods like fruits, nuts, roots and veggies. If you couldn’t find it in the wild, you couldn’t eat it. So, take the time to think about what you’re putting into your body at work before you reach for the nearest sugar fix.
Be prepared and pack your own lunch or snack supply the night before. It is important to remember that a balanced diet is necessary for a healthy life, as is figuring out what works best for you. Why don’t you give the 9 to 5 a cleanse by changing the candy for cultivated whole-grains, fruits, nuts and seeds? Try being a conscientious cave-person during office hours, so you can appreciate your free time that much more. You never know, it might just work for you.
5. Create Some Headspace
More and more attention is being placed on psychological wellbeing at work, which is great news for employers and employees alike. Busy workloads, pressing deadlines and the everyday stresses and strains of life can easily take its toll. You can take charge of much of your emotional stability through managing your time and physical health better. Try to find short moments during the day for quiet reflection, away from screens and social media, to reconnected with yourself or restructure your thoughts.
Physical activity outside of the office is a great way to relieve stress and boost your self-esteem, as well as your immune system to fight against office colds and viruses, which can easily lead to feeling generally run down; creating resilience to those stressful situations. Remember to be kind to yourself, as it is a huge factor in ensuring your body and mind are both happy and calm. And keep in mind that you should always be able to seek support or advice from your colleagues should you need it.
From Health Hacks to Healthier Habits
Rather than adding pressure and expectation on yourself by declaring “New Year, new me!”, try simply incorporating these health hacks into your everyday routine. Once things become habit, you no longer need to think about them, so staying motivated needn’t be an issue.
Here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 2018!