Man stretching at work

How to stay healthy at work

As much as building a great career is an important goal as an adult, people need to bear in mind that if they aren’t healthy, they cannot do anything (or at least, they cannot do anything to the best of their ability). Your personal well-being will always outrank any office duties – although many people will attest to feeling absolutely guilt-ridden whenever they need to take a day off. 

The truth is that in 95% of cases where employees take a day off through illness, the company will most likely survive. But many people still choose to come to work with milder symptoms of the flu, cold and other ailments that may seem like ‘no big deal’, but could either be contagious or get worse as the day progresses and then lead to more serious complications. 

Being healthy means making healthy choices. Of course, most of us don’t really have the time or money to go to the doctor anytime, so maintaining a healthy lifestyle to the best of our ability is imperative. 

However, having a health insurance cover like Affinity Health will not only make going to doctor easier and more affordable but is an investment in your health. The more professional treatment you have access to, the quicker you can nip any illness in the bud and get back to work.

Eat a balanced diet

The best way to stay healthy is by eating food that nourishes you and gives you good, clean energy. Pack yourself a wholesome lunch to avoid the urge to buy fast food at the company cafeteria. And don’t skip meals! It can be tempting to skip a meal and just ‘work straight through your lunch break’, but you may then notice a slump in your productivity way before the end of the day.

Eat a good, wholesome breakfast in the morning. Lunch on salads and fruit and avoid unhealthy, greasy food, says Entrepreneur.com. As much as possible, avoid eating lunch at your office desk.

Use your lunchtime to sit outside and get some fresh air while you eat. Enjoy your food.  

Follow the same principles when you are eating at home. Make sure that your diet consists of loads of fruit and veggies, and don’t be scared to add a vitamin supplement here and there, especially in winter. Up your vitamin C intake to stave off colds and flu. 

If you are the type of person who likes to snack between meals, opt for high protein snacks instead of sugar and carbs. A handful of nuts, dried fruit and lean biltong can be a great midday pick me up. Also avoid sugary juices and fizzy drinks (even the diet ones aren’t great for you). Water is the best refresher; mix it up by choosing sparkling water and adding some fruit to infuse it. 

Stay hydrated

As we just said, drinking water is a great way to stay energised and healthy at work and in your personal life. 

At some point in your life, you must have heard the rule of drinking two litres a day. The exact amount of water to stay hydrated differs from person to person, but drinking a glass every hour should keep you sufficiently hydrated; although you may need to run to the loo more frequently. 

If you live in a hotter climate, up the amount of water you drink. Also avoid caffeinated drinks and sugary juices; these drinks just make you thirstier.

Rest and stretch

We have said it before and we will say it again – take a break. Most jobs now require you to sit at a desk and face a screen for extended periods of time. Every hour or so, stand up, stretch your legs and neck and move around (this is a great excuse to go and get that glass of water). 

The Society Insurance blog explains that occasionally stretching at work can reduce fatigue by increasing the blood supply and nutrients to your muscles. Stretching wakes up your muscles to let them know that they will be performing a job. Stretching warms up the muscles by working them gently – just like an athlete would.

Ventilation and general hygiene 

If you work in an office, it is important to have proper ventilation to decrease the spread of common illnesses. Open a window, have a Kleenex nearby should you need to sneeze, and keep hand sanitiser ready for when you shake hands or return from the loo. 

There are many noted benefits of having a plant or two in the office, and even having smaller pot plants at your desk. Recent studies have shown an increase in Biophilia, which is the human desire to be close to nature, and there much recorded evidence of how we thrive when near greenery, but a lot of our time is spent in places devoid of even basic house plants.

Studies have shown that simply adding some greenery in the form of indoor plants can have major positive benefits for employees and the companies they work for, reports Ciphr. Plants have been proven to reduce stress, clean the air in small rooms and help increase productivity.

It’s a lifestyle change

So, if you want to avoid getting sick at the office, or missing work due to the sniffles, get enough sleep every night, stay hydrated and eat your fruit and veggies. Also, don’t forget to stretch your muscles every few hours. 

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