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Workplace wellness: 10 ways to be healthier on the job

Yes, it’s possible to stay healthy and fit while working. Between meetings, deadlines, and daily stresses, can you find ways to improve physical strength and stamina at your workplace? Do you have to shell out hard-earned cash for gym memberships, or can you make up movement at work?  Can you actually manage healthy nutrition and reduce stress on the job?

Try these 10 simple steps to workplace wellness. You may be surprised at how much better you will feel after just a few days or weeks with these 10 healthy habits.

1. Avoid on-the-job snacking.

Break rooms and common areas of factories, offices, retail stores are often laden with dietary temptations. Doughnuts, bagels, pastries, pizzas, and other fattening foods seem to magically appear at the workplace.  Vending machines overflow with such nutritional no-no’s as chips, candy, and sugary sodas.

How can a health-conscious employee cope?

Tons of folks tote healthy snacks to work. It’s pretty easy to stick an apple, banana, pear, or orange into a briefcase, tool box, or worktote. Packing a small zippered plastic bag with dried fruit and nuts can help you to combat the urge to visit the snack wagon or vending machine.

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2. Drink plenty of water.

Most of us do not drink nearly enough water in a day – especially at work. Modern nutritionists estimate that the average adult needs to drink at least 100 ounces of water each day. (The actual calculation calls for an ounce of water for every two pounds of body weight.)

Water is essential for health, providing general hydration and helping the body to flush out toxins.

You can easily keep a bottle of water on your desk or workstation, so you can drink it frequently and keep track of your daily water consumption. By drinking lots of water, you will also fend off snacking urges.

3. Keep coffee simple.

For decades (perhaps centuries), coffee has been a central feature in most places of employment. Lately, however, coffee has become a designer drink, with various flavors and foams. Of course, these do not come without caloric costs.

Skipping creams and sugars for workplace coffee can cut calories and fat considerably.

4. Clear the decks.

Stress is unhealthy. Everyone pretty much accepts that fact these days. One way to trim on-the-job stress is to keep your workplace as uncluttered as possible. Minimizing mess and distractions will lead to better focus, greater efficiency, and less stress.

5. Take the stairs.

Walking is a super stress-buster and a wonderful fitness activity. Just consider how many steps you might add to your day, simply by taking the stairs every chance you can (instead of the elevator or escalator) and parking a few spaces farther from the workplace entrance.

6. Hand-deliver important items.

Texting and emailing are convenient, but these shortcuts can tie us to our work stations. Why not get up and pass along critical papers and messages in person? Face-to-face interactions are good for business, for networking and for your own health.

7. Beware of screen sucking.

Throughout the work day, it’s important to give your eyes a rest from computer screens and paperwork. Find something to refocus your vision, at least every quarter hour or so. Even glancing at family photographs and personal items in your workspace helps to give your eyes a break.

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8. Take hourly stretches.

Every fitness trainer trumpets the importance of stretching the body. Aerobics instructors lead classes through stretches before and after their classes, as do yoga teachers and other exercise leaders.

You can stretch in the workplace as well. At least every hour, you might stretch your neck, arms, legs, and feet. Why not do this in your own cubicle, office, or workspace? If you have no private place, you might even enlist coworkers to do hourly stretches as a group or try stretching alone in a restroom stall or in your own vehicle.

9. Do crunches on the spot.

Several ultra-fit celebrities have confessed that they actually perform abdominal and butt crunches while sitting in movie theaters. As odd as this may sound, these muscular flex-hold-release exercises really are simple to do, just about anywhere.

Try some abdominal and butt crunches while sitting at your desk, standing by the copy machine, waiting in the lunch line, or commuting to and from work. You can actually improve your muscle tone.

10. Stomp out stress.

Legally, most employers must offer lunch hour (or meal) breaks to their staffs. Why not use this free time to stomp out stress by taking a walk? Stroll around the block outside, or walk the perimeter of the building. In inclement weather, you can pace the hallways or walk through the corridors of a local shopping mall. Take your time; you can probably eat your lunch at your desk or work station afterwards.

These 10 simple steps really can help you to improve your health and fitness, even while you are at work. Try these tips, and see how quickly the work day passes and how much better you may feel.

10 ways to be healthier on the job
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