How to Stay Healthy while Working in an Office?

Healthcare News & Updates

Sitting at a desk job for long hours can have a negative impact on your health and work performance. However, there are ways to stay healthy and productive.

Apr 27
Dr Disha Patel
Cardiac Anesthesiologist, Shalby Hospital, Ahmedabad
How to Stay Healthy while Working in an Office in 2023?

It's easy to neglect your health when work is overwhelming, but taking care of yourself is essential. By developing healthy habits at work, you can improve your overall well-being. So, even if you have a busy work life, it's essential to prioritize your health.


Importance of staying healthy at work

Sitting at a desk and staring at screens for long periods can harm physical and mental health. Feeling unwell can negatively impact morale and work productivity. 

By learning techniques to stay healthy in the workplace, individuals can improve their well-being, feel energized, and be more productive.

Companies also recognize the importance of healthy employees and create wellness programs to promote a happy and healthy work environment. When employees are happy and engaged, it leads to fewer absences and more efficient


Staying healthy in the office not only benefits individuals but also their employers and colleagues. 

Research shows that healthy workers are more productive, less likely to get sick, and take fewer sick days. 

Since people spend a significant portion of their life at work, it's essential to prioritize their work health to impact their long-term health.


How to stay healthy while working in an office?

Here are some tips and strategies that can help you stay healthy during your workday:

1. Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is essential for your well-being at 

work. It helps you feel alert and energetic and can also prevent snacking.

Here are some tips to help you drink more water at work:

  • To keep hydrated, bring a reusable water bottle.
  • Use a fruit infuser bottle to add flavor to your water.
  • Set goals for yourself and track your progress using your bottle.
  • Set reminders to drink water using your phone or fitness tracker.

Dehydration can cause headaches, trouble concentrating, fatigue, and low mood. Drinking around 6-8 glasses of water per day is best, and eating fresh fruits can also help you stay hydrated. Drinking enough water will help you stay active and alert at work.


2. Take regular breaks: Regular breaks can boost productivity and 

reduce burnout. Take a walk, get fresh air, or eat a healthy snack during breaks. Setting reminders to take breaks every hour can help. 

Taking longer breaks like vacations is important to maintain a healthy work-life balance and stay motivated. 

Not taking breaks can make you feel mentally exhausted and less creative, making you less productive. So, take breaks regularly to be more productive.


3. Maintain good posture: Sitting at your desk for long periods can 

lead to discomfort and tension in your neck, shoulders, and spine. To prevent this, practice good posture and stretch throughout the day. 

Research desk exercises, like chin retractions, to help you maintain good posture. Choose an ergonomic chair with padding for your back, neck, and lower body, and adjust it so your feet are flat on the floor and your wrists and forearms can rest on your desk. 

Keep your computer screen at eye level and use a headset or headphones for phone calls. 

By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can reduce the pain and tension caused by sitting at a desk for long periods.


4. Keep your workspace clean: Maintaining a clean and organized 

workspace helps you stay focused and avoid distractions. 

Take a few minutes at the end of each day to organize your desk and put away items you don't need. Having designated places for your things saves time and keeps you organized. 

Regularly clean your keyboard, mouse, and phone with disinfectant wipes to reduce bacteria and promote good health. Keep wipes nearby for easy cleaning. 

These habits help reduce stress and keep you calm at work.


5. Bring a packed lunch: Bringing a homemade lunch to work is a 

healthier, cheaper, and more accessible options. 

Research shows that people who eat more home-cooked meals have a healthier diet. Eating out for lunch can cost Indians an average of Rs. 500 per week. 

Plan and prepare a healthy lunch the night before, including lean proteins, healthy fats, salads, vegetables, and fruits. You can find many easy and healthy lunch ideas and recipes online. 

Packing something you look forward to eating can help you stay positive.


6. Move, Move, Move: To stay active in the office, avoid being still for 

long periods. You can park farther away, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk to a colleague's desk instead of emailing them. 

Also, take brisk walks throughout the day to get a burst of exercise without sacrificing productivity. Walking or biking to work, as suggested by the University of Michigan, is a good way to stay active. 

If you use public transit, consider getting off a stop early and walking the rest of the way to work. Not only will you get some exercise, but you'll also feel energized for the day.


7. Get your step in: Staying active at work doesn't require a 

full workout. Walking is an easy way to exercise while at work, as it uses many muscles in the body. 

To increase your steps, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to work or get off at an earlier stop, and have walking meetings. 

Walking meetings can be beneficial for productivity and creativity, while also allowing you to get some exercise.


8. Reduce caffeine consumption: To stay alert at work, many people 

rely on coffee. However, too much coffee can lead to a crash and other side effects, disrupting workplace performance. 

To be more energetic, limit coffee consumption to one cup in the morning, and switch to healthier drink options like water, decaf coffee, or tea. 

If you need a caffeine fix, practice moderation and omit sugar and cream to cut calories.


9. Be hygienic: To prevent the spread of colds and flu in the 

workplace, practicing good hygiene is crucial. If someone is feeling unwell, it's best to keep your distance. If you are sick, try to stay home or work remotely. 

Other essential practices include coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the inside of your elbow, washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, and keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer at your desk. 

This will help you deal with situations that involve coughing or sneezing, keeping you healthy and germ-free at work.


10. Ditch unhealthy snacks: To stay healthy and alert at work, you

need to fuel your body with proper nutrition and hydration. 

Avoid unhealthy snacks in vending machines by bringing your own healthy snacks to work. 

Fruits and veggies are natural sources of energy that will help you stay energized throughout the day. Make sure you also stay hydrated by drinking water regularly. 

Not only is it good for your body and mind, but taking trips to the restroom will encourage you to take a walk and exercise.


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1. Can you be healthy working a desk job?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working a desk job is possible by taking frequent breaks, incorporating physical activity, eating a balanced diet, staying hydrated, and managing stress levels.


2. How do I take care of myself at my desk job?

Taking care of yourself at your desk job involves practicing good ergonomics, taking frequent breaks, staying hydrated, eating healthy snacks, and managing stress levels.


3. How much should you exercise if you have a desk job?

If you have a desk job, getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise per week, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities at least two days per week is recommended.


4. How working at a desk affects your health?

Working at a desk for extended periods can have negative impacts on your health, including poor posture, physical discomfort, increased risk of certain health conditions, and decreased mental well-being.


5. What is the 20 8 2 rule?

The 20-8-2 rule is a recommendation for taking care of your eyes while using electronic devices, suggesting that for every 20 minutes of screen time, you take an 8-second break to look at something 20 feet away, and to blink your eyes every 2 seconds.


6. How much sitting a day is ok?

Sitting for long periods of time is not recommended for optimal health, but if unavoidable, it is recommended to break up sitting time with short walks or standing breaks and to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.