10 Tips for Staying Healthy in the Office

by Eric S. Taylor, CPA, CGFM, Partner

Posted on August 19, 2015

    Many of the people that will read this article, as well as the people at our firm, spend the majority of their workday sitting at a desk in an office environment.  Health and wellness can be hard to incorporate into our daily work routine.  Sitting at a desk all day has been shown to be one of the worst things for a person’s health.  Below are a few tips to help improve long-term health and well-being for office workers.

  1. Focus on proper posture. Proper posture is important to prevent back pain.  Sitting fully upright with feet flat on the ground can help reduce back pain.  Crossing your legs puts added stress on the lower back.
  2. Sit on an exercise ball. Sitting on a Swiss ball for periods of time engages your core forcing you to sit upright, and improves your posture and balance.
  3. Stand up. Sitting too much has been linked to numerous health issues.  Try to stand up as much as possible.  Try to find ways to stand more often during the day.  Stand up and take breaks from sitting every hour.  If you are talking on the phone, or if someone visits your workspace to meet with you, try to stand up.
  4. Stretch. Stretch your arms, legs, neck and back to help prevent and alleviate pains in the muscles from sitting.
  5. Adjust your monitor and chair. Place your computer monitor and adjust the height of your chair to avoid straining the neck.
  6. Look away. Viewing the monitor for long periods of time strains the eyes.  Looking away from the screen periodically for 10 to 20 seconds at a time can help alleviate that strain.
  7. Meet on your feet. If meeting with someone, ask the person if it is okay to stand up during the meeting.  Even better, walk during the meeting.  Also, when you need to talk to someone, get up and walk to their workspace instead of phoning, instant messaging or e-mailing them.
  8. Utilize your lunch time. During certain times of the year going for a walk outside at lunch time is a great way to get in some light exercise and some exposure to daylight.
  9. Brown bag it. Making your own lunch allows you to pack healthy options.  It also saves you the time and money of driving to and eating at a restaurant, providing you the extra time to fit in that lunch time walk.
  10. Drink your water. Staying hydrated is important.  It flushes out toxins in your body, and helps keep you mentally alert.  Also, a trip to the water cooler or refrigerator is a great excuse to get out of your chair and go for a quick walk.

These ten tips merely scratch the surface on changes that can be made to stay healthy while working at a desk in an office.  You can research on-line additional ways to optimize your health while in an office setting.  Hopefully, we will see some of these tips being implemented during our next visit to your organization.