healthy at workYou spend eight hours (at least!) each day you go to work. Wherever you work, it takes up a huge chunk of your life, and usually the relationship is mutually beneficial. You perform an agreed upon function and your employer gives you money. It’s a terrific arrangement, but as great as it is to pay the mortgage and buy groceries, a paycheck can’t undo an unhealthy work environment.

That said, there are ways you can be healthy at work, and the benefits will spill over into the rest of your life. It just takes a little thought and planning. Here are some suggestions to help you make the biggest part of your day a bit healthier.

Build Routines to be Healthy at Work

This is really the simplest thing you can do to gain some health benefits during your work hours.

Start with the physical – how can you counteract the physical strain work puts on your body each day? For example, if you sit at a desk all day, schedule times for stretching every half hour and a short walk every hour. If you stand or lift heavy things most of the day, think about building good posture habits and taking stretch breaks to realign your body. Now make these things a part of your routine. Use a timer if you need a reminder.

Offices are notorious for the unhealthy fare that pops up on the regular, so build this into your plan. Pack healthy lunches and snacks so you don’t feel deprived or tempted to indulge in those empty calories. If you know the monthly birthday celebration is coming up on Friday, make good food choices the rest of the week so you can enjoy that cake without guilt.

It just takes a little creativity and thought to turn your mundane routine into something that can work better for your health.

Harness Technology

It’s easy to blame technology for many of society’s ills. But it can make you more productive and healthy at work, as long as you aaren’t it to swipe right or argue about politics too much during the work day.

Consider taking a break from a stressful workday and using an app like Headspace to clear your head and refocus before continuing on with your work.

If you find yourself forgetting to step away from your work, try Tomato Timer. It’s based on the Pomodoro technique and helps keep your productivity high while getting healthy breaks for body and mind.

A fitness tracker is another good option for reminding you to get up move around. This wearable technology counts your steps, monitors your heart rate, and performs a slew of other functions to help pinpoint where you can make improvements to better your health.

Maximize Your Employee Benefits

Just like you shouldn’t leave matching 401k dollars on the table, you shouldn’t leave other employee benefits unused if they can help you. More and more companies are adding wellness programs to their array of benefits. These can include services such as counseling to deal with anxiety and stress, or support for dealing with substance abuse disorders.

Some companies allow employees to work flexible hours so that you can be available for children or to take care of personal business like medical and dental appointments. This can reduce your stress levels and save your vacation days for more meaningful time away from work.

As evidence mounts to show naps boost work productivity, some employers are even adding flextime for napping along with designated nap spaces!

But you can’t take advantage of these perks if you don’t know about them. Take a look at your employee handbook or have a chat with a human resources representative to be sure you know what’s available to you.

And if you would like a benefit that your company doesn’t offer, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Remember that employers in Hunt County want productive employees. Do your research before presenting your idea to your employer, and remind them that employees who are happy and healthy at work are more productive employees.