Between the continuous snacking, sitting for hours and looming deadlines, your office can be the most stressful and unhealthy part of your day. Here are our top 7 health mistakes you’re making at our desk so you can make healthier choices in the office:
Mistake #1: Ignoring Nature’s Call
There is no worse feeling in the world than being stuck in a long meeting and trying to hold it in. Next time you’re in this situation, think twice before holding it because resisting the urge to pee can cause your bladder to stretch and bacteria can grow. If these bacteria builds up it can even cause a kidney infection. And holding in your #2 is equally as bad. When you hold your pop in, the excrement can build up and lead to constipation. Honestly this sounds more uncomfortable than holding it. So do yourself a favor… just leave the meeting and go to the bathroom!
Mistake # 2: Skimping On The WaterHave you had a glass of water yet… or 8? Staying well hydrated can help energize muscles, promote weight loss and healthy skin. It also flushes out your kidneys and keeps your bowel movements under control. Good news is there are many easy fixes if you find yourself not drinking enough water:
- Keep a glass on your desk and fill it up when you get up for a break or to use the restroom
- Carry a water bottle with you at all times. Think your bottle is your phone or wallet and you can’t function without it
- Track your water intake with fancy apps like Daily Water, Hydro Coach or Gulp
- Get a smart water bottle that not only tracks but also glows to remind you to drink up
(video credit @kylejones27; Cubii Desk Elliptical)
Mistake # 3: Glued To Your Chair
Sitting is the new smoking. Sitting is killing you. We’re too sedentary. Bla bla bla we’ve all heard it before but few of us are taking an action to do anything about it. One of the most popular solutions is to get a standing desk. But the non-dingy standing desks can cost you $800+ and require you to ditch your currently office furniture. Instead consider a mini desk elliptical that is designed to fit perfectly under your existing desk.
Mistake # 4: Not Taking Advantage of Your Company Wellness Program
In my opinion, this is probably the BIGGEST mistake. Contact your HR rep and see what benefits, club activities and incentives your company has. Many companies provide their employees with a health fund that you can use to purchase whatever health related products for the office. If you’re into tracking your steps, see if you can receive monetary rewards for reaching your goal or discounts on insurance.
Mistake # 5: Being A Slouch Magoo
I am the first to admit I have the worst posture. It’s so bad that holding correct posture hurts my back. Is it wrong that I find slouching more comfortable and relaxing? When you slouch, your spine no longer has the support or strength it needs to be stay balanced, leading to a plethora of back and spine conditions, gastrointestinal pains, headaches and bad circulation. When I find myself slouching at the office, I grab a pillow to place behind my back to give it some support. Plus it helps me to be aware that if my back isn’t touching the pillow, I know i’m slouching.
Mistake # 6: Holding Tension in Your Muscles
It’s no surprise we tense up and stay tense for hours after and during stressful periods. I personally hold all my stress in my shoulders. To avoid future back pain, throughout the day, take a break to loosen up your body and release your access anxiety. You can try rolling your head and shoulders in slow, small circles or any of these simple desk stretches.
(photo credit: beachbody)
Mistake # 7: Forgetting To Breathe
In stressful situations, our breathing becomes less controlled. While sitting at your desk, periodically check in with yourself to observe your breathing pattern. The proper way to breathe is to take deep slow breaths, hold for a few seconds and slowly release. By taking long controlled breaths you slow your heart rate and calm those nerves. I like to close my eyes and imagine myself in my happy place. I find it helps me to focus on myself and not get distracted by what’s around me.
Because we’re at the office to do a job, it is easy to make less healthy choices.