Working in an office may seem relaxing and physically easy, but people who’ve worked in office settings for years know that these jobs do present physical risks. If you’re not careful, working in an office can lead to a visit to the urgent care center and a workers’ compensation claim. Taking care of your health while working in an office is just as important as with any other job—and with the right kind of awareness, staying safe and healthy is usually very easy.
1. Find the right fit
Your body needs to have a good fit when you’re working in an office. That means that the height of your desk and chair, and the position of your computer and other work need to fit the size of your body. You can avoid needing workers compensation for posture-induced long-term injuries by ensuring that your space is set up to fit your body. Standing desks are getting a lot of attention nationally, and standing for portions of your day can be a good way to improve circulation and overall health.
2. Improve your office diet
If you have a burger joint anywhere near your work, you know how hard it can be to stay healthy at lunch. Your best bet may be to bring something from home. Once you’ve gone through the effort to make a lunch, you’re more likely to eat it. Give yourself healthy options for snacks too. Lots of coffee and sugar packets take their toll as well. Try replacing some of that coffee with a healthier option, such as green tea with honey and lemon.
3. Walk (or run) it off
Sitting all day can wreak havoc on your health. Being overweight from lack of activity increases your risk for many health conditions, and leads to higher numbers of urgent care visits. To stay healthy, give yourself frequent breaks to change posture, walk around, or even go for a daytime jog. You’ll feel better when you add activity into your day!
4. Drink more water!
Drinking water is a great health habit. According to national averages, most of us don’t drink enough water. Give yourself some goals, like drinking a bottle of water every morning and every afternoon. Make sure you have good, purified water at your fingertips all day. People are often surprised by how much better they feel when they increase their water intake.
5. Say no to TNS
Repetitive arm and hand motions, poor posture, and staying in the same position for too long (like having to hold your phone tucked onto your shoulder for hours) can lead to Tension Neck Syndrome, or TNS. This leads to workers compensation claims, as TNS is linked to a number of other injuries. Remember to watch your posture, keep your chin and neck relaxed, keep your office customized to your body, and get up frequently to exercise your body.
6. Go easy on your eyes
Eyestrain is a common frustration for people working in front of a computer screen all day. Have your eyes checked annually, and ensure you are using the right eyeglass prescription if you need it. Try an anti-glare screen on your computer, and increase the font if you have trouble reading things on your screen. There are definite steps you can take to make your job easier on the eyes.
7. Get away from it all
Maybe the best tip of all is to take a break. Use your vacation time, and go enjoy a getaway. We all need a change of scenery once in a while—a chance to wind down and relax. Studies have shown that people who don’t take vacations generally have poorer health, and may need more frequent visits to urgent care centers and other medical facilities. We all know it, and now science agrees: Vacations are good for your health and productivity. That makes it a win-win for employees and employers.
Staying healthy while you work
There’s no doubt that offices can be hard on your health. But it you take a little bit of time to set up your workspace, eat and drink right, and keep your body active, you’ll protect yourself from repetitive use injuries and feel better every day. Now go take that vacation!