5 ways to stay healthy during the 9 to 5

Posted In Weaver Bomfords Blog   |   29th March 2018

Why is it that you’re absolutely fine at work and then as soon as you take a well-deserved break, you get ill? 

At the start of this year’s bank holidays, here are some ideas to help you boost your health and well being at work.

1. Move regularly.

Even if (or especially if) your job keeps you glued to a screen, you need to move around at least once an hour.  There’s a wide range of Apps specially designed to remind you when you need to move – even simpler, just set repeating tasks via Outlook or your smartphone.  Walk around every hour for 5 minutes go and talk to colleagues rather than email, collect your printing from the most distant printer, use the facilities furthest away – it’s even better if you can include a set or two of stairs. Every little helps, so think about where you park your car/get off the bus or how far you can walk at lunchtime.  Failing that, think about a sit stand desk.  They’re hugely popular especially with those who suffer from back problems as they enable you to change your posture easily and quickly and standing for at least part of your working day has proven health benefits.

2. Practise good screen health.

Staring at a screen can lead to changes in the tear formation, with symptoms similar to dry eye syndrome. If you regularly use a computer, make sure your computer workstation is set up correctly to minimise eye strain. Your screen should stand at eye level, or just below it and an adjustable monitor arm is a good way to manage this. It is also advisable to look away from the screen every five minutes for a few seconds and take a few blinks. A good screen filter will help prevent glare which can be a cause of eye strain.

3. Stay hydrated.

If you work in a warm environment, wear heavy protective clothing or work in a location where regular access to drinks is difficult, it’s especially important to keep well hydrated.  Employers have an obligation to provide easy access to drinking water for staff – this can be as simple as tap water, or where that’s not possible, access to a water fountain or bottled water.  The evidence is that being hydrated improves mental performance and helps combat tiredness and fatigue, all of which can help your productivity.

4. Watch out for bad habits.

It’s very easy to develop long term issues from everyday bad habits. Fortunately, there’s a whole range of products designed to promote good working posture and practises, from wrist rests to task chairs suitable for 24 hour use and everything in between.  Regularly assess your comfort and make sure you’re not over reaching for things, constantly cradling your telephone headset using your neck or typing with your wrists in the air, rather than correctly supported. Above all, make sure you’re sitting in an appropriate chair, that’s right for your body type and has been designed for the kind of work you do.  Sit in it properly, with your hips at the back of the seat and make sure that it’s correctly adjusted for you and for your work station.

5. Stop illnesses spreading.

Studies have shown that your desk surface, computer keyboard, mouse and telephone handset are more contaminated than toilet seats. Where staff work in close proximity, it’s very easy for common viruses to spread quickly, leading to localised outbreaks of sickness and illness.  Not ideal for productivity or for your own well-being.  Fortunately, there are lots of products especially designed to deal with the spread of germs and bacteria in your office cheaply and easily.   Just keep some anti-bacterial wipes in your desk and give everything a swipe at least once a day.  There are sprays and wipes suitable for use in the food and healthcare industries and ranges of anti-bacterial soaps and cleaners designed to keep communal areas clean and germ free.


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