30 Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

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30 Ways to Stay Healthy at Work

Have you ever noticed that when at work, there seems to be “no time” to make health a priority, especially when you know that there are no healthy vending machines around?

Health care and finding ways to stay healthy at work has become a high priority with most companies, in view of the fact that a great percentage of employees are on high blood pressure medication.  In fact, recent studies show that 20% of the $656 billion dollars spent on US health care costs are a direct result of high blood pressure, with 50% involving high blood pressure as a risk. More information on this here:

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This could take mega bucks out of your budget when it comes to providing for employees’ health care!

Let’s take a close look at possible refreshment services & healthy alternatives for the workplace…

Healthy Snack Food Refreshments…

1. Stay away from processed food

Stay away from processed food-1

Everyone knows that chemicals are bad for you.  Obviously, there are all kinds of bad stuff when you’re picking foods with preservatives.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Studies have also shown that some organic foods contain more food value than the conventional fruits and vegetables.  For example, organic apples contain 6% more vitamin C than the traditional apple which has been sprayed with pesticides.   However, having said that, the food of the western world in USA is the safest humans have ever eaten, with no real worry of pesticides.  More on that here: [blog].

Not all snacks from vending machines are necessarily a risk on your health.  In addition to organic foods, here are some other healthy snack ideas.

2. Reward task completion with a healthy snack

Reward task completion with a healthy snack-2

If you’re looking to look and feel better as well as becoming more productive in the workplace, getting in the habit of grabbing healthy snacks is the way to go.  Choosing healthy foods not only improves your looks, you’ll find that they also improve overall health and give you a cognitive boost.  People who eat healthy snacks habitually are generally healthier, and they don’t crave junk food.  Do yourself a favor… reward yourself with a healthy snack from the healthy vending machines.

3. Find nearby healthy vending machines

Find nearby healthy vending machines-3

Yes, vending machines can be healthy, too!  You can actually have fresh gourmet meals right in the office.  When foods are readily accessible with the right kinds of foods that people really want for their lunch, they’re more likely to be spending more time working at the office and less time going out to restaurants.  Additionally, healthy vending machines are cost effective for employees.

“Healthy vending machines” that offer water as an alternative to soda promotes better health and more energy to employees.  There’s nothing worse than a steady diet of high fructose corn syrup that pack on pounds and result in high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.  The employer who offers vending machines with healthy options can benefit from lower health insurance premiums and employees who are happier and healthier.  Why?

  • When there’s more of a selection to choose from, employees aren’t limited to bringing the traditional donuts to the meeting.
  • And, when the vending machines are simply in the other room, employees don’t have to leave the grounds to go fetch the meeting snacks or luncheon foods.
  • Employees who eat healthy not only maintain better health, but they’re usually less depressed and in a better mood. And, it’s easier to avoid donuts when healthy food is brought to be table!

4. Bring Health Snacks to meetingsBring Health Snacks to meetings-4

With the benefit of health vending machines, employees have the option of bringing their own healthy snack to meeting where there might be donuts available.  The more healthy food there is to choose from, the less you’re likely to snack on something that’s likely to make you feel rotten.

5. Healthy vending machines allow you to limit your caffeine intakeLimit caffeine intake-5

As much as we all love coffee, beware, as too much coffee can be dangerous! It’s important to keeping your intake of caffeine to a minimum.  Limiting your morning coffee to only one cup in the morning, can avoid later crashing from the lack of caffeine.  It’s also advisable to learn to drink coffee without adding cream or sugar.  I’ve found that simply taking it as “medicine” for 30 days will reestablish your taste buds will find you no longer craving the sweet taste. More about tips for staying healthy here: (website)

 

6. Healthy snacks promote weight lossHealthy snacks promote weight loss-6

That’s right… you can actually “treat” yourself to something good to eat such as:

  • Banana breakfast muffins
  • Gluten free pumpkin granola
  • “Kind” bars (gluten free and a better alternative to granola)

The snacks above are only three of several snacks that you can make and bring to the office for your fellow employees.  Check out the recipes on this site:  (website)

Employers who have chosen to be a leader in promoting healthy snacks can reap the benefits of happy and healthy employees.

Importance of water and healthy diet…

The importance of water and healthy diet are a critical element to eliminate stress, high blood pressure and keeping your employees more productive as well.

For example, consider the following facts on the importance of water in a healthy diet…

 

7. Drinking water fights dehydration, thereby supplying more energy when compared to traditional soda

Drinking water fights dehydration-7

Contrary to the traditional sodas that we sometimes find one every desk, water really gives the body what we’re thirsty for.  When it comes to refreshment services and healthy alternatives for the workplace, water is number one.

When people get thirsty, they tend to grab anything wet, usually that which is most conveniently available.  Sodas are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, the substances proven to be way worse than sugar for weight gain!  And, don’t think you’re doing yourself any favors by choosing the diet soda.  The aspartame in diet soda is even more dangerous than the corn syrup.  When ingested into a warm body, aspartame turns into formaldehyde!

8. Drinking water to helps improve weight loss

8 Drinking water to helps improve weight loss-8

Sometimes the body tells you it is hungry when a simple bottle of water is all you need.  When you decide to grab water several times a day, it’s a huge benefit to appetite control.  (Arthur, Kayla) – More on that here.  It’s a good idea to make sure you make water a priority in your diet, and try your best to fit in several bottles of water each day.  The more you focus on drinking water, the less you’ll be focusing on snacking!

9. Water promotes clear thinking

9 Water promotes clear thinking-9

Contrary to soda, water promotes clear thinking because, since the body is composed of 60% water, limiting the amount of water in the body actually limits the amount of oxygen going to the brain.  Human beings can live much longer without food than water.  Grabbing the cool clear purified water out vending machines is your first step to better health.

10. Water promotes better health

Beautiful female hiker drinking water in forest

It’s not just your brain that benefits from water.  Research shows that staying hydrated reduces risk of colon cancer by 45%, and bladder cancer by 50%!  (Arthur, Becca Borawski Jenkins) – More on that here.

11. Water can prevent headaches

11 water can prevent headaches-11

Getting enough oxygen to your brain with proper hydration not only makes you think clearer, it also can prevent headaches, which are sometimes caused by lack of water!  If you’ve ever had a hangover, you can relate; that headache is a direct result of lack of water to the brain because alcohol dries the brain.

12. Drinking water results in less joint pain

12 Drinking water results in less joint pain-12

How many of your employees are taking pain medicine for arthritis?  Studies have shown that more water in the body reflects in less joint pain.  In fact, the popular supplement glucosamine works by helping the body’s cartilage absorb more water.

13. Water flushes toxins out the body

13 water flushes toxins out the body-13

 

This will result in not only feeling better, but it prevents sickness and leaves you looking healthier and more attractive.

How much water should you drink for proper health?  Professionals tell us to take half your body weight in ounces (a person weighing 140 pounds should drink 70 ounces of water each day, about 4½ bottles.)

Office Coffee Hacks…

What’s wrong with coffee?  Americans especially are addicted to this socially acceptable “drug”.  What can we do about it?  Here are some tips that might help…

14.  Start drinking coffee without sugar

14 Start drinking coffee without sugar-14

You don’t have to stop drinking coffee altogether.  In fact, it’s really the sugar that people use that’s most destructive to the human body.  Putting a whole bunch of sugar in your office is “arguably the single worst ingredient in the modern diet.  Sugar, mainly due to the high amount of fructose, can cause all sorts of serious diseases like obesity and diabetes”.  Author, Kris Gunnars, (July 2015) 8 Ways to Make Your Coffee Super Health [blog]. It’s best to learn to drink your office black.  However, if you just can’t do it, health professionals suggest stevia as the suggested sweetener.

15. Choose a quality brand, preferably organic

15-Choose a quality brand, preferably organic-15

“Just like it is with other foods, the quality of the product can vary greatly depending on the processing method and how it was grown.”  (Author, Kris Gunnars, (July 2015) 8 Ways to Make Your Coffee Super Health [blog].

Coffee beans tend to be heavily sprayed with pesticides, herbicides and various toxins that were never intended for human consumption.

For this reason, I recommend that you choose organic coffee whenever possible.

16.  Use zero calorie sweetener alternatives.

  • Stevia
  • Splenda
  • Equal

While any of the above sweeteners can be used, stevia is the most highly recommended.  That being said, learning to drink it black is the healthiest option of all.

17. Drink it black

It’s pretty obvious that sugar and cream both are bad for you.  Sugar can be linked to a variety of diseases stemming from high blood sugar and diabetes.  In fact, the really bad thing about coffee drinking is not the coffee itself, but what we put in it.

To back-up the “coffee is good for you” theory, a recent study was published by Dr. Bakarudze et al in the Journal, Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.  The objective of the study was to assess whether short term coffee consumption correlates with reduced DNA background damage in healthy volunteers.  The video explaining this study points out some benefits to coffee, such as alertness. Coffee consumption rapidly reduces background DNA strand breaks in healthy humans”. (Author, Lifestyle Medicine (Dec 8, 2015) Coffee Consumption Shown to be Protective of Human DNA New Study Finds

 

Results revealed “significant reduction of background DNA strand breaks as early as 2 hours after the first coffee intake”.  What does this all mean?  Actually significant results!  It means that coffee can actually be used as a preventative against certain chronic diseases.

18. Replace cream and sugar with a teaspoon of cinnamon in coffee

A recent study has now proven that ingesting cinnamon on a regular basis can strengthen the immune system, which helps you prevent all kinds of disease.  Only a teaspoon a day can make a huge difference in your health, especially if you take away the destructive sugar component and replace it with cinnamon! This change alone can save you over 70 calories per cup and boost your metabolism at the same time.   “Cinnamon can slow the speed at which the stomach” empties following a meal, which can help control sharp rises and falls in blood sugar levels. Softening these sugar spikes can theoretically reduce cravings.” (Author, Kate Morin (Dec 12, 2011) Try Cinnamon in Your Coffee Instead of Cream and Sugar [blog].

19.  Add cocoa to your coffee

We tend to give cocoa a bad rap because everyone knows that chocolate is bad for you.  However, contrary to popular belief, cocoa without the sugar is actually good for you!  “Cocoa is loaded with antioxidants and associated with all sorts of health benefits, including a reduced risk of heart disease.”  (Author, Kris Gunnars, (July 2015) 8 Ways to Make Your Coffee Super Health [blog].

20. Use Vanilla extract in your coffee

Some people use those popular vanilla flavored creamers, which is absolutely the worst thing for you!  The chemicals in that stuff can take two things that are actually good for you – coffee and vanilla – and turn it into a destructive substance for your body.  Instead, simply put a little vanilla extract in your coffee.  “If you like to sweeten your coffee, you don’t need to depend on sugar and processed creamers. Try a few drops of pure vanilla extract instead.” (Author, Smart Coffee for Regular Joes, 9 Surprising Things to Add to Your Coffee (Beyond Cream & Sugar) [blog].

21.  For healthier coffee drinking, buy whole beans and grind yourself

This is something that will not only make your coffee better for you, you’ll love the taste!  You won’t even want to go back once you’ve tried black!  (LOL)  What makes the whole bean healthier?  Just like anything else, coffee beans become rancid after the inner part of the bean is exposed to moisture.  Oxygen and moisture are the “enemies of freshness”.  “They’re also the enemies of anti-oxidants, those things you hear about that create stability and health in living systems and ward off disease.”   (Author, Craig Fear, Fearless Eating, 6 Tips for Healthier Coffee Drinking [blog].

Now that you feel better about your coffee drinking habit, please keep in mind that everything in moderation is a good rule of thumb.  Drinking 2 cups per day is one thing… drinking 2 pots per day is quite another.  The above tips will help to put in you in a “healthy mindset”, so as to not overdo it.

22. If you can give up the cream in your coffee, try these healthy alternatives as suggested from this site: (Author, A Healthier Michigan, (July 18, 2014) 3 Healthy Alternatives to Flavored Coffee Creamers [blog].

22 healthy alternatives to cream in coffee

  1.  Add a little coconut milk. “Coconuts are rich in iron and calcium and lactose-free and their milk provides the same creaminess that commercial coffee creams do without all the added artificial ingredients.”
  2.  Almond milk as a creamer texture and taste as compared with milk. “One cup of almond milk contains 100% of your B-12 requirements and 20% of your vitamin A and D recommendations.”
  3. Try combining real milk with honey. “Combining skim, 1% or 2% milk with honey will give your morning mug a sweet kick while still allowing you to know exactly what you’re drinking.”

Office Exercise Hacks…

Getting enough exercise is always a dilemma when you’re stuck in your cubical for 8 hours at your sit-down job.  But don’t give up on the idea of healthy office practices just yet.  Here are some ideas that can help you…

23.  Park further away

23 Park further away

This might sound trivial at first, but forcing yourself to add extra steps each day can add up over time to equal more calories expended and overall better health for you.  Additionally, even a small walk each day can be a great factor in combatting stress.  Walking further to your destination can get to you work feeling more relaxed and less stressed after the traffic jam you’ve just encountered. “Force yourself to add a couple extra steps throughout the day.” (Author, Snack Station, 9 Simple Hacks to Stay Healthy at Work [infographic]

24. Take the stairs instead of the elevator

24 Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Stair climbing is an excellent aerobic exercise, whether you want to lose weight or not.  In fact, some aerobic classes are centered on “step aerobics” where you’re given an exercise “step” just for working out.  So why not get something accomplished while you’re burning calories?  “Stairmaster machines are among the most popular pieces of exercise equipment in gyms all over Australia and the world.” (Author, Weightloss.com, Climbing Stairs for Weight Loss [blog].  Offices that have stairs to climb are most conducive to healthy office practices.

25. Automate getting out of your seat

25 Automate getting out of your seat

Getting a change in scenery as you make it a practice to move your body on a regular basis does more good for you than just your health.  Sometimes you can get a better perspective on that brain-cramping project after a quick walk to the breakroom.  “Set a calendar reminder for every 30 to 60 minutes that says ‘Get up and move!’ Walk to the water cooler; get some fresh air, or anything else that gets you out of your seat.”  (Author, Snack Station, 9 Simple Hacks to Stay Healthy at Work [infographic].  In fact, if you can manage to take a short walk in a natural setting, studies have now proven that this will also give you a cognitive boost!

26.  High five co-workers

businessmen high fiving

There’s now evidence that the way you feel can be directly related to your own body’s physiology.  Regardless of how you think you feel, when you act like you’re feeling happy and confident, you actually can trick yourself into feeling that way.  It all has to do with the release of oxytocin (the “trust hormone”) which is released when you’re acting as though you’re enjoying yourself.  This also reduces release of cortisol (the “stress hormone”).  Reducing cortisol levels in the blood are also great for weight loss.  “When you have stress, your body released certain fight-or-flight stress hormones that are produced in the adrenal glands: cortisol, norepinephrine and epinephrine. When you get stressed, these hormones kick into gear.” (Author, Jillian Michaels, More Reasons to Whittle Your Middle [blog].   Healthy office practices like fighting the release of cortisol can make a big difference in your ability to lose weight.

So when you pass by a co-worker, give them a high five along with a smile!

27.  Stand at the desk instead of sitting

27 Stand at the desk instead of sitting

This is a revolutionary idea!  It has been illustrated that standing burns a third more calories than sitting down.  “Even standing for just a couple of hours per day can burn as much as ten pounds of fat per year”.  (Author, NotSitting.com, Standing Desk Weight Loss [blog].

They now have a “standing desk” that is built so it stands just below shoulder height, allowing you to stand while you work.  These desks not only promote improved health and weight reduction, but they also have been proven to increase productivity!  The “adjustable height desk” will enable you to custom fit the desk to each individual user.  Check out the standing desk reviews on this site:  (Author, NotSitting.com, Adjustable Height Desk [blog].

28. Try the “silent seat squeeze”

28 Try the silent seat squeeze

Isometric exercise can be done anywhere at any time, even when you’re in a meeting or talking with your boss!  Office isometrics are called “deskercises”, and the “silent seat squeeze” is a great way to work on your glutes while sitting at your desk.  “To start toning, simply squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release.”  (Author, Emily Milam, Deskercise!  33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work [blog].  Enjoy your “uplifting” results!

29. The “seated leg raiser” is another great “deskercise” to try

29 seated leg raiser is another great deskercise

Your colleagues won’t even notice you’re strengthening and shaping your legs – all under your desk!  “While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds.”  (Author, Emily Milam, Deskercise!  33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work [blog].  This exercise is recommended to for 15 reps at a time for best results.  You can even add to your workout by lifting your purse or briefcase with your legs.

30. Sneak in exercise wherever and whenever you can

Businessman stretching at desk

Businessman stretching at desk

Granted, our office working culture is not usually geared for exercise and healthy office practices, but the more you look for ways to exercise at work, the more ways you’ll discover “sneaky” ways to get your workout in the day.  Little things like taking the stairs or walking to lunch to make a difference.  And, here’s another little “sneaky exercise”… “Every time you use the toilet, complete 10 squats, this can be done in the cubical or in the bathroom.”  (Author, Kayla, (August 29 2015) How to Stay Healthy in an Office Job [blog].

Little by little, healthy office practices are possible when you stay persistent with making some of the above exercise tips a habit in your daily regime.

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