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20 healthy life hacks for a healthier work life

Healthy life hacks

Health & Weight Loss

20 healthy life hacks for a healthier work life

20 healthy life hacks for a healthier work life

The new year is here and this only means you have established some healthy life hacks to help you achieve your goals. I am sure you are more motivated than ever to be successful, healthier, and to become a better person this year by establishing some healthy life hacks, correct? Okay, this might be the initial goal but the reality is that most of us probably face challenges that hold us back from our health goals. Setting healthy life hacks is the best way to overcome our challenges and achieve our health goals.

We spend the majority of our time at work during the week. It only makes sense to establish healthy life hacks that can help make our daily tasks at work a bit healthier. Here is a list of 20 healthy life hacks you can use at work to make this your healthiest year ever.

20 healthy life hacks that will transform the way you work

1 – Take healthy leftovers, skip eating out

Taking healthy leftovers to work is best to avoid eating out.

Many people get caught up on spending extra money at lunch time, which tends to lead to more calories and unhealthy options.  A healthy option you should try this year is to cook a healthy meal for dinner the night before. Then simply pack leftovers for work the following day.  If you portion your food for lunch the night before, you are more likely to limit overeating and save money along the way as well.

Here is what you should do if packing your lunch is not an option. First, make sure you drink a cup of water before leaving for lunch. Next, try to take a look at the restaurant menu online so you can limit your options to the healthiest choices. Lastly, do your best not to give into temptation by avoiding foods high in fat and high in sugar. This healthy life hack might just save you from some unnecessary calories on your trip to the restaurants with your coworkers.

2 – Eat smaller meals

Eating smaller meals every two to three hours helps stabilize your blood sugar levels.

There is much to be said about eating smaller meals throughout the day.  For one, it promotes steady blood-glucose levels throughout the day so you do not get mood swings.  Second, eating smaller meals per day promotes a healthy lifestyle. This helps keep excess fat from your body, cuts down on overeating, and it will help you to be at your best.  Consider spreading your meals throughout the day to hack your way to success.

3 – Small water bottle

Always carry a small water bottle wherever you go.

There is a chance that you have accumulated a few water bottles throughout the years in order to be healthier. This healthy life hack will help you cut back on spending costs at the cafeteria or vending machine. With that said grab your smallest water bottle and take that to work every day.  Your task is to drink six to eight cups worth of water during the time you spend at work and cut back on the sugary beverages.  This will not only encourage you to take frequent small breaks throughout the day. It will also help you to take more steps throughout the day, especially if you fill up at the furthest water station from your desk.

4 – Fitness tracker

A fitness tracker helps track your progress to make sure you are moving at work.

You may have a friend or two with one of these around their wrist, but you don’t even need to go to the lengths of that method if you are not interested.  Consider getting some form of a fitness tracker (a pedometer is best) and try to take as many quality steps as you can during the work hours.  You can use this healthy life hack to start a little competition with yourself or your coworkers. Taking quality steps throughout your workday may seem like you are not doing much but the steps add up. Consider doing this every day for a healthier and more productive year.

5 – Office plant

Add a plant to your office for a natural-looking scenery.

This healthy life hack can help take some of the stress away by adding a natural-looking scenery around the office.  There may be policies against living plants in your office, but you may also consider adding a fake indoor plant to your office.  This is a way to change the scenery in which you work and it may encourage a feeling of wellness around the office.

 6 – Get up

Walking around the office can help improve your performance and focus.

If you can spend the time to check your phone often at work, then you have the time to remind yourself to get up for a couple minutes.  A body at rest is one that stores fat, but you are more likely to stop fat storage when you break up these rest periods.  Set your phone to go off every hour or so and stand up for a total of two to five minutes to break up this sitting time. This healthy life hack will most definitely improve your performance at work and help you stay more focuses on your tasks.

7 – Good air ventilation

Studies show that opening your office windows help improve ventilation and your overall performance.

There are studies to show that improved ventilation in your work area can help to improve employee performance.  If you have the ability to do so, consider opening the window in your office. You can also consider adding a small desk fan.  Some people have desk fans to rid of stuffy, warm air in the cubicle space. However, you can also use the fan to help bring in more quality air to your workspace.  To make it a healthier option, consider taking a quick walk around your office if the weather permits or in any longer hallways.

If you are all in for a healthy 2017 at work, then consider adding some good aromatherapy to your workspace.  Some peppermint, lemon, or lavender essential oils added to a napkin or paper towel can really reduce the stress in the area.  This healthy life hack will decrease your level of stress at work to help you be more successful.  Just make sure you don’t overdo the use of essential oils.

8 – Deep breathing

Side view of a happy girl with a laptop relaxing sitting near a window of a house interior

Another healthy life hack that can reduce stress, improve your performance, and help you live a healthier life is to practice deep breathing at work. Simply close your eyes keep your feet flat on the ground and let your mind go away from any work-related thoughts.  Take a slow, deep breath over a span of five seconds and exhale slower over five to seven seconds.  Repeat this for about two to three minutes and avoid fast breathing. You can make this your new favorite healthy life hack by choosing your favorite time of the day for deep breathing.

9 – Inconvenience yourself

Walking during your lunch break can help increase your activity level.

This defies all logic that you have learned thus far, but the concept of making something hard for yourself actually can induce amazing results over the long term.  Consider carrying paperwork instead of using a rolling bag, walking across the street to get lunch rather than having it delivered. You can also use the bathroom that is located the furthest away from your desk. This healthy life hack will make tasks more physically challenging helping you achieve your health goals as a result.

10 – Stretch at your desk

Stretching at the office can help relief tension and stress.

Sitting for extended periods can cause tight hamstrings, quads, lower back, and neck muscles.  During one of your reminder breaks, consider taking five minutes to stretch your major muscle groups.  Consider a sitting hamstring stretch, quad stretch, seated calf stretch, shoulder stretch, and a forearm Hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds for a condensed stretching routine and hold your stretches to the point of mild discomfort.

11 – Quotes for motivation

Self-affirmation and positive quotes can be a great healthy life hack to help you stay motivated to achieve your goals.

Consider finding some of your favorite quotes and place them throughout your workspace.  Uplifting quotes can help to add an element of positive affirmation every time you read it, which can help boost your morale and performance.  If your office allows, spread them all over, that way when you walk around the office, you read them with each step you take. Self-affirmation and positive quotes can be a great healthy life hack to help you stay motivated to achieve your goals.

12 – Smaller meeting times

Stand-up meetings can help you decrease your meeting length.

This is for those who have the ability to schedule meetings.  Try scheduling meetings that last for 15 to 20 minutes instead of a steady 60 minutes.  If you need, try splitting the meeting into two separate meetings to avoid long periods of sitting. You can also try healthy life hack by having a “stand-up meeting” to shorten the length of your meetings. You will get things done a lot faster when everyone is standing up for the duration of the meeting.

13 – Be mindful of snacking

Replace your bowl of candy and nuts with a bowl of oatmeal with protein powder as your afternoon snack.

It is easy to stick your hand in the candy jar at work and everyone knows this is not very healthful.  Similarly, it is easy to take a jar of fresh nuts to your office and snack on them, thinking that consuming healthy fats is a healthy way to snack.  However, nuts are still loaded with fat and calories, which can lead to extra weight throughout the year.  Rather than nuts, consider adding a fiber-rich snack such as oatmeal with protein powders with lots of water.  Let this year be the year that you snack leaner and feel better hacking your way to success.

14 – Fresh fruit

Eat a portion of fruits mid-morning and mid-afternoon to control your sugar cravings.

If you get hungry at the office, consider asking yourself if you really are hungry.  Sometimes, a tired mind can trick the body into craving sugary treats, which can lead to unhealthy options. Always have a cup of water every time you feel hungry. Wait 30 minutes and then consider having a piece of fruit if you feel that you are still hungry.  You could pack bite-size celery pieces to help your snacking behaviors (celery offers almost negative calories). You can also have a portion of fruit mid-morning and mid-afternoon to control your sugar cravings.

 15 – Office chair

Your office chair can help increase your energy level and improve your posture.

Your office chair is a great health hack to help increase your energy level and improve your posture. A poorly designed office chair can affect your health and work performance negatively. Sitting in a chair that allows for a good posture, tells your mind that you are not tired, fatigued, or whatever you can think of.

In fact, you can burn up to 350 calories per day, just from sitting in a good posture. Now, this is not your ticket to sit around all day at the office, but this healthy life hack can help engage your core and help burn a few extra calories. You can make your time sitting more efficient by sitting on a stability ball instead of a chair. You can also consider a standing desk if your organization allows.  Research shows that standing desks can reduce the overall sitting time and some physiological changes. Start hacking your office space with this healthy life hack.

 16 – Bring a soup

Letils stew can be a high-protein and high-fiber option during lunch.

Soup and salads are great options for lunch time at the office. However, canned soups tend to be overloaded with sodium.  Sodium has been linked to hypertension, water retention, and weight gain, all of which are not healthy.  Consider making your own soup at home or getting a low-sodium option so that you can avoid eating too much sodium. You might also want to boost this healthy life hack by adding some fiber to your soup like chia seeds and flaxseeds.

 17 – Health hack your parking spot

Burn more calories by parking far away from your office.

Did you know that every mile you walk, you burn approximately 100 calories?  Think of it this way, if you have a parking spot that is near the office, you are not doing yourself any favor, as this takes away from your overall calorie burn.  Instead, consider parking as far away as you can and see how many steps it adds round trip.  You could purposefully take a walk to your car during your lunch break to get more steps in the day.

18 – Change up your soda addiction

Green tea

Substitute soda with green tea or water with lemon drops.

In order to have a healthier year, consider swapping your soda problem for something more refreshing and nourishing.  Consider drinking water and add fresh lemon drops to your water for a refreshing treat. Another option would be to drink green tea, without sugar, to help substitute your soda addiction.

The strong acids in soda can leach calcium from your bones. Additionally, avoiding sodas can help decrease your empty calorie intake. This healthy life hack can also decrease your sugar intake, which can lead to weight loss. Check this article to learn more about sugar addiction.

19 – Incorporate the Pomodoro technique

Men watching clock at work

Create work intervals that incorporate 25 minutes of focused work with five minutes of mental rest.

Sounds pretty in-depth, but the Pomodoro technique is a simple method of using a timer to break work into intervals throughout the day.  Consider using the Pomodoro technique that incorporates 25 minutes of focused work with five minutes of mental rest.  Creating work intervals such as these not only allows you to focus harder on your work when you are working, but it promotes a brain rest.  You rest all of the muscles in your body at some point so why not rest the brain as well?

20 – Take stairs

Woman-ascending-office-staircase

Consider taking the stairs instead of taking the elevator to save time and burn more calories.

Waiting for the elevator can be a waste of a lot of time depending on how much you use it. Consider walking up and down them to save time, burn energy, and get your workout while working.  This healthy life hack could help to promote that sluggish afternoon feeling following lunch. It can also reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and improve your heart disease risk.

Turning your healthy life hacks into a habit

These 20 healthy life hacks should help you establish healthier habits at work. However, simply trying some of these hacks will not solve your problem. Experts say that it takes anywhere from 4-6 weeks to create a new habit. Therefore, make sure you implement these health hacks into your daily routine and turn them into habits.

We suggest that you start off by picking 3-5 health hacks of your choice and turn them into habits. Add 1-2 new health hacks to your daily routine per week. Consistently follow each of them every day until it becomes a habit. Next, add more health hacks every other week as you master each one of your health habits.

Share this article with your co-workers to help them become healthier this year.

 

 

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Bruno earned his B.S. in Exercise Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Houston. Bruno is fully committed to applying concepts of exercise science and human nutrition to help others live a healthier lifestyle.

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