How to stay healthy in the workplace
Taking care of ourselves at home is easy. We can keep things as clean as we want them, we can sit down with a book when we need a break, and we can switch things up if we're feeling a little stuck. However, we spend a lot of time at work. It's important we know how to take of ourselves there, too—mentally and physically.
These tips help keep you healthy and naturally encourage productivity.
1) Keep hand sanitizer at your desk. And use it often. Germs can spread pretty easily in an office, and it's not always possible to take the day off. Every time that person from accounting who has a cold coughs or sneezes, that bacteria spreads. Keep a large bottle of hand sanitizer with a pump at your desk, and we bet everyone that passes by takes some.
2) Decorate, disinfect, and charge with PhoneSoap. The PhoneSoap 3 phone sanitizer is a UV-C disinfection device that kills 99.99% of the germs* living on the surface of your cell phone (which is likely dirtier than a public restroom). Yes, it will even kill those cold and flu viruses floating around. It also houses a USB port so you can charge your phone at the same time. With seven colors to choose from, you can add a pop of color to your desk or a nice neutral that will blend right in.
3. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drinking enough water does wonders for your body. The Mayo Clinic points out that "even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired." Symptoms of dehydration can also include headaches and muscle cramps, which can interfere with your work day. Drinking enough water is also a key component in making sure you don't get sick, which we touched on in our flu prevention blog post. If you tend to drink more when your cup or water bottle has a straw, try a tumbler like this.
4. Clean your desk once a week. This isn't just for your physical health; it's for your mental health, too. Keeping your office space clean and sanitary is beneficial for several reasons. You'll:
- Increase productivity.
- Make great first impressions.
- Avoid unnecessary germs.
- Organize your space, which helps to organize your mind.
Clutter negatively impacts your ability to focus. Try to make it a goal to organize and de-clutter your desk once a week. You might also want to pull out the SurfaceSoap UV wand and disinfect every surface you swipe.**
5. Step outside for fresh air. Besides the obvious benefit of taking a mental break from a long project and a screen break for your eyes, stepping outside for fresh air and some vitamin D does more than you think. It also:
- Boosts your immune system
- Calms you down
- Cleans your lungs
- Gives you energy
- Improves heart health
- Boosts brain health
Wanna know more? Check out this article.
6. Take vacations. I know this sounds like we threw it in here for fun, but that's not the case. Taking vacations really is good for your health. The professionals at Allina Health did their research. We've included it below.
- Improved physical health: Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. For both men and women, the New York Times reported, taking a vacation every two years compared to every six will lessen the risk of coronary heart disease or heart attacks.
- Improved mental health: Neuroscientists have found that brain structure is altered by chronic exposure to the stress hormone cortisol, which can be a major contributing factor to anxiety and depression. Feelings of calm arise from time away from work and relieve stress, which allows the body and mind to heal in ways that it couldn't if it were still under pressure.
- Greater well-being: According to a Gallup study, people who "always make time for regular trips" had a 68.4 score on the Gallup-Heathway's Well-Being Index, in comparison to a 51.4 Well-Being score for less frequent travelers. One study found that three days after vacation, subjects' physical complaints, quality of sleep, and mood had improved as compared to before vacation. These gains were still present five weeks later, especially in those who had more personal time and overall satisfaction during their vacation.
- Increased mental power: Upon returning from vacation, workers are often more focused and productive. Studies have found that chronic stress can actually modulate a part of the brain that inhibits goal-directed activity and can cause problems with memory. Time off can tune up a well-functioning brain.
- Improved familial relationships: Spending time enjoying life with loved ones can keep relationships strong. A study by the Arizona Department of Health and Human Services found that women who took vacations were more satisfied with their marriages.
- Decreased burnout: Workers who take regular time to relax are less likely to experience burnout, making them more creative and productive than their overworked, under-rested counterparts.
- Planning alone boosts happiness: Research shows the biggest boost in happiness comes from planning the vacation. A person can feel the effects up to eight weeks before the trip.
You don't just want to go to the Bahamas, you need to go to the Bahamas.
7. Restrict caffeine intake. Stay with me, because we know that's tough to hear. But deep down, you know caffeine isn't good for you. I won't go into detail (you can read about it here), but know that third soda could trigger anxiety, cause insomnia, lead to muscle breakdown and high blood pressure, and make you tired—and that's not even the entire list. Refer to tip #3.
Believe it or not, this list is pretty manageable. Start today and relieve some of that stress! What are your favorite ways to stay healthy at work? Share them in the comments below.
*PhoneSoap 3 has been tested by an independent, third-party laboratory to be 99.99% effective against Salmonella, E. coli, MRSA, H1N1, Coronavirus 229E, Staphylococcus, Rhinovirus, Rotavirus. It has been tested on actual phones, Apple™ watch, headphones, credit cards, and keys. PhoneSoap 3 has also been tested to be 99.99% effective against Salmonella, H1N1, rotavirus, and rhinovirus using a modified ASTM E1153 and ASTM E1053-11 for efficacy of UV light on general hard non-porous surfaces such as glass, metals, and plastics. Real-world results may vary depending on size, shape, and material of phone or phone case.
**SurfaceSoap UV was tested by BIOSCIENCE LABORATORIES, LLC against Salmonella enterica (ATCC # 10708), Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC # 6538), and HCoV-OC43 (Zeptometrix #0810024CF). SurfaceSoap UV was tested by scanning glass slides containing these microbes and shown to kill up to 99.99% of the previously specified bacteria, and 99.9% of the specified virus strain. Tests were performed with the SurfaceSoap UV moving at 3 inches per second and held 1 inch from the exposed surface.