Health

Minor Adjustments You Can Make At Your Desk Job That Will Enhance Your Health

It’s a reality of the contemporary world that millions of people are spending most of their days in offices. The problem with this is that it… Darren Ryding - February 5, 2024

It’s a reality of the contemporary world that millions of people are spending most of their days in offices. The problem with this is that it creates a sedentary lifestyle. Desk jobs involve a lot of sitting around and it’s easy to develop unhealthy habits. Luckily, there are minor adjustments we can make that produce massive results.

Let’s look at these small desk job changes that can have incredible health benefits. Try incorporating a couple into a daily office routine because they’re fantastic. Office work doesn’t have to increase our risks of heart attacks and obesity. Try these minor adjustments and change your life today.

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Lifewire

Pedometer App

One of the main problems with office work is that we’re sitting around for hours at a time. This is one of the biggest changes that society has witnessed over the past decade as we’ve left manual labor behind us. However, there’s one easy way to incorporate more exercise into office life.

Try walking around the office for a few minutes every hour. The CDC recommends that adults walk 10,000 steps per day or about five kilometers. Download a pedometer app and aim to complete this amount by the end of the day. It’s a great way to turn the act of walking into an interactive experience (via Medical News Today).

Sitting In Office
Chair Office

Ergonomic Seat

Another easy way to improve office health is to invest in an ergonomic seat. We want to be comfortable but we also want to ensure that our body is functioning correctly while sitting. They usually have a curved back design as well as adjustable functions like armrests and footrests for improved support.

Sitting increases blood pressure and also can negatively impact cholesterol levels. An ergonomic seat can help to alleviate some of this damage. It can also decrease common issues, such as back pain. But nothing replaces walking around. Some people also like sitting on medicine balls because they help improve their posture (via Yale Medicine).

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The Office Desk

Stay Organized

It’s easy to focus on the physical side of office health but what about the mental aspects? Sometimes they can be stressful environments when we’re dealing with deadlines and difficult work demands. However, some minor adjustments will make it a nicer place to be.

Staying organized is a relatively simple way to destress and relax. Declutter by having a functioning filing system. Meanwhile, remember to bring empty cups back to the kitchen and don’t fill the space with dozens of knick-knacks. Some people thrive in chaos but most people benefit from order (via Whole Body Revolution).

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Epicurious

Packed Lunch

Packed lunches can be a great way to make a desk job healthier. Workers know what they’re putting into their bodies because they can choose what they want to eat. Often if we go to a restaurant or cafe we order something we regret. But bringing a packed lunch allows us to create a balanced meal.

This is a great way to potentially lose or control weight gain. Also, there’s the bonus of saving money because usually bringing a packed lunch is much cheaper than eating out. It’s one of the best methods to incentivize ourselves to eat more fruit too. There are plenty of exciting lunches beyond plain sandwiches too so be creative! (via The Guardian).

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World Atlas

Hydrate Before Caffeine

One of the first things that many office workers do in the morning is drink coffee. They won’t feel like real human beings until they’ve had their double espresso or their flat white. This is fine but they must drink water first. Hydrate before consuming caffeine so that there’s no crash later in the day.

This will help overall productivity as well as the worker’s mental health. Experts confirmed that caffeine dehydrates the body if we don’t consume enough water alongside it. This causes fatigue and makes people more likely to crave sugar too. A glass of water before a cup of joe is one of the easiest minor adjustments ever. (via Food Network)

 

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Rakuten Today

Meditation

We must look after our mental health because this also has a direct effect on our physical state. The office environment isn’t always conducive to this when workers are doing overtime and chasing deadlines. That’s why adding meditation to the day can be very helpful.

There are many forms of meditation so it’s worth experimenting with. It could be as simple as closing one’s eyes and letting the mind go blank for a few minutes. Some people want privacy so they could sit in a park near the office or use an empty conference room. Avoid using a cell phone during these precious moments. (via Rakuten Today)

Why Walking Is Good For Your Employees
Flex Jobs

Walk And Talk

We already mentioned that people sit too much in the office these days. It’s reached pandemic levels and now medical experts are describing it as the new smoking because of the impact on physical health. That’s why we should try to make minor adjustments that incorporate more walking and standing in our lives.

Walking and talking with colleagues is a great way to do this. A simple way to trick co-workers into doing this is to suggest grabbing a Starbucks and walking back while conversing. It’s productive and it may even stimulate better ideas because exercise powers the mind (via Corporate Wellness).

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Steel Case

Foot Support

We always think about ergonomic seats but there’s another way to make the office more comfortable and healthy. Try a specialized footrest because it adds more support for the entire body. People don’t realize that it will help the lower back and reduce the risk of strain.

Another benefit is that may help to lower fatigue levels as well as reduce ankle pressure. This improves circulation which is crucial when we sit for long periods. These minor adjustments make a massive difference in our everyday lives and may help us enjoy our work more too (via Gotopac).

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Eat This Not That

Protein For Breakfast

One of the worst things that office workers do during the day is eat unhealthy snacks. This is often because they become hungry after rushing to their desk job. After all, they haven’t had a decent breakfast so they develop cravings for something else. Consuming protein in the morning is an effective method to avoid this.

People automatically think this means making a cooked breakfast and roll their eyes. But it could be as simple as having a protein shake. Another way is to mix protein powder into overnight oats and bring them to the office in the morning. These minor adjustments are brilliant for a healthier diet. (via Conscious Plant Kitchen)

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Tough Mudder

Exercise With Colleagues

This is simple in theory but it won’t be possible in every office. It’s very helpful if co-workers can create a healthy culture. Working out together is one of the best ways to create accountability. Colleagues could even make it fun by having step-count challenges or agreeing to do an obstacle course like Tough Mudder or Spartan Race.

It’s tough to be healthier if the work culture involves drinking excessively or smoking outside. All it takes is for two like-minded people to have a big impact on the office life. Maybe the company can have a sports day or go on a charity run for team-building. The possibilities are endless and they will make everyone happy (via Better Up).

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RX Wellness

Practice Posture

The unfortunate reality is that desk jobs are terrible for causing bad posture. There are a few ways to make this better. Firstly, try to elevate the screen to avoid looking down and placing strain on the neck. Meanwhile, an ergonomic chair will also make a huge difference. But try to be conscious of it too and practice good posture.

Office workers don’t realize how important posture is to their bodies. It will affect neck pain and impact digestion. Furthermore, it can help to make breathing easier and improve circulation. There are many other benefits and these minor adjustments can have a great effect (via SCOI).

Why Is Sleep Important
Medical News Today

Sleep Well

A good night’s sleep can make a massive difference to office productivity. This is a luxury that not everybody enjoys because they have babies or other external reasons. Fatigue causes people to eat more junk food because they crave sugar and a quick energy release. This increases the risk of weight gain and cardiovascular issues.

Meanwhile, tiredness also reduces the chances of office workers exercising. The last thing they want to do is go to the gym when they’re suffering from exhaustion. Nobody can blame them for this but sleep is a great cheat code. Have a good pillow and a comfortable mattress to increase the chances of a good night (via British Health Foundation).

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Eat This Not That

HIIT Training

One of the most common complaints from office workers is that they don’t have enough time to exercise. This isn’t true it’s just that they don’t know the best ways to do it. High-intensity interval training is perfect for people with desk jobs. They can do short cycles with amazing results for their cardiovascular system.

One Tabata round only takes four minutes but they must do it at maximum intensity. There are no excuses for not doing it except for motivation. If there’s a shower at the office then that’s good news because they could even do it there. Otherwise, they could dash to the gym or do it in the morning or after work. (via Circuit Works)

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Love To Know

Essential Oils

Many minor adjustments produce big effects in the office. It’s easy to forget about mindfulness and relaxation when we’re staring at a computer screen all day. That’s why lighting incense or using essential oils can have benefits. Studies reveal that the latter have many positive uses.

They may kill bacteria and viruses which is good news for the flu season in winter. Meanwhile, they reduce stress and work as a mood booster. Be careful not to annoy other people with them though. Always communicate with colleagues nearby by introducing new smells into the workplace. (via Everyday Health)

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Shape

Desk Stretches

Stretching and doing light desk exercises is another great way to improve office health. These minor adjustments throughout the day are excellent. Stretching improves circulation and stimulates the body. That’s why athletes stretch before they compete because they want to kickstart their engines.

Try performing shoulder shrugs and spinal twists to ease tension and tightness. There are many simple stretches that we can do without even standing up. Repeat them later in the afternoon to reap the rewards. People forget that evolution programmed human bodies to move but we’re destroying that (via Verywell Fit).

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The Hollywood Reporter

Mini Fridge

We realize that this won’t be possible for everybody, especially if they’re using cubicles and sharing office space. However, if people have the luxury of a private office then they might get a mini fridge. The first benefit is that people won’t steal lunches or tasty treats like in communal refrigerators.

Another positive is that allows us to keep healthy snacks close to hand. This reduces the risk of turning to salty or sugary treats that blow up diets. They’re also not as expensive to run as we often think. Just check with the boss in case there’s a problem but there shouldn’t be (via Sub Cold).

Walking And Productivity
Red Booth

Walk/Cycle to Work

Another way to incorporate exercise into our daily lives is to walk or cycle to work. This won’t always be possible if we live quite far from the office. Sometimes people spend ages commuting on buses and trains or driving miles. Living close to work is a privilege so we should use it.

Walkers can even create a routine where they stop to buy a coffee on the way or listen to music or a podcast. There are so many mental and physical benefits because it stimulates everything. Maybe winter can be tougher but that’s why gloves, hats, and umbrellas exist (via Flex Jobs).

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NYC Office Vibes

Healthy Snacks

There’s always a temptation to turn to unhealthy snacks in the office. We crave fat-heavy pastries after a trip to the coffee shop or sugary chocolate bars. Then workers don’t exercise and they gain weight as well as putting their heart under strain. Always keep a supply of healthy snacks nearby to remove the urge.

Dried fruit is a great way to get that sugar rush without all of the calories. High-protein snacks like jerky or Greek yogurt are fantastic because they’ll reduce hunger pangs later. Try bringing a smoothie to work and experimenting with different flavor combinations too (via Drink Coffee).

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The HR Digest

Eat Away From Desk

One of the best minor adjustments that office workers can make is eating away from their desks. There’s always a temptation to check emails or to do a little bit extra when sitting in front of a computer. They remain engaged with their job instead of taking a few minutes for themselves and enjoying a break.

Leave the desk, computer, and – if possible – the cell phone behind. Then go somewhere quiet and have a moment of mindfulness. This is also a good opportunity to build relationships with colleagues away from work. Sometimes it’s nice to grab a coffee or lunch with them and forget about the stress. (via The HR Digest)

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Actiu

Work Standing Up

Another great way to improve overall health and well-being is to work standing up for a few minutes. Humans sit too much and spend excessive time in sedentary positions now. This is triggering heart problems and increasing the risk of diabetes. The act of standing is one of the easiest minor adjustments to change this.

Maybe some desk workers will feel self-conscious about this. They’ll think everybody will call them weird but usually when we explain why we’re doing something people will understand. They might even start a trend in the office and make everyone more health-conscious (via Harvard Health).

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Men’s Journal

Adjust Screen/Monitor

Let’s be literal for a moment when we talk about minor adjustments in the office. More people are conscious about how they use their computers these days. They’ll put their laptops or monitors or stands to raise the screen to eye level. This is a more comfortable position for the neck because we don’t place it under strain.

Another thing we can easily do is change the brightness. Sometimes we find ourselves squinting at the screen without realizing that it’s too bright. We can change this at the press of a button but we don’t think about it. But it’s a simple way to reduce eye strain and be more comfortable at work (via Men’s Journal).

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CNBC

Take Breaks

Often when we’re working we’re thinking about what we should do next. We don’t consider that we should try to do less or even take breaks throughout the day. Progressive bosses should encourage their staff members to take a few minutes after an hour of staring at a screen.

They should stretch their legs and go for a little walk before they return to their tasks. It’s healthy and it even stimulates productivity because people are happier and healthier. Luckily, the world is becoming more conscious of these ways to be healthy while getting the same or even better results. (via Parkview Health)

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Unsplash

Blue-Light Lenses

Many office workers wear glasses but they should ensure they ask for one key upgrade. Blue-light lenses are crucial for desk jobs because employees spend so long staring at computer screens. Experts remain conflicted about the effects of light of blue light on our bodies. However, it does impact sleep quality and can affect anxiety.

There are also beliefs that it causes dry eyes because people blink less when they gaze at digital devices. Blue-light lenses filter this away and make it easier to look at screens for longer periods. It’s healthier and more productive so it’s a smart investment. Most opticians will offer them as an optional extra now (via River Heights Eye Care).

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Water Net

Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated

Everybody knows that we should drink more water but plenty of people still don’t. That’s why they should bring a water bottle to work with them each day. Fill it up and aim to finish it by the afternoon or before leaving in the evening. Keep it on the office desk and just drink it.

Another benefit of drinking more water is that it will mean more toilet breaks. Walking back and forth from the restroom is another way to add steps to our day. Productivity will improve from this increased stimulation. Drinking water is a no-brainer and one of the easiest minor adjustments we can make. (via Water Net)

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Washington Post

Say No

This one takes confidence but it can have incredible results. These days many people are afraid to say no to other people. It could be when their boss asks them to do overtime or when colleagues want them to come drinking. Often we find ourselves in exhausting and unhealthy situations against our will.

Politely saying no and saying that it’s not a good time could have many positive physical health benefits. Meanwhile, it will allow more time at home with the family or even for people to spend time alone. The latter is crucial too because we all need space away from the world’s demands (via Harvard Business Review).

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