YP Perspective: Maximizing Each Day- Health in the Workplace

Posted by: Pulse Young Professionals on Monday, February 16, 2015
As much as we might wish that it were otherwise, there are a fixed number of hours in a day. Over the past five years, I have increasingly prioritized my health and it has made each hour better. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy that slice of Brick Street's sweet potato cake just as much as (and maybe more than) the next person. However, I am a strong advocate for the value of making simple changes to help you feel and work better. Whether you have a "desk job" like me or a more active working routine, there are some quick and easy actions that you can take to improve each workday. Here are my favorites: 1. Keep a glass or bottle of water on your desk. The benefits are many, with my motivations being more energy and fewer headaches. Bonus: Refills are the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs and do a quick mental reset. http://greatist.com/health/reasons-to-drink-water 2. If you're not an early-morning exerciser, look for fitness classes or gyms that you can visit during your lunch break. It is truly great to leave the office at the end of the day knowing that you have already worked out. 3. Audit your workspace set-up. Does your chair encourage correct posture? Is your computer screen at the correct height and angle to avoid neck strain and are you sitting the recommended 20 to 40 inches away? OSHA has tips. https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/computerworkstations/components_monitors.html 4. Allow yourself 30 more minutes of sleep. Sleep deprivation is significant: Don't live at 80%. http://www.cnn.com/2014/03/11/health/upwave-sleep-deprivation/ 5. Keep fresh fruit, serving-size portions of nuts, or your favorite guilt-free snack in your desk drawer. When the chocolate chip cookies show up, you'll be able to combat the temptation and instead choose to indulge a few times a week when you aren't just eating for distraction. 6. Seek out a little daylight. If you often don't leave the office before the sun goes down (I'm guilty here), make an effort to take a quick break for a walk or spend a few minutes working by a window to refresh yourself. Sunlight boosts vitamin D and serotonin levels. http://www.healthline.com/health/depression/benefits-sunlight 7. Take time to sit up straight and breathe well. Sad but true, too many people spend their time slouched over their desk or steering wheel barely remembering to breathe. Oxygen is vital. http://www.wsj.com/articles/breathing-for-your-better-health-1422311283?mod=e2tw 8. Keep your sunglasses and a travel-sized sunscreen with you so that you can be prepared to enjoy the outdoors anytime without worrying about UV rays. How do you prioritize your health? Comment to share your best healthy habits with fellow young professionals. About the Author: Jessica Pate is the Executive Assistant to the CEO of American Leprosy Missions (leprosy.org), a nonprofit that works internationally to cure and care for people affected by leprosy. Jessica is a 2013 graduate of Furman University and holds degrees in Communication Studies and Sociology. She loves attending Greenville's many festivals, hiking, running half-marathons, mentoring through Mentor Greenville (http://www.mentorupstate.org/mentor-greenville/#jump) and traveling as much as possible on a twenty-something's budget. Jessica serves as the Blogging Lead and Young Professional Expert for the PULSE marketing committee.

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