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Jun 28, 2015 BY Walker Jordan

Workplace wellness: Tips to turn your workspaces into healthy havens

—  found in  Well-being  —

As a reader of Joyous Health, I'm going to assume that you take an active interest in your health and wellness. Regardless of where you are in your own personal wellness journey, you're here because you care about you!

We strive to make positive choices everyday that take us closer to joyous health, but our environment often plays an influential role in these choices and how effectively we're able to execute them. Take the workplace for example: for many of us, the majority of our days are spent here where we may not always have as much control as we like - whether it be our activity levels, the people we're surrounded by...the list goes on.

We see this first hand when we do in my last post , but I failed to mention one strategy that we use on a regular basis at the Joyous HQ. With so much of our work being done sitting at a computer, every 90-minutes an alarm goes off in the office reminding everyone to get up and move. It doesn't matter if you stretch, walk in circles or do a few pushups - the key is to break the routine of whatever you're doing and move. Not only is it great for your body, but it's also refreshing for the mind and allows you to sit back at your desk with a clear mind.

Don't think you can get your office on board with 90-minute alarms? Use your phone or computer to set a personal alarm.

Make your workspace work for you: It's a reality of many offices that we need to be at our computers to get the job done. This is the case with me, and I'm sure it's the case with many of you as well. Since this isn't something we can avoid, it's important that we do whatever we can to set ourselves up the best we can. Here are a few places to start:

Ergonomics - chair, desk and screen height are all crucial for setting up a proper workspace. Basic points to remember: Feet should be flat on the floor, arms should be supported and relaxed, and screen height should be no higher than eye level (you shouldn't need to tilt your head back). Standing desks are also a great way to break the monotony of sitting all the time and can be quite cost effective to implement.

Awareness - Even if you have a workspace that's been configured by an ergonomic prodigy, it will mean nothing if you're not aware of your body position and posture. It's easy to slump in your chair, hunch your shoulders and crane your neck towards the screen. My favourite trick is to put a sticky note on the corner of my screen reminding me to sit up straight.

Make Healthy the Easy Choice

We want easy and we want convenient. This holds especially true when we're immersed in an environment that can be demanding, stressful and mentally taxing. With a little preparation and a few tricks you can help make the healthy choice the easy choice every time.

Provide better options: This is where it all starts. Instead of indulging in your standard workplace treats, give yourself an alternative. Simple ideas include: 

A simple health habit for 2014: Snacking!

Fresh fruit!

Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Bars

Sweet Potato Protein Muffins

Smart Snacking: 5 Healthy & Tasty Snack ideas

These are also more nutritionally balanced snacks, helping control those mid-afternoon cravings.

Make it visually appealing: Instead of placing your new healthy alternatives next to them, create a visually appealing display for your new snacks right on your desk. A simple mason jar with nuts is a great start, or perhaps a nice basket with fruit. Eating is as much a visual experience as it is one of taste - if your food looks good you'll be more inclined to eat it vs. digging in your desk for that smushed chocolate bar.

A bonus to having your snacks on a beautiful display is the positive re-enforcement and comments you'll receive from your co-workers as they pass by.

These are just a few of my go-to tips for keeping the Joyous HQ healthy and happy...

Now is your turn!

What do you do to make your workspace a healthier place for you?

Have a great day!

Walker

Jun 28, 2015 BY Walker Jordan
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