Happiness at workWe spend most of our daily lives in the workplace, so it’s little wonder it plays a major role in our health. Here’s how to break free from your desk and stay happy and healthy at work.

Forego ‘al desko’
When work piles up, it’s easy to stay glued behind the desk and not take your lunch break. Take time away from your desk to eat lunch with co-workers, or even get up and go for a brisk walk outdoors to help take away those post-lunch blues. Even going to the gym for your lunch break can release endorphins promoting a happier mood.

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be surrounded by places selling processed sandwiches and quick on-the-go lunches that are high in calories, saturated fats and all unhealthy sorts – and these can contribute to you feeling sluggish and heading for the 3pm slump. Making your own lunch from scratch (or last night’s dinner) is not only healthier, but much easier on the old purse strings.

Stay hydrated
We don’t mean liquid lunches. Sugar-laden fizzy drinks, coffees and teas may help give energy levels a superficial boost during those slow morning and afternoon slumps, but high sugar levels stress out the body even more and can be counter-productive for work. If giving up caffeine is out of the question, soften the highs and lows with green tea or scaling back the coffees.

Hydration is key to fighting off sleepiness or any ‘false’ hunger cravings in the workplace, which is often linked to dehydration. Drink six to eight glasses of water per day to keep your body in check and focus on tasks at hand. You can even add a slice of lemon or lime to give your water a kick!

Step it up
Don’t just stay tied to your desk for long periods. Get up and stretch your legs, walk up a flight of stairs, or walk over to one of your colleagues and chat on your break instead of emailing. Even walking around the office from time to time keeps you active and refreshes your mind – and stopping to talk shop can help strengthen the bonds which make for an open and collaborative atmosphere.

Find outside work activities

Don’t take your stress home with you, and try not to leave it at work. There’s a lot to be said for lunchtime runs or swims to blow off steam and clear your mind so join a local gym or head off to an interactive social group in the evenings. We think company-sponsored activities are great for bonding, and even better for your career if it’s a transferable or specific skill.

Put the hours in
We need on average six to eight hours of good quality sleep every night to fight off those unwanted hunger cravings and ensure you stay alert for the day ahead. Always unwind an hour or two before bedtime and don’t go to bed too late!

Put inspiring photos or quotes on your desk

If you’re currently without a designated desk at work and having to ‘hotdesk’, this can be stressful on day-to-day office duties. Wherever you work, it helps to have a framed picture of something special to put on the desk, such as a nice quote to inspire you, a picture of something healthy, or somebody special like a partner to get you in the right mood to stay healthy and ‘on it’.