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Adopting healthy habits at work

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Some of the habits we develop on the job can have unhealthy consequences. Find out how to replace them with routines that are actually good for you.

We’re all creatures of habit. Sometimes, though, the routines we establish at work—like sitting too much or eating junky snacks—have a negative impact on our well-being. Here are 5 healthier habits you can easily put into place at work.

1. Choose better snacks.

Try not to be tempted by the vending machine full of chips and chocolate bars! Keep a few healthy snacks near your work station so you’ll have more options when you get the munchies.

  • Tip: Try snacking on fruit, veggie sticks, nuts and seeds, or air-popped popcorn.

2. Stop drinking your calories.

Do you enjoy sipping something while you work? It’s important to stay hydrated, but you shouldn’t be reaching for high-calorie, sugary drinks like pop, fruit-flavoured beverages and sports drinks. Fruit juice may sound healthy, but it’s missing many of the nutrients and all of the fibre in actual fruit, while serving up approximately 160 calories! (It can also bruise your wallet. Spending just four dollars on pop or juice each weekday will add up to over $1,000 per year!)

  • Tip: Drink refreshing water or unsweetened, caffeine-free tea.

3. Take breaks to move your body.

Many kinds of jobs involve sitting for long periods of time—and most of us know that isn’t healthy. But there’s good news. Research shows that if you get up and move around at least once every half an hour, you can reduce the health risks of a sedentary job.

  • Tip: If you need a reminder, set a timer to go off every 20 or 30 minutes.

4. Follow safety guidelines.

Become familiar with the safety guidelines in your workplace, and get in the habit of following them. They’re there to keep you from harm! Make sure you learn how to use protective gear properly. Talk to your supervisor if you have questions about the safety of your job.

  • Tip: Back injuries are a common workplace injury. Learn safe lifting techniques, and don’t try to move items that are too heavy for you.

5. Take the stairs.

Get in the habit of taking the stairs to get to your office, instead of waiting for the elevator. Not only will you be in better shape, you may be more productive. A Canadian Medical Association Journal study found that hospital workers who routinely took the stairs saved themselves 15 minutes of waiting time a day!

  • Tip: If you work on the top floor, you can still choose the stairs for at least part of the trip up!