How To Be Healthy In An Unhealthy Office
Your coworkers are killing themselves. Digging a grave with their mouth.
Rotting away, day by day.
Between 2015 and 2016 39.8% of US adults were considered obese.
You know, the thing that causes heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer and as the CDC put it, “…that are some of the leading causes of preventable, premature death.”
Preventable damn it.
Commuting, plopping down at a desk for 8–10 hours a day. Staring at a screen and slamming down junk food, ending up in a daily funk.
Is this “well-being?”
It’s even worse when your coworkers cram sugar down your esophagus.
Taste this. Try that. And the oh so tempting box of cookies in the company kitchen.
Talk about peer pressure. I…need…my…SUGAR.
Let’s put the peer pressure aside and help you take a few steps to live a healthier, more energetic life, at the office.
But first, an unhealthy office environment makes you dumber.
Harsh? Not at all, it’s a fact.
“If you’re obese, you might be 10 to 15 to 20 percent more likely to not quite remember where you put your keys” according to Jessica Stillman who wrote the article ”Science: Your Bad Diet Is Making You Dumber.”
If you’re trying to produce results. If you’re pushing to be humble, hungry (not food) and smart as Patrick Lencioni puts it, being dumb and forgetful won’t get you there.
Snacking on crappy food kills your energy. You know what I’m talking about. The yawning, the post-mortem sugar crash, the afternoon “slump.”
I haven’t had an afternoon slump since I was 20 when partying, boozing, and extreme snacking was the norm.
Everyone is different, but you should have consistent energy until your evening routine.
Being lethargic with low energy is no fun. You become boring and stale.
Let’s dig into some easy ways you can overcome this issue of office suicide.
Get off your butt and stand up during the day.
Me, my stand-up desk and my handy mug that a team member got me for Christmas.
At Skylink, I’ve made it standard that everyone gets a standup desk. Does everyone use it, of course not, but the option is there.
One of the best ways to keep your body healthy and the blood flowing is to stand up.
Up to one thousand calories are burned each week just by standing at your desk each afternoon.
Now, that doesn’t mean replace those thousand calories with junk.
In a seven week study, participants who used a stand-up desk “…reduced upper back and neck pain by 54%, and improved mood states.”
While you shoot to stand, get 2,500 steps while you work.
Standing alone won’t make you healthy. You also need to exercise and be active. If you come back to my office, you’ll randomly see me doing air squats, pushups, and burpees.
Don’t tell my team, they’ll now start peeking in and make it uncomfortable.
You don’t need to go crazy here. Just a few exercises and reps to get the heart pumping every hour.
My goal is 100 reps of any exercise. Here’s an example:
25 jumping jacks or burpees.
25 air squats.
I typically work in 50min cycles, but often get caught in 2–3 hour bursts.
For you, just get up and walk around the office, in the parking lot, wherever.
Going on a break? Go walk. Going to lunch? Walk. Need to speak to a coworker? Walk.
On a side note, don’t disrupt them. If you barge in, you’ll screw up their productive momentum.
Send them a chat, “Hey! Do you have 5min to go over x in 15min?” Then, walk to their office when they give you the thumbs up.
Consume high-quality snacks and avoid the temptation of the Cookie Monster.
The best Cookie Monster on Giphy.
This one is hard for most people. They get caught in the endless cycle of shitty office snacks.
One of the most significant mental shifts is to start tracking your food intake.
I know, I know, I hate doing this too. But if you leave it to your self-motivation, you won’t do it.
Stick to your plan.
As you begin tracking your food intake, bring high-quality snacks to the office and commit yourself to no food sharing.
Things like almonds, coconut shreds, and organic blueberries are fantastic midday treats. Combine them and bam, deliciousness.
Sugary drinks are another issue. I see it at my company all the time. Diabetes in a can.
No drink with excess sugar (including store bought “fresh” juice) is a good drink.
Instead, bring a case of flavored (no sugar) carbonated water or Zevia to the office. For whatever reason, these feel like a treat soda.
I have an addictive personality, so I get drunk on carbonated water. It’s a healthy substitute for what I could easily trap myself in to.
Don’t go out to lunch unless your closing a deal with a client, vendor or future team member.
If you’re not closing a deal, bring your lunch to work.
It’s a double-whammy motivator. You’ll either bring your lunch or land new deals. Win-win.
Once you go out to lunch with your coworkers, peer pressure will kick in. You can’t refuse the double whopper with extra cheese, the pizza, and the deep fried chicken. Are you nuts?
My arteries began to scream just writing that. They were pulling at my heart saying, “please, no, give us another chance.”
Sure, these are delicious to many people, but it’s not worth the pain you’ll put yourself through.
The stomach ache. The energy crash. The joint pain. No thanks.
Let’s bring some light into this conversation…
Get a plant and smother yourself with essential oils.
As Bert Kreischer would say, “secret time,” I love a steaming hot Epsom salt bath with a gallon of lavender essential oil.
I also love indoor plants.
As an ADD, type-A, introvert, this chills me the hell out.
With that said, you can bring this feeling into the office.
According to scientists from the University of Exeter, plants can boost productivity and well-being by 47 percent!
Being locked up in an office cage is toxic. You need plants and the feeling of nature to bring you back to your primordial state.
Plants filter the air and give your eyes something beautiful to look at.
If your office doesn’t have plants, plop a couple on your desk.
Another great habit is to diffuse essential oils on your desk. The health benefits are unquestionable, and they make you feel good.
A less stressed you is a more productive you. A more productive you is less likely to pound the office box of cookies.
Diffuse rosemary, popular in promoting concentration and bergamot which has been shown to have significant mood-boosting qualities.
Combine your plant and oils for a one, two office punch.
Start trying these today and start your day, the right way.
Watch as you become healthier, more energetic and your career takes off as you have the energy and positivity to sustain it.
Go crush your career goals. Go crush life!
Thanks for reading