Between the office donuts, the hours spent sitting, and the endless work happy hours, being healthy at work is easier said than done. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can stay on track even while you’re at your nine to five.
Here are five quick tricks to help you stay healthy.
Set an alarm to stand up
Sitting all day is one of the worst things you can do for your health. Not only is it linked to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, but it can also cause anxiety. Schedule time in your day to get up and move. “There are apps you can get for your computer that remind you to stand every hour, and some gadgets, like the Apple Watch, also have this feature,” says Natalie Rizzo, a registered dietician. “Or, get up and go talk to a coworker that you would normally call on the phone.”
Have your own snacks
Stock up on healthy snacks so you’re not tempted to go for the bag of chips in the communal kitchen. “It’s much easier to eat healthy when you stock your desk with healthy snacks,” says Rizzo. “For this, I also like to rely on pulses and make a batch of crunchy chickpeas or stock up on nuts, like walnuts. When there [are] cake and cookies around, opt for your desk snacks rather than the sugary treats.”
Keep a water bottle nearby
Keep a water bottle at your desk at all times, and make sure to fill it up each time it’s empty. “Dehydration sometimes masks itself as hunger, and it can cause you to eat when you’re not even hungry,” says Rizzo. “Stay hydrated and get up every once in awhile to get water.”
Bring your own lunch
Save your lunch dates for a certain day of the week and bring your own lunch for the majority of the week. “The best way to ensure you’re eating healthy is to make meals yourself,” says health coach Robyn Lanci. “You never truly know everything that’s going into your food unless you prepare it, and just because something on the menu at a nearby lunch joint sounds healthy doesn’t mean it actually is.”
Get your co-workers involved
Turning down those office treats and taking periodic walking breaks is much easier when you don’t have to do it alone. “Encourage your colleagues to join you in your mission to stay healthy at work,” says Lanci. “That way you’re being held accountable.” Consider making your health journey a competition, or come up with a reward for the entire group when goals are met.