Thursday, 30 March 2017

Teeny tiny healthy changes you can easily make at work

At Full Health Medical, we are all about starting small and working towards a healthier you. With Workplace Wellbeing Day happening tomorrow, we are putting together some tips on how you can be as healthy as possible, without breaking the bank or altering your daily schedule. Drastic lifestyle changes happening within short periods of time are often unsustainable and short lived. By being patient and consistent, long term health goals are more achievable and less harsh on your body.  We have listed out some small health changes below which don’t take a huge amount of effort, but can make a very positive impact on your health. Ideally over time you should be able to mange most of these, but for now pick several, or even just one to get used to until you feel ready to progress.

1.   Aim to drink 2 litres of water per day. The recommended intake for water is 2-4 litres, however if you are new to this, just try to hit the bare minimum for now. If you don’t like the taste of water, flavour it with a sugar free cordial or some fruit. Another idea if you are really against the stuff is to pick a few times during the day to just throw a glass down the hatch, like a medicine. Eventually, you will get used to it.  Probably the best health habit you will ever develop.

2.   Have a good breakfast. We are conditioned into thinking that refined carbohydrates are the only breakfast choice. Most people admit to having toast or cereal, if anything at all. Added to that is high fat spreads and high sugar in breakfast cereals. Other options which are often healthier are porridge oats (hot or cold) and eggs. People who skip breakfast tend to weigh more than people who don’t, and even a small breakfast is beneficial for productivity, energy and mood.

3.    Pack your lunch, and snacks. By bringing a lunch and teatime snacks with you, you are better able to resist temptation and are in more control of your diet, and budget.

4.    Get your 5-7 portions of fruit and vegetables in. Like with water, if you are new to this start off with the minimum, which is 5.  If you do have tea breaks in work, substitute the biscuits for an apple and that’s one out of the way. Try to incorporate some vegetables in to your lunch like a little salad on the side or in your sandwich. Try to get 1 portion of fruit or vegetables in your breakfast so that you have one down.

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5.   Alternatives to tea and coffee. This one won’t apply to everyone, and I would never dream of depriving someone of their caffeine fix! However you need to look at what you are consuming. Look at the milk or sugar you are adding, how much is it boosting the calorie count of your favourite hot beverage? Also although we feel as though we “need” caffeine sometimes, too much can actually lead to heightened anxiety which is counter productive at work and bad for your health. The more we consume, the more we crave. If you have a lot of teas or coffees during the day, think about what you are adding but also consider cutting down slightly. You could spend the first week replacing one of your afternoon coffees with hot lemon and water, or a nice herbal tea. It is probably best not to suggest going cold turkey, for your own sake and for your colleagues!

6.    Get your steps in. If you are working at a desk for most of the day, the prospect of getting 10,000 steps in is very daunting. Start small, but start somewhere. Some smartphones already have a pedometer on their Health App that runs automatically. Sneak in your steps by parking a little further from the door, taking the stairs, going to a bathroom that is a little further away, walking around or pacing while taking phone calls, delivering messages personally rather than emailing and even go for a small walk on your break.  The chances of you getting all of the recommended 10,000 steps done while at work are slim, but you can still make a significant impact on your physical health by coming anywhere near it.

7.  Take breaks. This is so important. For your physical health, mental health, concentration, posture and energy. Look away from your computer, stand up, walk to the end of the hall and back, anything at all.  You may think you don’t have the time, but by giving your mind and body a break you will be improving the quality of your work and mood, leaving less room for mistakes and stress induced anxiety.

We are turning Workplace Wellbeing Day into Workplace Wellbeing Week at Full Health Medical! For all of this week, we are offering FREE CONSULTATIONS to employers and HR managers who want to improve the health status of their workforce. Email us on and one of our experts will arrange a virtual meeting a time which is convenient for you!

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