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Fit to Fiddle: Best Practices to Stay Healthy While You Work


The urban Indian population is spending more and more time indoors. More precisely, indoors in an AC environment, in front of a laptop, sitting at a desk. With coffee breaks in between, very large lunches in the middle of the day, and, on rare occasions, one hour of sweating it out at the gym in the evening. So, it comes as no surprise that diabetes and obesity are on the rise.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle when you’re spending most of your day in the workplace is not an easy task. You might not have the time and space to take a walk or have access to an indoor gym to slip off to during the day. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still try. In fact, it means you need to try all the harder because staying healthy is a large part of staying productive, not to mention staying alive.

Here are some tips for a healthier lifestyle in the workplace:


Skip the big office lunch and pack something lighter instead


Yes, we know, it’s really not so cool to carry a lunchbox. But that big mid-day meal, besides putting you to sleep, really doesn’t help when you’re spending the whole day seated, without any physical activity apart from typing. Try and convince the people around you to do it – that way you’ll still have company.


Stay hydrated


If you’re used to taking a lot of coffee breaks, convert them to green tea breaks. It’s more about drinking something hot and relaxing your mind. Too many coffees can make you a lot more tired than you drink. You probably placed a water bottle on your desk in the morning, but have you been using it?


Keep moving your body, even if you stay in your chair


Do some neck rolls. Flex some muscles. Try a little chair yoga, a couple of times a day. Stand up and sit down. Give yourself a mini-massage. Make sure your chair and desk are comfortable, and you’re not getting stiff in the wrists and shoulders when you work. Watch out for swellings, that’s usually a sign that your body isn’t comfortable.


Don’t stare at the screen endlessly


If you find yourself spending all your free time scrolling through your Facebook feed, then you’re probably staring at the screen too long. Give your eyes a break, either do a minute or two of blinking, or place your hands over them and apply a gentle pressure. Try to look out of the window, or at anything other than a flashing screen as much as possible.


Watch out for that AC


Does someone in the office always turn the AC down to 15 or 16 degrees? That’s when people bring out their knits and shawls to cold countries. Keep the AC at normal temperatures. It’s not meant to make the room icy cold. Also, they dry out your eyes, your skin and your nasal passages, so try to get a couple of outdoor walks every day if you can’t avoid being in it.


Keep your workplace clean


Wipe off your desk in the morning and watch out for semi-washed cups and mugs. If you’re ill, stay home; take your medication, rest or finish of your emails from home if you really need to work. Not taking care of your health when you’re sick can cause endless repeats of the same infection.

Remember, if you’re wondering what is worth losing your health over, the answer is most sensibly ‘absolutely nothing.’

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