7 Incredibly Unhealthy Things You Do to Yourself at Work

Do you throw your alarm clock across the room when it goes off Monday morning? Is your idea of a healthy breakfast before work two aspirins and a can of Redbull? Do you work past 5 p.m. only to spend most of that time curled under your desk weeping uncontrollably? Hopefully not, but probably everyone reading this has at one time, at the end of a week of office work, wondered why they feel kind of crappy. Well, this crappy feeling can be changed, if you’re willing to break a few bad habits and adopt a few good ones. Read on, and discover seven incredibly unhealthy things you do to yourself while at work.

  1. Skipping breakfast:

    Why eat breakfast when you can easily run on a large cup of Starbucks coffee and a donut? If by 10 a.m. you start to feel queasy, just eat another donut! We hear this so often it may sound like a cliche, but the fact is, study after study shows that eating breakfast (a good breakfast, not leftover pizza, 10 pancakes, and a Diet Coke) improves your thinking ability, your mental strength, and your physical endurance.

  2. Sitting still:

    The bad news is we’re all going to die one day. The even worse news is, if you sit at your job for more than three hours at a stretch, according to some medical experts, you’re going to die even sooner. But don’t panic. All this means is that you should work into your daily schedule breaks where you get up off your butt and walk around the office, if not up and down a stairwell, or outside and around the block. If your job requires that you stay put behind your desk, take time every couple hours to stand up, stretch, and stay on your feet for a few minutes. At the end of the week, you will feel the difference.

  3. Eating at your desk:

    So you’re seated at your desk, and you’re eating a red apple you washed in some kind of fruit shampoo wash that you bought at the local Whole Foods. So what’s the problem? Well, a typical office worker’s desk has 100 times as much bacterium as a typical kitchen table. Blech! Avoid eating at your desk in order to help keep it, and especially your computer’s keyboard, as free of crumbs and bacteria as possible

  4. Bad posture:

    Bad posture, be it sitting straight up like a Marine or doubled over your computer’s keyboard like a Butoh dancer, will create unnecessary strain on your back and shoulders. Try to find a happy compromise where you’re relaxed but not slouched in your chair so that your nose is touching the edge of your desk. Take those breaks we talk about above, and try some ergonomic exercises once a day as well.

  5. Unhealthy snacking:

    Mid-morning and mid-afternoon, when you feel yourself fading or your stomach growling, definitely have a snack, but avoid candy, chips, and the other usual suspects. Instead, try a piece of fruit or a low-sugar granola bar. Even a little bit of dark chocolate should be enough to keep you going, just avoid loading up on sugary food when you feel genuinely hungry.

  6. Not drinking water:

    The clichéd advice, “Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day” is exactly that: a cliché that has a ring of truth mainly because it’s so easy to remember! That said, yes, you do want to drink water throughout your day. Doing so not only curbs your appetite, but it keeps your head clear, and your body hydrated and energized. If you find you’re going to the restroom eight times a day because of the eight 8-ounce glasses of water you’re diligently drinking, then roll it back a little, unless you’re enjoying the repeated exercise!

  7. Working past the clock:

    Some days, you may find you have to work past quitting time. And some weekends, you may want to spend some time getting ahead on a big project. However, studies show that working overtime can lead to a variety of health issues, not the least of which is the risk of a major depressive episode. Try to set boundaries between your work life and your home life. The healthier you are, the more effective you can be at your job.