Working extended hours in the office might get you more money, but it may also put your most valuable asset at risk- your health. The average person spends around 100,000 hours, or about 13 years of their life, at work. Needless to say, your job has a significant impact on your quality of life.
While working 60+ hours a week will cause an initial boost in the amount of work you get done, over time, this is counterproductive. As your health deteriorates and the exhaustion sets in, you will be unwittingly jeopardizing your career with your declining performance.
But all is not lost. You can avoid this by taking conscious, effective steps to stay healthy despite extended work timings and exhaustive office hours.
In one study that medically screened 1,277 workers at a large international financial consulting firm, the primary risk factors for heart disease and diabetes were found in people who worked overtime due to pressure from their employers, anxiety about the job, or obsessive ambition tied to their self-worth. They were more susceptible to depression, sleeping issues for which you can find more information on MidNite, fatigue, headaches, obesity, high blood pressure, and increased levels of cholesterol. This article provides an in-depth analysis of this study.
For full-time professionals who spend most of their days at the office, these are alarming findings.
Where people work to make their lives better, it is counter-intuitive to compromise one’s health in the process.
We have some helpful tips to keep you in good health, and even better spirits, during those long, difficult office hours.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
By eating a healthy, energy-boosting breakfast, you automatically ensure that you have enough energy for the crucial first half of your workday, which is usually the more hectic segment. With important decisions to take and high priority tasks to complete, a hearty breakfast will ensure you do not feel sluggish or tired. It also helps set the right tone for the rest of the day.
Be smart about your choice of breakfast- avoid sugary and high-fat foods and instead shoot for whole grains, high-fiber cereals, yogurt and fruits.
It is easy to get caught up in the flow of work and forget to give your brain, eyes and body some time off. But if you spend an extended amount of time working non-stop, you may notice your focus waning. Taking periodic mental breaks throughout your day prevents this and improves your ability to concentrate.
This eye-opening article explains how research has proven that taking strategic breathers every 75-90 minutes during work can dramatically boost productivity and motivation. Giving a break to your brain’s prefrontal cortex (the part that coordinates attention, memory and other cognitive functions to complete all goal-driven activity) by doodling, laughing, or even daydreaming, can significantly improve your capacity to work when you get back to the job at hand.
While you might be inclined to indulge in the free chocolates and cakes that are available in abundance at the office, these high-sugar treats are villains in disguise. On top of adding inches to your waistline, they cause undesirable variations in energy and productivity. Sudden spikes in blood sugar followed by a crash lead to mood fluctuations and difficulty concentrating. Alternately, opt for healthier options like fruits, salads, nuts or yogurt that will leave you satiated and energized.
For those who work 60+ hours a week, staying active is often the last thing on their minds. This should be rectified immediately. Energy levels, performance, motivation, health and, most importantly, quality of life are all tremendously enhanced by staying active. Regular short but intense workouts before or after work do wonders for the mind and body.
It is possible to employ steps to keep fit even at work. Simple movements (also known as office yoga) can be done within the confines of your cubicle. Stretching your arms over your head and leaning side to side will help with shoulder and back problems. Moving your neck up, down and turning it to the sides can alleviate neck stiffness. Getting up and taking a walk around the office will stretch out your cramped legs and burn a few extra calories.
A good rule of thumb is to never sit for extended intervals. The human body was not made to be stationary for extended periods. In fact, according to research, those who experience long duration of uninterrupted sitting and stay sedentary for 12.5 hours a day or more have the highest risk of death from any cause. Moving every 30 minutes for at least one minute can increase your attention span and keep your body fit and healthy.
Get Sufficient Sleep
Sleep is the backbone for all other routine activities. Even though you may be tempted (or in some cases, forced) to work late into the nights, always compromising on sleep is one of the most common reasons for the deteriorating mental and physical health of office goers.
What’s worse, the self-destructive habit of putting sleep on the back burner not only affects your health, but it also compromises your efficiency. For a healthy lifestyle and optimal productivity at the office, prioritize cashing in on 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
See A Doctor
If you have been experiencing chronic fatigue or constant migraines, it is time to listen to the signals your body is sending you and consult a medical professional. Too busy to take time out to go see a doctor? We have the perfect solution. Not only can you get an online consultation with the healthcare experts at Click Pharmacy, but they also prescribe medications which you can order off their online platform- all without having to leave your chair.
Achieving the right balance between the demands of work and the needs of your body is the best way to cope with the stress, fatigue and tired feeling you get from working extended hours. Implementing these steps and being more mindful of your habits will have you working your way towards a healthier and happier lifestyle within no time.