Avoid those snacks, take a walk during lunch, and clean that keyboard, and you're on your way to a healthier workday.
Eight hours in a chair in front of a computer, five days a week
can take a toll on your body. From avoiding eye strain and tension neck
syndrome to passing on those extra calories that co-workers leave invitingly on
their desks, experts give WebMD 10 tips that will help you stay healthy and in
shape at work.
1. The snacks that your co-workers so nicely place on their
desk can add a few hundred calories to your daily diet if you're not careful,
and they can leave you with unwanted pounds if you help yourself day after
By Janice Graham
As you hit one of those big birthdays, you probably worry more about new
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issues — because your doctor may not be. "Many physicians fail to recognize how
much a woman's risk factors for heart disease evolve over her lifetime," says
"If it's out of sight, it's out of mind, so if you know
someone has a candy dish on their desk, walk around his or her desk so you
don't feel the temptation," says Dawn Jackson, a registered dietitian and
spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. "Take a break, get a
breath of fresh air, and skip the candy. Or, if you are hungry, have fruit at
your desk, like cherries or grapes."
Three out of five Americans are overweight, explains Jackson,
which means there is likely more than one person in your office who is
"In most offices, people are trying to lose weight, so go
in with people and get fruit bowls instead of candy bowls," says Jackson.
"And see if you can get people to replace their candy bowls with something
2. Drinking an adequate amount of water -- eight to 10 glasses
every day -- can help keep you hydrated. Many foods are also good sources of
water; fruits like oranges, grapefruit, grapes, watermelon, and apples can help
keep you healthy and hydrated.
"The 3 o'clock lull that many people feel at work can be
due to dehydration, so drink lots of water," Jackson tells WebMD. "Set
goals: Bring a 16 ounce bottle of water to work and try to finish it by lunch,
and then fill it up again and finish that by 3 p.m. By 5 p.m., finish a third
Another tip from Jackson: Set your computer alarm to go off so
you remember it's time to refill.
3. One of the most important things you can do during the day
to stay healthy and in shape is to exercise.
"Walking during lunch is a great idea," says Jackson.
"Not only are you burning calories, but you're de-stressing and
Jackson recommends you find a walking partner whom you can
depend on for a daily walk --someone who will drag you out even if you claim
you're too busy. If you really can't get out during lunch, park farther away
than you normally do so you have a short walk to work in the morning and
evening, or make it a habit to take the stairs instead of the elevator.