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Your Health at Work: 3 proven ways to be healthier at work

We all work a lot, but some of us don't realise the truly devastating effects of having a sedentary work life. There are things you can do to stop your work from shortening your life span though, and they really work!

Heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression: You're 90% more likely to suffer from one of these diseases if you sit for more than 8 hours a day. With studies showing most Western office workings sit for more than 9 hours a day, the risks are terrifyingly real. Unfortunately, hitting the gym for an hour after work doesn't combat the negative effects of sitting all day either.  The damage is already done to your arteries, cortisol levels, fat metabolism, and mental health.

It’s not all bad news though! There are effective ways to combat the detrimental effects of sedentary work. These tips are based on evidence-based strategies we know really work - now it's up to you to try them!

how to be healthy at work

1. Get up from your desk every 90 minutes

As soon as you get up and walk a few metres, your body’s metabolic processes get kicked into gear. Your cortisol levels decrease as your body’s stress levels lower. If you go for a fast walk, endorphins kick in, and the mechanisms in your muscle that stimulate fat metabolism are enhanced. The curves in your spine are also restored to normal, and the ciliary muscle in your eyes relax.

Benefits: Decreased back pain, increased fat metabolism, decreased stress, increased ‘happy’ hormones, decrease eye strain, decreased headache.

2. Walk somewhere for lunch

After eating, insulin is excreted by the pancreas to balance blood sugar levels. Due to an as yet unknown mechanism, when we sit for long periods, our bodies produce increased amounts of insulin. This puts you at a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes if you sit constantly and consistently without getting up.

Great news! By getting up and out of your chair, the pancreas is less stimulated to produce insulin. So go out and eat in a park and walk back to work (or even outside your office building)

being healthier at work

If you’re working on something particularly stressful, your blood flow becomes restricted to the intestines in the fight or flight response. This makes digestion harder, and causes food to sit stagnant, causing gas and bloating. No thanks! Take just 10 minutes on you lunch break to get away from work, and combat the stress response. It will help you digest your food!

Recent research found those who sat for very long periods of time are twice as likely to develop diabetes and heart disease, than those who move around throughout the day.

3. Try a standing desk for 70% of your day

They’re not just trendy, they really work! 

  • A recent study showed a 32% decrease in back pain in those with standing desks. 
  • We also know standing helps stimulate the metabolic processes, making fatty deposits in your arteries (artherosclerosis) that leads to heart disease less likely.
  • Standing and moving helps stimulate production of endorphins and prevent the stress response to be activated when it’s not needed, like when you’re at work.
  • Studies are also finding you’re more productive, can make faster decisions and have better mental acuity when standing.
workplace health

You have to work, and your work involves an office. I get it. But modern science is proving traditional work lives are really detrimental to our health. These 3 small changes can really make a difference to your health; both mental and physical - so why not give them a go?

To get the free 1 page guide on the top 5 foods to supercharge your health for winter (and help you stay healthy while at work) Click the button below:

5 Ways To Improve Your Digestion this Winter

Most of us don't usually think about digestion until it gets our attention with tummy pain or uncomfortable bloating. ugh! 

In winter; overeating of heavy, rich foods can leave you feeling horrible. Never fear! You can escape the bloat!

Try these 5 tips to decrease bloating & discomfort this winter.

1. Hot Water & Lemon - Yes it Works

It helps make your system more alkaline, stopping acid reflux and helping your stomach dissolve your food. It also helps flush your liver, and stimulate peristalsis - the contraction of your intestines that moves food through your digestive tract.

Tip: It's a warm, fuzzy way to start the day, and less stimulating on your nervous system than coffee. 

why you should drink hot water and lemon

2. Eat Probiotics

In tablets, yoghurt, kombucha or sauerkraut, probiotics help keep your body’s delicate ecosystem of bacteria flourishing. This prevents ‘bad’ bacteria overtaking your system causing things like thrush. Probiotics also help boost your seratonin levels and mood! Read how. 

Tip: Try adding a curried sauerkraut to hot pumpkin soup this winter. I recommend the Amala Curry flavour by Be Nourished.

3. Try Chia Seeds & Psyllium Husks

These super foods are fibrous and help everything in your system keep...well...moving along. Try sprinkling some on your yoghurt or blend them up in a smoothie.

Tip: Chia puddings are all the rage; get a recipe from my interview for I am Co. You can even make hot chia puddings in winter!

4. Get Moving

Exercise helps aid digestion by increasing your body's blood flow, which your digestive tract needs to function. Try to make time for 30 mins of exercise a day (walking around the block counts!)

Tip: Yoga and indoor workouts work too if you don’t want to brave the cold in winter.

how to have healthy digestion

5. Decrease Your Stress Levels

When your body is stressed, you get stuck in a ‘fight or flight’ nervous system response. Your blood flows to your extremities and primes your muscles to help you run away from a bear, but it takes blood away from the digestive tract. Sadly, your intestines can’t function properly with low blood supply, and the movement of your intestines slows. Bits of food sit, unmoving in your intestines, causing gas, bloating and even IBS. Learn how to combat this here.

Tip: Try to avoid stressful situations (eg. a meeting with a difficult client) when your digestive system needs extra help like after lunch.

If you're stuck in a rut and want to live a happier, healthier life, contact me to get your personalised Wellness Action Plan now!