As the weather gets colder and conditions begin to change, you need to change with them! Adapting to your surroundings may require you to adjust your daily routine here and there in order to remain healthy and productive this winter. It’s important to be conscious of your workplace habits and make sure you don’t adopt any unhealthy habits as the seasons change.
Take Breaks and Stay Active
Winter weather can make you feel like hibernating as it’s a lot more inviting to stay inside than to bundle up and face the wind, snow, and cold. However, this mentality can create sedentary lifestyles in the office and at home, which can lead to multiple diseases or health complications. Technology is a significant contributing factor when it comes to sedentary lifestyles as we are more inclined to sit at the computer, watch TV and use smartphones during the winter months. What most people don’t realize is that overexposure to digital blue light, which radiates off of digital screens, can cause digital eye strain, headaches, and fatigue, to name a few. With this in mind, you should take a few short breaks throughout your day to limit your exposure to digital screens, activate the Night Shift Mode on your computer monitor and smartphone or consider buying a pair of blue light blocking glasses, which filter out blue light emissions from your digital devices.
In general, it’s suggested that you go to the gym before or after work for about 40 minutes in order to get your heart rate up. However, if you’re unable to do so or just undermotivated during these colder months, try to practice small movements during the short breaks that you take throughout the day in order to stay active. You can take the stairs instead of the elevator as often as possible, stretch a few times a day, go for a walk around the office and practice desk exercises. These tasks may seem small on their own, but together they can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the winter.
Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated
Maintaining a healthy diet is a large part of staying healthy during any season, but it’s especially important to be health-conscious in the winter. Make sure you’re getting the proper nutrients and eating in moderation as the winter months are a notorious time for people to overeat or begin eating unhealthy comfort food due to stress, heavier layers and the holidays. The combination of sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy eating can lead to weight gain and other health complications. If possible, try to limit the unhealthy and unnecessary intake of food, especially in the office! Office environments often contribute to unhealthy eating habits as a result of holiday party treats and sweets, which unfortunately contribute to unproductive and sluggish behavior.
Disinfect your Workspace
If they don’t already, you can request that your office offer cleaning supplies such as Lysol and Clorox wipes. Having hygienic products available will allow employees to disinfect their workspaces regularly. Items on your desk, especially the commonly-used keyboard, mouse, and phone, contain a lot of bacteria. You can also encourage your office to supply hand sanitizer stations in the bathroom, kitchen, break room and conference rooms to reduce the spread of germs and offer a day for employees to get flu shots at the office. By implementing quick fixes like anti-bacterial and preventative methods within the office, employees are more likely to maintain their workspace and remain healthy this winter.
Stay Home if You’re Sick
According to the FDA, the cold and flu season typically runs from October to December or February, leaving employees vulnerable to germs and bacteria for about 4-5 months of the year. Therefore, the best way to reduce spreading your illness to coworkers is to work from home or take a sick day if you fall victim to a cold or the flu. If it’s not possible for you to work from home or take time off, you should at the very least make sure your workspace is sanitized, warn your coworkers of your condition, work in an isolated area if possible and have a lot of tissues, hand sanitizer, and disinfectant supplies with you.
Your daily routine will change as the seasons do, but once you get your winter routine locked down, it should be easy to stay on top of it. If you practice these healthy habits, you are likely to have a happy and healthy winter season!