Daily Life

5 healthy habits to adopt at work in 2020

Achievable health and wellness goals you can take to work.

By BTYB Hush Puppies
Whether or not you've stuck to your New Year's resolutions (or bothered to create any at all), January is the perfect time to hit pause and set yourself some goals to kick throughout the year.
Given that we spend the majority of our lives at work, it makes sense to include resolutions that are work-related, too.
We've rounded up five healthy, work-related habits to stick to in 2020.

1. Protect your eyes against screen strain

FACT: In Australia, the average person of working age stares at a computer for up to six hours a day.
These long periods of looking at a fixed distance cause our blink rates to reduce (hello, itchy and irritated eyes) and places strain on our eye muscles.
Studies have indicated that up to 90 per cent of computer users suffer from symptoms such as dry eyes, tired eyes, headaches, blurred vision and eye irritation.
To avoid eye strain at work, try the following:
  • Reduce glare by regularly cleaning your computer screen.
  • Sit an arm's length back from your computer screen and that your screen is straight (not tilted).
  • Remind yourself to blink.
  • Take a short screen break every 20 minutes.
  • Consider investing in blue light computer glasses and have your eyes tested every six months.
  • If you work at night, apply 'night time' options on your devices and turn down the brightness levels.

2. Invest in stylish (but supportive) footwear

Whether work requires you to stand on your feet all day or sit, wearing the right footwear has a greater effect on your health than you probably realise.
Wearing the wrong shoes (poorly made or fitted styles that offer inadequate support) can exacerbate existing problems such as pain or arthritis in your hips, knees, ankles or feet. Even if worn for just a short period of time, this added stress can cause damage.
Many women who wear high heels don't invest in shoes with the right support, which has been shown to lead to weaker ankle muscles and poor balance. Unfortunately, flat shoes can be just as detrimental to your health with cheap styles offering very limited support to arches, often leading to back and knee pain.
This year, look to brands that offer comfort and support. Hush Puppies offers stylish work appropriate shoes that come endorsed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Their extensive range includes options made with bounce technology. These styles come engineered with smart tech that absorbs energy generated by walking, and then evenly distributes the energy through air pods evenly at the heel and ball area of the foot for serious support.
Other styles feature removable footbeds so you can adjust the fit to accommodate your orthotics. Think of them as your most supportive shoes yet.
We love Hush Puppies' latest designs, The Ballet and The Point. Versatile, timeless and elegant, not only will they give your entire work wardrobe a stylish boost, they'll support you all day.

3. Make the most of your work benefits

Most workplaces, especially corporate offices, will offer their employees benefits. Make it your 2020 goal to find out your work perks.
Do a little digging around and email your company's HR team. See if there are discounts involved with changing your healthcare, joining a gym or if your workplace offers a rewards program. You could be spending money you don't have to.
It's not only about monetary benefits — see what developmental resources your employer offers. Look at finding a mentor, enrolling in workshops and expanding your skillset. If your workplace doesn't yet offer these additional benefits, do your homework and present a case to your manager. You'll never know unless you ask!
Finally, if your workplace offers flexible hours look at your schedule and find opportunities where you can alter your timetable to work for you. Speak with your manager and strike up a deal. Your boss can only say no — you have nothing to lose!

4. Snack smart

We're well-versed in the benefits of bringing our lunch to work (it means we generally eat healthier and save money), but no matter how prepared we are with our home-cooked lunches, snacking can be a harder habit to kick.
When it comes to the 3pm sugar craving, a visit to the vending machine can seem like a great idea. However, most of these small snacks are laden with calories and sugar, and do nothing to curb our hunger or boost our energy levels in the long run.
The solution? Quit being unprepared for snacking. Many rule-out the idea of snacking when trying to lose weight but this can lead to making the wrong food choices at the last minute. Instead, have some healthy options ready.
Try these:
  • Dark chocolate: swap regular chocolate for a few squares of dark chocolate which contain less sugar and higher levels of healthy polyphenols (micronutrients packed with antioxidants).
  • Legumes: try lentils, beans or chickpeas (think hummus and carrots) for protein and to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
  • Yoghurt: studies have found some yoghurt to be effective in regulating appetite and cravings. Opt for high-protein yoghurt with no added sugars.
  • Dates: the sweet dried fruit is a great source of fibre, potassium and iron and can help fix sugar cravings.

5. Get green

Give yourself a bigger work goal and do your bit to help the environment where you can. Studies have shown that workers are more satisfied in jobs where they can make a social or environmental impact on the world, so give it a go and see how you benefit.
Go beyond the Keep Cup and look for other ways you're being wasteful at work. If you buy your lunch out, try to limit your plastic use by bringing your own cutlery. Look at purchasing a small cutlery set that you can use and wash each day.
Portable cutlery set by Topbooc , $14.99 at Amazon
If you drive to work, try and limit your carbon footprint by taking transport at least one day a week. You'll save yourself money on petrol, too.
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