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Good habits can make your day at work healthier. From simple ways to eat better, healthier food at work, to tweaks that will improve your mental health in the workplace, it’s not difficult to improve your day. Try these eight easy habits for a healthy work day:

1. Pack a pre-made lunch so you can eat healthy at work

A good work habit to set is to pack a lunch. By bringing your own lunch to work you can ensure you will have a healthy lunch option, and you’ll also save time and money – up to $2600 a year, assuming you’re spending $10 per lunch. That’s a holiday fund! Try these easy, make-ahead lunch ideas that offer lots of variety. Don’t forget to pack snacks, too – a handful of nuts and some apple slices, or a pot of yoghurt and a banana, will work wonders compared to a Mars Bar from the vending machine. Simple tweaks that make eating healthy at work easily achievable.

2. Stay hydrated

Not only is drinking plenty of water important for your physical heath, it also helps keep you mentally sharp. Forgetting to keep up your water intake can lead to dehydration, which can cause headaches, fatigue, and lack of concentration. Make staying hydrated an easy habit by bringing a reusable water bottle with you to work each day and aiming to drink approximately 2 litres while you’re there.

3. Get in the habit of creating a to-do list

Creating a to-do list at the start of your workday is a great way to visualise your goals for the day, and plan out how and when you will achieve them. Find a structure for your to-do list that works for you. Some people like to plan out their workday by the hour, while others find they’re more productive ticking off items on their to-do list organised by task rather than time. It’s important to remember that your daily to-do list is not only there to keep you organised, but also to keep you motivated. If you create a list that is miles long it will be easy to become overwhelmed and give up the on your list altogether. A good tip is to write your list of what you would like to achieve then break your tasks into daily and weekly tasks. So, what you can’t get done in a day, you can get done in a week.

4. Maintain proper posture

If your work requires you to sit at a desk for most of your day, chances are you’ve experienced related neck or back pain. Workplace injuries caused by bad posture are common, but there are measures you can take to improve your posture at your desk and lower your risk of injury. The best thing to practice a neutral posture, which is your spine’s natural alignment. A neutral posture can be achieved when sitting at a desk by keeping your monitor at eye level, keeping your back flat against your chair with your shoulders back, and resting your feet flat on the floor. Check in with your posture frequently – it’s a great habit to get in to, because you will quickly notice the rewards.

5. Make time for movement

Sitting at a desk for hours at a time is not healthy for your physical or mental health. So, it’s super important you find time in your workday for movement. A lunchtime walk is a great habit to get into, and the benefits range from lifting your mood to reducing stress. Don’t have time to leave the office? No worries. We’ve put together a list of exercises you can do from your desk.

6. Look after your mental health at work

Looking after your mental health at work is incredibly important. Work can sometimes be stressful, and anything from looming deadlines to working overtime can impact your
mental wellbeing. Sure, it’s great to take pride in your work, but if your work is seriously impacting your mental health, it’s time to take a step back. Keep on top of your mental
health at work by taking breaks during your workday to get some fresh air or chatting to a co-worker or HR manager if you are feeling overwhelmed. Remember to take your annual leave when you can, and make time for other interests and hobbies in your life that aren’t work related to de-stress. And if you’re looking for a new job, create a profile on I Want 2 Work.

7. Keep it fun

Habits for a healthy work day include having some fun. Sure, the workplace is a place to get work done, but if you don’t ever have fun at work then you’re probably in the wrong job. From going out to lunch with co-workers, to showing your manager the hilarious YouTube video you saw last night, be sure to inject some fun and laughter into your workday.

8. Switch off after hours

Whether you’re in the office or working from home, it’s important to keep work for work hours only. There will be the odd project you need to work overtime on, but day to day try to only engage with work during your set hours. This may include shutting down your work laptop, switching off your work phone, or stopping checking work emails after a certain time. Switching off from work allows you to relax and recharge for the next day, as well as enjoy quality time spent with loved ones.

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