Editor’s Note: This is the fifth in a series of blog posts on health advice/tips for IT professionals and office workers.
One of the most important keys to being (and staying) healthy is to practice good eating habits. But eating healthy can be a challenge, especially when you work at a desk for hours.
It’s so tempting to grab food on the go. Or even worse, skip a meal because you are just too busy.
Even if you do have lunch, eating at your desk in hopes of balancing a meal and work is one of worst things you can do, according to several studies.
Trying to type or email while eating lunch can lead to bad habits such as overeating. It also can cause health issues — beyond just ingesting too many calories.
We don’t want to gross you out, but a desk can contain WAY MORE (up to 400 times) germs than a toilet. Plus, leaving food sitting on your desk leaves it prone to becoming bacteria-ridden as well. If you’re a frequent eat-at-the-desk type, turn your keyboard upside down and see how many particles fall from it — that’ll give you an indication how dirty your desk really is.
So it’s very beneficial (and safe) to practice good eating habits. Here are some simple tips (courtesy of WebMD) to help you with both of those goals:
- Pay attention to what you eat. For lunch, choose meals that are moderately-sized, but that don’t fill you up. Bringing your own lunch from home is a good idea, because you have control over how healthy it is and the portion size. But make sure you keep food properly stored during your commute to work, and at the office.
- Avoid going out for lunches or getting takeout lunches because not only are they often oversized and high in calories and fat, don’t provide many nutrients. Not to mention, the expense can really add up.
- If you tend to eat at your desk, wipe it clean with disinfecting wipes at least once a day. Papers towels don’t work. Be sure to wipe down your phone, keyboard and mouse as well. Better yet, use a placemat if you eat at your desk, in order to reduce the amount of germs that get spread around your desk.
Research also has found that eating every four hours helps with metabolism and energy levels, so snacking is encouraged throughout the day. But avoid the vending machine! Here are some simple and HEALTHY snack options.
- Veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli): Contain high water and fiber levels, which can help prevent overeating.
- Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, and grapes): Good source of vitamin D, calcium, protein, and fiber.
- Nuts (especially almonds): Good source of vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber.
- Crackers (whole wheat) with peanut butter: Combination of complex carbs and protein can help keep blood level stable.
- Pitas (small ones) with hummus: Contain plenty of soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease.
Another good tip is to invest in a good water bottle and drink water throughout the day.
The bottom line is this: Make sure to take the time to eat no matter how you busy your schedule is. Not eating properly can lead to bad habits that could impact your health negatively.
Here’s to eating good and well!