Americans are now spending nearly 50 hours a week working, and with the steady increase in time spent in the office, the chances of it affecting your life and well being are incredibly high. From how you start your day to how many hours of sleep you get, work can really take a toll on the balance you strive to achieve. If you do one or more of these common workday shortcuts, your health may be at risk.
1. Breakfast Blunders
If you find yourself in a hurry during the early morning and you skip breakfast to compensate, you may be doing more harm than good. Skipping breakfast can lead to overeating later in the day and mess with your metabolism. For those that hit the drive-thru when in a hurry, the news is not much better. Give yourself enough time in the morning to eat a well-balanced breakfast (think oatmeal, eggs, peanut butter toast) and get your day started off right.
2. Staying Immobile
If you park at your desk for hours on end, you’re back, heart and waistline may be at risk. Unfortunately, research has indicated that making time for the gym may not offset these risks. To combat the negative effects on your health, experts recommend getting up (at least) once an hour for five to ten minutes to walk around.
3. Skimp on Sleep
If you’re burning the midnight oil to get through your workload, the lack of sleep has wide-ranging negative effects on your overall health. People who sleep less tend to weigh more, exercise less and have a higher level of stress.
4. Stress Out
According to research, more than 80 percent of Americas are stressed out at their jobs. On the job stress can lead to overeating, lack of energy, increased weight. Long-term, chronic stress can lead to headaches, increased risk of coronary disease, depression and increased cardiovascular risk.
5. Keep Long Hours
Few people work the standard 9-5 anymore and our long hours have led to an almost double risk of coronary heart disease (according to a study in the Annals of Internal Medicine). The physical stress of sitting at your desk for long hours are part of the reason for this, but it is also thought that “living” at the office keeps you from eating well-balanced meals and exercising. If long hours are unavoidable, make sure to take frequent breaks to walk around and disconnect.
Striking a work-life balance can sometimes seem out of reach. If you’re struggling to keep work from affecting other areas of your life, just know you’re not alone. Beyond that, it’s never too late to make a change and tackling even one of the above unhealthy habits can go a long way towards a healthier, happier life.