We spend most of our days working, so it's important to take care of the thing that matters most and that's our health. Because if you overdo it or neglect your mind and body, you'll only cause burnout and then you won't be any use to anyone.
The following checklist will help you stay on the right track, so print it out and pin it above your desk so you never forget to prioritise you...
Mind your posture
Before you do anything else, consider your posture whilst sat at your desk. Are you sat up straight? Is your monitor the right distance from your eyes? Is your keyboard and mouse within easy reach? It's so incredibly important to have the right posture otherwise you could be risking serious back and neck problems later in life. It might be worth hiring an ergonomist or asking your boss nicely if you could have a desk assessment. In the meantime, watch this helpful video for some extra tips.
Take regular breaks
Get up and away from your computer at regular intervals. If your boss prefers you to stay chained to your desk, offer to make regular brews for the office. If you're your own boss, you've no excuse. Download a free tool like Time Out to remind yourself to stretch and take some time out every hour.
Get some fresh air
Office environments tend to be artificial due to air-con, while others are poorly ventilated. So it's important to get some fresh air whenever possible. Make the most of your lunch breaks and get outside. If you work from home, open your windows. You'll feel better for it. Or buy a small air filter and place it near your desk to keep the air in your environment clean. House plants are a good option too.
Keep your workspace clean
On a regular basis, clean your desk, phone, keyboard, mouse and anything else you come in to contact with. It goes without saying, germs are everywhere and it's crucial to have a clean desk to stop the risk of any nasty infections. Don't forget to wash your hands on a regular basis, using hot water and soap.
Eat regular, balanced meals
Start each day with a healthy breakfast. Porridge is a good choice as it provides slow-release energy – as does a nice omelette – and will keep you going until lunchtime. Take some healthy snacks to work like fruit, nuts and seeds. And make sure your overall diet is healthy and balanced.
Get a good night's sleep
Sleep is crucial and allows your body to heal and regenerate. Getting enough quality shuteye boosts your immune system and energy levels. It also improves concentration at work, memory and your reaction time. By getting a good night's rest, you'll be firing on all cylinders at work and ready to take on anything.
Try not to drink too much caffeine and drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day. Offices tend to be stuffy and if there's air-con it can easily dehydrate you. So keep drinking fluids to stay hydrated.
Take a holiday
Holidays are crucial for our health. A good break from work is good for the soul. Take regular holidays to destress and avoid making yourself ill from over-working. If you do go away, leave your laptop and smartphone at home, if you can. Take a rest from today's 'online' world and completely relax.
Give your eyes a rest
Staring at a computer screen all day does no one any favours. So make sure you give your eyes a rest at regular intervals. Be sure to look away from your monitor every now and again and focus on other targets at varying distances. It will help to give your eyes a rest. If they're feeling sore at the end of the day, invest in a soft lavender-filled, eye pillow. They're popular in Japan and really do the trick.
Introduce a regular workout routine to your day. Go for a jog before work; a long walk during your lunch break or a swim after leaving the office. Do something you enjoy and work up a sweat. Exercise releases feel-good hormones, helps to stretch out your muscles and destress. If you're always desk-bound, exercise will also ensure your back remains healthy.
Main image courtesy of Shutterstock