Hard work may take you to success but not if it turns into overwork. Working exceedingly long hours regularly can lead to burnout and send you hurtling towards heart disease, obesity, stress and depression.
The UBS Prices and Earnings 2015 report revealed that Hong Kong is the world’s hardest working city with employees putting in 50 hours a week. That amounts to 2,600 working hours a year, as many as 1,000 hours more a year than Parisians, known for their short workdays and happier lives.
However, a few minor lifestyle modifications will keep you from falling into an unhealthy rut. Here are five practical tips that will help you stay healthy despite the long hours at the desk:
Watch your diet
Long hours at office mean lesser time for other essential aspects of life, including attention to diet. It’s so much easier to grab a quick sandwich than go through the trouble of preparing your own lunch. But preparing healthy food at home needn’t be a chore. There are plenty of smart ways to rustle up healthy food in a jiffy. Get yourself a good cookbook and begin!
Eat small, frequent meals
The debate over whether small frequent meals score over three heavy meals a day continues but we all know that the former provide you with a constant stream of energy to last a long day at office. The “eat often, eat light” mantra can help you stay productive over a longer period of time while keeping you in good shape.
With a 10-hour workday, you’re obviously short of time for exercise. Why not make up with some physical activity at your desk? Scour the internet for all the ways you can “deskercise”. Also, make it a point to do as much of your work standing up. Recent research reveals several dangers of prolonged sitting, even comparing it to smoking. Deskercise is no match for high-intensity gym training but it’s better than no exercise at all!
Drink adequate water
Water helps balance body fluids, transports nutrients within the body, maintains body temperature, energizes muscles and helps prevent constipation. In short, water is indispensible to the body and forgetting to drink your quota of eight glasses a day could lead to health repercussions.
Get your sleep
Long hours at work have a domino effect on sleep time so ensuring you get quality sleep is vital. A good night’s sleep ensures that the body is rejuvenated and ready for another long day at work. Maintain consistent sleep timings, avoid blue light from gadgets before you go to bed, shun alcohol before sleep and control the urge to watch television at night to enjoy good sleep.
It’s easy for health to slip down the priority list when you are saddled with work, but it’s possible to stay healthy despite long work hours. A few minor lifestyle modifications will help you strike a balance between good health and work, and improve the overall quality of your life.