60 Smart Health Hacks for Desk Dwellers

1. Pack a lunch.

Bringing one’s own lunch to work serves not only as a valuable money-saver, but also allows for better portion and nutrition control.

2. Alleviate an itchy throat by scratching the ear.

When throat tingles descend, the cubicle dweller doesn’t even have to get up for a gargle. Scratching the inside of the ear will trigger a spasm that will usually take care of the problem.

3. Stretch

Plenty of stretching exercises work fine in an office environment, so get up every few hours and work out any cramps and kinks to maximize comfort and health.

4. Pay attention to grazing.

Packing snacks helps office workers take control of their calories rather than relying on the available salty or sugary goodies, though a small indulgence every once in a while will not hurt.

5. Wash hands regularly.

As the bird and swine flu scares attest, washing hands regularly prevents the spread of illnesses between peoples crammed into a confined area. Keep instant hand sanitizer on hand as well.

6. Dedicate a desk drawer to healthy habits.

A special drawer dedicated to storing nutritious snacks, teas, hand sanitizer and even running shoes serves as a great reminder to take charge of healthy habits while in a frequently squelching environment.

7. Dress comfortably.

One of the simplest things anyone can do for their health and wellness is fill their wardrobes with fashions that allow them to move and sit comfortably.

8. Brainstorm by walking.

After hitting a mental roadblock, a short walk around the block encouraging blood flow to the brain may hold the key to finding creative solutions.

9. Sit on a fitness ball.

Rather than cramming into an office chair for 8 hours, bring in a fitness ball that encourages better posture, improves balance and strengthens muscles.

10. Earn that supply!

By storing frequently-used office supplies out of reach, it forces the body to stretch out and provide an extra dimension of health to the harried work day.

11. Buy a glare filter.

Unpleasant eye strain can lead to worse headaches, so reduce the chances of getting sick from laptop glare by affixing a special filter to the screen.

12. Stay Stable

Sitting for too long may induce dizziness, and when this occurs the best way to get rid of it is to stand up and place a hand on a stable, flat surface until balance restores itself.

13. Become self-aware.

Make an effort to pay attention to natural body rhythms - the different tics that indicate exhaustion or soreness. Understanding one’s habits and limitations is key to staying healthy in an office setting.

14. Spring for a warm drink.

A bit of hot tea or low-calorie flavored coffee can curb hunger pains without compromising one’s health.

15. Maintain proper posture.

Paying attention to keeping proper posture whenever possible minimizes the risk of back and muscle pain from sitting at the desk for too long.

16. Move around.

Make it a point to get up and move around a bit to get the blood flowing and prevent it from collecting in the extremities.

17. Stand up when talking on the phone.

Because standing burns far more calories than sitting, the simple act of standing for a daily activity such as talking on the phone boosts one’s health without ever leaving the office.

18. Set up a weight loss challenge.

Many offices have taken to setting up weight loss challenges to build teamwork and promote healthy habits. Some particularly go-getting individuals may want to get one going at companies without one.

19. Don’t forget breakfast!

Always try and chow down on the most important meal of the day to get the body prepared to handle all the tasks at hand and minimize the temptation to snack throughout the day.

20. Cheat. But only a little.

Fatty snacks aren’t a significant other - it’s ok to slip in a candy bar or greasy, dripping slice of pizza once a week to satiate one’s gustatory lusts. Just don’t try to justify going overboard.

21. Never touch mucus membranes.

Avoid putting fingers in and around the eyes, nose and mouth in order to minimize the chances of contracting any communicable diseases.

22. Hack away to better vision

Eye strain and vision issues common to office life can be quelled by tightening and flexing the lids every few hours. Doing so can improve vision and minimize the muscular stress.

23. Make lassi.

This healthy, cheap, and delicious Indian beverage can be whipped up with access to a fridge and water cooler. Keep a bit of cumin and salt as well as the all-important carton of yogurt on hand for a midday perk.

24. Park further out.

Add an extra workout to the day by parking further out than normal and taking advantage of the myriad benefits of walking.

25. Eat heavy snacks.

Opt for denser foods that keep portion sizes to a minimum and prevent an overindulgence of potentially hazardous salts, fats and sugars.

26. Attach peripherals to a laptop.

An external monitor, mouse and/or keyboard reduces the physical strain of working on a laptop, but if those are not available there are multiple ways to position one to reduce pain and strain.

27. Take vitamins.

Those who sometimes forget to take their necessary vitamins and supplements on a daily basis may want to keep them on or in a part of a desk that sees heavy traffic as a reminder.

28. Take the stairs.

Add a nice workout to the beginning and ending of a day by opting to hike up the stairs rather than rely on the elevator.

29. Go to the bathroom on a different floor.

If possible, take the stairs to another floor for something as simple as a bathroom break as just another useful means of exercising throughout the day.

30. Never heat food in plastic.

When heated, plastic containers can leech harmful chemicals into foods that increase the risk of cancer and other painful or deadly conditions later in life.

31. Look at the before and after.

Place “before” and “after” pictures chronicling the positives of a fitness routine on a desk or on cubicle walls as an excellent motivator to stay on track with healthy habits.

32. Try an air purifier.

Improve respiratory health and reduce the risk of acquiring a communicable disease by keeping an air purifier plugged into any available, safe sockets.

33. Cover up coughs and sneezes.

This really should be self-explanatory, but covering one’s mouth (preferably with a tissue or handkerchief when available) prevents the spread of communicable diseases. Also be sure to wash those hands afterwards!

34. Go outside.

On nice days, pop into the great outdoors and soak up some revitalizing Vitamin D for a quick, healthy mood booster.

35. Don’t read the news.

When the urge for a distraction hits, save the news sources for after work and focus on something more productive and positive. The negativity of most headlines only encourages further stress and anxiety in the office.


Build a rapport with coworkers and earn some nice exercise by organizing a company sports team - some may even want to compete to support local charities.

37. Bring in some rubber tubing.

For quick resistance exercises throughout the day, keep a bit of rubber tubing in the desk and whip them out on a regular basis to let the blood flow and the muscles flex.

38. Forget three squares.

Numerous studies have shown that around 5 small meals a day proves far healthier than 3 large ones, so try and plan accordingly whilst working.

39. Don’t take smoke breaks.

Sure smoking is a right, but that doesn’t change the fact that giving it up certainly provides a multitude of amazing health benefits.

40. Turn the monitor off.

Regularly switch off the computer monitor in order to reduce eye strain and provide a quick rest for the mind as well.

41. Try a full spectrum lamp.

Bring in a little light to a darkened cubicle with a full spectrum lamp, which alleviates eye strain by emulating sunshine - it also doubles as a mood booster!

42. Make good choices.

Sometimes, meals out or at the office are unavoidable. When trapped in such a situation, opt for the healthiest available food items and control portions by throwing out a plate when finished.

43. Exercise before going home.

Fit in exercise time between leaving work and going home, as the temptation to relax and decompress increases after entering one’s own personal space.

44. Drink water.

Those free sodas in the company fridge may emit a siren song of caffeinated and sugary goodness, but healthy cubicle dwellers know to head towards the cooler instead for their hydration needs.

45. Consider a stand-up desk.

For home offices or companies with flexible finances, a stand-up desk makes for a surprisingly healthy alternative to a restrictive office chair.

46. Stay on schedule.

Pencil in regular workouts alongside job-related obligations to solidify their importance and provide inspiration to stay on track.

47. Buy a balance ball.

Place feet on a balance ball when sitting on a chair (or fitness ball!) to encourage a healthier center of gravity. Some may also like the challenge of balancing one foot while standing during calls or other activities as well.

48. Go on vacation.

Use up those allotted vacation days as an excellent conduit for decompressing that rejuvenates body and mind alike.

49. Work hard, but not too hard.

Sometimes, the body just needs rest. Working until passing out puts undue strain on the brain and weakens the immune system.

50. Avoid using other people’s supplies.

Slow the flow of germs by trying to avoid borrowing coworkers’ phones, desks, computers and other equipment whenever possible. Try and keep wipes on hand for instances where sharing is an absolute necessity, though.

51. Address cafeteria issues.

Many diet-related health problems crop up due to easy access to poor cafeteria food, and coworkers concerned about the available options should band together and discuss more nutritional options.

52. Keep greens drinks in the fridge.

Drinks made of greens provide a lovely midday energy boost that won’t cause the same crash as caffeine, nor damage the body like too many refined sugars.

53. Get off at a different stop.

Commuters who opt for public transportation rather than walking, biking or driving to work may like the idea of exiting their train or bus for an added workout.

54. Minimize caffeine intake.

Caffeine is great for short-term energy boosts, but too much of it rattles the nerves and causes other health issues. Find more natural means of perking up the brain instead.

55. Restore that height!

After a rough day at work, perform these simple stretches to reduce hunching and improve posture and height.

56. Take deep breaths.

Ease some of the stress and tension of a particularly frustrating day by inhaling deeply, perhaps away from the desk or cubicle to provide additional relief.

57. Shift focus.

Regularly fixate the visual field to something other than the task at hand to cut back on eye strain and the associated headaches.

58. Stay away from the vending machine.

They may provide easy-access snacks, but the price for convenience also packs on poundage, clogs arteries and generally makes an unpleasant mess of things.

59. Be polite.

When exercising in the office, be courteous to others and make sure to stretch in areas where it will not impede anyone else’s productivity or comfort.

60. Use a headset.

Crunching shoulders over a cell phone only causes unnecessary muscular strain, so consider picking up a headset instead to ease the pain. Alternately, use speakerphone when in situations where it would not be considered rude.

By applying these valuable hacks to a sedentary office lifestyle, the corporate drone can reduce the risk of injury, illness and various diseases such as coronary heart failure and diabetes. Sitting at a desk all day does not have to completely kill one’s mind, body and spirit - give the listed tips a try as a great boost to overall health and wellness.

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