Be healthy (and happy) at work

Being chained to your desk is not just a sure-fire way to end up despising your boss – it can also be bad for your health.

Some people in office jobs sit at their computers for hours on end, forgetting to step outside for fresh air even once during their eight-hour workday.

The key to longer lasting energy throughout your work day is to be active. Walking to work or getting off the tram, train or bus a few stops earlier is a great way to boost your activity level. Many organisations offer lunchtime gym classes or corporate challenges, giving employees the flexibility to squeeze in a sweat session during their working day.

If you do work in an office, make a conscious effort to get off your chair every 30-60 minutes, whether it’s for a bathroom break, to fill up your water bottle, speak with a colleague or simply walk to the printer.

Eating lunch is not a desk job either – go outside to eat, or in a shared space within your office environs. One of the healthiest and hip-pocket friendly ways to enjoy your lunch is to bring it from home. But before you start walking from the fridge back to your desk, consider heading outside to a local park or communal area to eat. Leaving your desk for lunch can also be a good opportunity to socialise with your workmates and make the most of the fresh air.

Limit your drinks at work to coffee, tea and water. One or two cups of coffee, copious amounts of green or herbal tea and at least 2 litres of water means you’ll be healthier at work and avoid the sugar crash that comes from consuming sugary drinks.

You could also follow Learoy’s approach to creating a healthy, happy workplace and take it in turns to bring in fresh juices for the office to enjoy. Or you could dedicate one day a week for each team member to bring in something healthy for everyone to munch on. It doesn’t have to be a gourmet, super expensive lunch either – it could be homemade muesli bars for mid-morning tea or a grain-free, sugar-free loaf to beat the afternoon slump.

Don’t buy your lunch

Buying your lunch is an expensive exercise – if you spend $10 a day on lunch, five days a week, that’s $2,400 a year.

You’re at work to make money, so don’t spend it at work.

Planning and preparing your weekday lunches on a Sunday not only saves you money, it saves time.

Try the following brain food recipe for an easy week day lunch. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain function.

Japanese style salmon patties


  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 180g can pink salmon, drained, bones removed and flaked
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pickled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 1 small red chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil plus 1 tablespoon extra
  • 1 bunch choy sum, trimmed
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. In a large bowl, combine rice, salmon, breadcrumbs, onion, egg, ginger, soy, coriander and chill. Mix well. Shape into 8 even-sized, flattened patties. Chill, covered, for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large frying pan on high. Fry patties in two batches, 3-4 minutes each side, until golden. Drain on paper towel.
  3. Wipe pan clean. Heat extra oil on medium. Stir-fry choy sum and tomatoes for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Serve patties with wasabi mayonnaise (see tip) and fresh vegetables.

Top tip

  • To make wasabi mayonnaise, combine 1/3 cup whole egg mayonnaise with 1-2 teaspoons of wasabi paste.

Recipe courtesy of Ninemsn Food.