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John Tuttle
06/28/2014 3:08 PM

Who works a ’9-to-5′ these days?

For most of us, the idea of an eight-hour workday is an illusion. Even if a job description only stipulates eight hours a day, there’s always extra work after 5 pm, whether we have to do it at our desks or from home.

A ’9-to-9′? That’s more like it.

Whenever you start and finish the day (plenty of us get going at 6 and 7 am), blowing past a 40-hour workweek can take its toll on your health.

A study released by the American Journal of Epidemiology says that long hours, combined with stress and a poor diet, could lead to heart disease.

So if you have to work late and there’s no way around it, how can you protect your health?

‘News To Live By’ scanned the Web for the best ‘healthy office’ tips:

Take a Break

Standing up and moving around (ideally) every 30 minutes improves circulation, prevents a burnout from working too hard and reduces stress, which may cause high blood pressure.

Rest your Eyes

Staring at a computer screen for hours on end strains your eyesight. Here’s an easy fix from Squidoo.com:

Every 2 hours you should relax your eyes by looking out the window at the most distant point you can. If you are sitting right across from the window, put a sticker on the glass and switch from looking at it to looking at the horizon and back to the sticker.

Eat a good Dinner

From Livestrong.com:

‘Bring a meal that is easy to digest and won’t sit heavily on your stomach. Skip fried foods, rich desserts, spicy foods, red meat, butter and fat. Instead, go with a light meal of poultry or fish paired with fresh or roasted vegetables. Do not add salt to your food. Have water with your meal, not soda.’

Mobile Meetings

Get out of the office whenever possible. If the weather is nice, have a meeting outside or consider walking around with office-mates as a way to spur ideas and creativity.

Don't eat at your Desk

From fitsugar.com:

Even if it’s just sitting at a table in a different part of the office, take some time away from your computer screen and in front of co-workers. This face time will not only be a nice break from a monotonous day — it will also help you bond with co-workers.

Just like eating in front of the TV, eating at your computer can encourage mindless snacking or overeating.

Share these tips with others who work late, and add your own office wisdom below.

Then, feel free to get back to work. You don’t need to stay any later than you have to.

Copyright © 2014 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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