Working long hours indoors can sometimes lead to a situation where workers get little to no exposure to direct sunlight. While avoiding sunburn is great, not getting enough vitamin D can cause real problems.
Around one in five Australian workers are too busy to go outside during the day and get some sunshine, and around one in three eat lunch at their desk. This can lead to a vitamin D deficiency and it may be compromising workers’ bones, muscles, and general health.
No Sun Is No Fun
Adults who don’t get enough vitamin D are at risk of osteomalacia, a weakness of bones that’s accompanied by pain in the bones and muscles. Vitamin D also plays an important role in protecting us against tuberculosis, HIV, and flu. In fact, vitamin D is essential for the healthy development and functioning of the immune system, so too little of it is very bad news for your health generally.
Tips for a Sunnier Work Life
So, if you find yourself working in an office most days of your life here are ten great tips to help you get enough sun.
- Outdoor Meetings
Rather than always having indoor meetings, host one outdoors. A change of scenery may also help boost productivity and creative thinking.
- Set up a Workstation in the Sun
Ask your manager if you can take your laptop to an outdoor table and work outside every once in awhile.
- Take Long Work Calls Outdoors
If you have a long work call, consider taking it on a bench in the sun.
- Eating Alfresco
Rather than eating your lunch at your desk, take a break and eat outdoors. In addition to obtaining greater sun exposure, it gives you a chance to de-stress and maximise your productivity in the afternoon.
- Take a Walk
Organise regular lunchtime or afternoon walks with colleagues. It’ll help you to clear your head, regain focus and gain a healthy dose of sunshine. Roll up your sleeves to expose your skin for greater benefits.
- 6: Participate in Charity Runs
If your commitments at work mean that you’re not able to free up time for an outside break through the week, consider participating in company-led charity runs or other challenges on the weekend. It will help you to get to know your colleagues and importantly, obtain some weekend sunshine.
- Exercise Outdoors before Work
Wake up earlier and go for a brisk morning walk, jog or cycle before work. You’ll be increasing your vitamin D levels whilst starting the day in a healthy and positive way.
- Sports-Based Team Building Sessions
Organise a cricket, football, or tennis match with co-workers to promote team building and get a boost of sunshine and vitamin D.
- Organise a staff BBQ
A regular lunch time BBQ or sausage sizzle can encourage everyone to step outside and away from their computer screens.
- Squeeze in Walking Time
If you park your car further away from the office or walk to and from the train or bus station, you may get some incidental sun exposure and extra exercise. Or if you’re able, try cycling to work.
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