Bad work habits are easy to develop, especially if you spend a lot of time sitting at a computer.
Current studies are showing that computer workers can be at higher risk for weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and a shortened lifespan.
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Most people know that sitting at a computer desk all day is not the best thing for your health.
However, there are things you can do to avoid deteriorating in front of your screen.
Below are eight bad work habits you should avoid while at your computer to optimize your performance and well-being.
Let us know which habits you’ve broken or are working on breaking in the comment section!
Bad Work Habit #1. Constant snacking
When you are sitting at a desk for a while, it can be very tempting to bring in snacks from home that are readily available to eat.
This can be a bad habit because of the excess calories you are getting.
Snacking too often and eating throughout the day can contribute to weight gain.
One way to avoid snacking is to eat regular meals, so you are not hungry.
Another important thing to do is just to avoid buying unhealthy snacks like chips, donuts, and candy bars to take to work.
Most snack foods like these are loaded with sugar.
If you need to have a snack, try to stick to naturally healthy snacks that are low in sugar, like fresh or some dried fruit, nuts, berries, and raw vegetables.
Bad Work Habit #2. Drinking too much caffeine
As you get through your workday, one of the most common mistakes that some people make is drinking too many caffeinated drinks.
Most work environments provide coffee in the breakroom, so it is easy to keep drinking coffee throughout the day.
This is bad because of the level of caffeine you are taking in.
Energy drinks that are loaded with excess caffeine and other energy-boosting supplements are something you should avoid, too.
Drinking more caffeinated liquids can seem desirable because it may help you stay alert while working, but caffeine increases your blood pressure and can cause side effects like rapid heartbeat, irritability, anxiety, headaches, heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea.
Caffeine also increases urination, which can lead to dehydration.
Excess caffeine has also been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, insomnia, incontinence, indigestion, and fertility issues.
The best substitute for caffeinated drinks is just plain water, which you should remember to drink at least 8 full glasses of every day.
Bad Work Habit #3. Wasting time on small tasks
One of the biggest downfalls in any workplace is the ongoing problem of time management.
Especially in large workspaces, where many people are housed together, there can be so many distractions that can pull you away from what you are trying to accomplish.
For anyone who works in a computer job, you know how easy it is to get caught up in social media posts, or to get stuck reading information that doesn’t apply to your work.
Before you know it, you are spending a great deal of time on tasks that should not be very time-consuming.
Keeping a to-do list, setting goals, and prioritizing are good practices.
One way to avoid wasting time is to decide beforehand how much time you are going to devote to a task.
When you reach the time limit, you move on to doing something else.
You shouldn’t let the small tasks keep you from doing the major things you want to accomplish at work.
Bad Work Habit #4. Working long hours
Overworking can be a problem, especially in computer-based jobs.
Your workload can seem so overwhelming, that you end up working more than your scheduled shift, just to do what needs to be done.
But, doing that can cause increased stress levels.
It is hard for some people to shut the computer down and walk away.
The problem is that you are harming your health when you work long hours.
Overworking has also been linked to increased drinking problems, depression, impaired sleep, heart disease, and diabetes.
By overworking, you are depriving yourself of the necessary breaks you need to be more productive.
And, when you are overtired every day, it can actually decrease your ability to work well and be productive.
When sitting at a desk, you are also not burning any calories.
Your workday should include periodic breaks, stretching, and exercise so you can stay healthy.
Exercise during the workday will help you avoid weight gain, combat diseases, improve your mood and boost your energy level.
Remember to take care of your health, by avoiding long hours, taking regular breaks, and getting enough rest, so you can be a more productive worker.
Bad Work Habit #5. Being distracted
Many of today’s workplaces are designed to be a comfortable relaxed environment.
In most cases, this can add to productivity because happy employees tend to work better.
However, the downfall of a casual work environment can be the number of ways a person can be distracted.
Just being in a workplace with a large number of employees that are working side by side can cause issues.
Ongoing conversations in the office can make it difficult to concentrate on working.
Or, there might be music, food, a television, preparations for a trade show, or any number of other things that pull you away from your daily tasks.
It can be a challenge to stay focused and get your work completed.
Try to eliminate any distractions that you can, so you can remain focused while at your desk.
Bad Work Habit #6. Skipping lunch
When you have a great deal of work piling up on your desk, it can seem to make sense to just keep working and skip your lunch or dinner.
But, of course, this is never a good decision because of how you will feel.
If you go without eating for hours at a time, you will feel weak, dehydrated, and unable to concentrate as well because your body isn’t being nourished.
Your energy level drops, your metabolism lowers, and you will actually be inclined to eat a larger meal afterward because of increased appetite.
Try not to skip meals, and if you do, you should avoid making it a daily thing.
Your lunch break can be a time to sit back and relax and take your mind off your work.
This will help you because you need to give your mind and your body a break.
Taking breaks will actually help you look at problems differently and can make you feel refreshed, which can help your level of energy and your ability to think more clearly when you return to your desk.
Bad Work Habit #7. Poor posture
Most people don’t realize what a detriment poor posture can be.
When you are sitting at a computer desk for long periods of time, posture becomes extremely important.
If you are slouching too much, leaning back too much, or hunching over your keyboard and leaning forward too much you can cause strain on your neck, back, shoulders, legs, and entire body.
Poor posture can cause a variety of muscle aches, headaches, and leg, back, and shoulder aches.
Your body position affects your breathing, your circulation, and can even affect your mood and how tired you become while working.
If you try to improve your posture when sitting at your desk, and do some simple stretches when you take breaks before, during, and after work, this may not be a problem.
Bad Work Habit #8. Straining your eyes
Computers are a great way to accomplish many tasks, but staring at a computer screen for too long may cause unnecessary eye strain.
Taking care of your eyes is critical for your long-term health.
Signs of eye strain are blurred vision, double vision, dry red eyes, headache, and neck ache.
The computer screen is hard on your eyes because of the flicker, glare, and contrast of screen images.
There are a few easy ways to avoid eye strain.
Try to blink often and close your eyes for a few seconds, from time to time throughout the day.
Also, you should glance away from the screen and focus on something in the distance.
You can also vary the brightness, contrast, font size, and amount of blue light on your computer screen to make it less harsh on your eyes.
You should also avoid working in a completely darkened room because it makes your eye muscles work harder.
It is better for your eye health to have some room lighting because it reduces the contrast in your vision and can reduce eye strain.
Avoid these habits for better health and performance
The amount of energy you have to put into your job is affected by your overall health.
If you take better take care of yourself, you will have more energy to handle your workload.
If you avoid the bad habits of constant snacking, drinking too much caffeine, wasting time on small tasks, working long hours, being distracted, skipping lunch, having poor posture, and straining your eyes, you will most definitely be on the right path as a healthier person can be more productive on the job.
Do any of these bad work habits resonate with you?
Are there any that you are trying to break yourself, or have already broken?
Tell us in the comment section!