8 Natural Ways to Boost Workplace Health

feeling better in the office - and getting more done
healthy banana workplace snack
© Can Stock Photo / natavkusidey

Picture this: Your alarm goes off. You get up already feeling exhausted, rush out the door, and grab a drive-thru muffin and coffee to give you a little boost on your way to work. You have a hectic day ahead of you, full of meetings and tight deadlines, so you work-work-work, grazing on office birthday cake or whatever treats are readily available. By the end of the day, you’re so wiped you can’t imagine making a nutritious meal or working out, and instead grab some takeout and fall asleep during Love is Blind. Does this sound like you?

Office life doesn’t have to be that way! Change up your routine with these simple hacks that promise to leave you with more energy, feeling more productive, and able to meet the challenges of those interminable meetings!

The importance of healthy foods and snacks

We’ve probably all heard the saying “you are what you eat.” What our bodies absorb from food can have a huge impact on both energy levels and brain health. While premade bars and other packaged goods seem like quick fixes when your energy is low, processed foods can actually create stress on the body. To support bodily functions and maintain energy levels throughout the day, a macro-balanced breakfast is key. Preparing a healthy breakfast for your on-the-go life is possible, and better yet, it’s easy! Overnight oats, chia pudding, and smoothie packets are all simple to prepare and will fill you up with the good stuff your body needs.

Tip #1: Well-Balanced Making sure each meal and snack is macro-balanced—that is, containing healthy carbohydrates (whole grains, vegetables), fat, and protein—helps to make sure that your body gets the right nutrients for satiation and energy!

Banana Bread Overnight Office Oats

  • ½ mashed banana

  • ½ c milk of choice

  • ½ c rolled or steel cut oats

  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • ½ tsp vanilla extract

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a mason jar, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Top with extras like sliced banana, cacao nibs, and more walnuts, if desired.

Tip #2: Pack Up Your Things! In a good way! Bringing your own lunch to work doesn’t have to be an arduous task or accomplished as you’re trying to brush your teeth or find that missing shoe! Try to make enough dinner to pack leftovers for lunch. Or when you’re prepping overnight oats, pull out a few extra mason jars and make a few of these colourful, flavourful, nutrition-packed layered salads to pop in your bag!

On-the-Go Salad

  • ¼ c olive oil

  • ¼ c balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup

  • 2 tsp minced garlic

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp pepper

Shake it up in a mason jar. Keeps in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


In a large mason jar, layer the following, working from the bottom up:

  • Salad dressing: 2-4 tbsp dressing of choice
  • Less absorbent veggies: shredded carrots, tomatoes, broccoli
  • Beans: black beans, lentils, chickpeas
  • Soft veggies: cucumbers, peppers, avocado, corn
  • Proteins and grains: Hardboiled eggs, feta, quinoa, wild rice
  • Delicates: Greens like arugula or spinach; garnishes like nuts and seeds

Tip #3: Mindful Munching Find a few moments in your workday to dedicate to mindful eating. This means taking a step away from your desk and being mindful in consuming your meal for relaxation and healthy digestion. Even better, find a spot outside to soak up a little sun at the same time!

Tip #4: Game-Changer Snacking In order to feel energetic and satiated throughout your day, it’s important to keep your blood levels stable by having a few healthy snacks on hand. Apples with a little almond butter, a handful of blueberries and walnuts, or even some raw veggies with hummus are easy to prepare and pack, taste great, will fill that hunger gap, and the protein and fat from nuts and hummus will prevent a quick glucose release.

Tip #5: Value-Added Hydrating Between snacks, also make sure to drink plenty of water (at least 8 cups per day!) and try to avoid caffeine as much as possible—while it does provide a temporary spike of energy, too much caffeine inhibits efficient nutrient absorption and tires out your adrenals in the long term. Avoid artificial sweeteners, carbonated drinks, chocolate, fried and junk foods, refined flours and sugars, as well as foods containing preservatives.

Stress, exercise, and the importance of sunshine

Beyond eating, there are some other techniques you can incorporate into the workday that are guaranteed to raise your morale (if not your salary!) and your engagement capacity.

Tip #6: Sunlight Step-Up

Did you know that sunlight triggers the release of hormones in your brain? When you are exposed to the sun, your brain releases serotonin, the hormone associated with mood boosting, calmness, and focus. Going outside and soaking up the sun is not only good for your overall health, but it can actually increase your productivity.

Tip #7: Activity Advancement

Physical activity can clear your mind and keep stress under control. Make sure to find some time in your day to move your body. Periodically get up from your workspace and walk around or find a place where you can do some stretches. During your lunch break, go for a walk or jog, or even find a studio close to your office that offers 45-minute exercise sessions. Working out isn’t just physically beneficial, it also increases blood flow to the brain, helping to increase energy, alertness, productivity, and creativity.

Tip #8: Attention Increase

We are consistently bombarded with notifications! Our capacity for focus is what drives our level of production, so implementing methods to limit interruptions is key. Using apps that block distracting websites or turning off your notifications while working can help increase your productivity, which can free up your time for more constructive options like mindful eating, exercise, and getting some quality outside time!

Want to learn more? Check out more EcoParent, including our guide to going green at the office, more ways to build mid-afternoon energy (without coffee!) and everything you need to know about the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D.