How to be healthier & happier at work
Make a lunch date with mama nature
To slash stress during the workday, spend your summer lunch hours in a tree-lined neighborhood park. "Forest bathing," as Qing Li, M.D., a professor at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo, calls it, has been shown to increase immune function by reducing stress and increasing levels of your body's natural killer cells that defend against viruses. No summer colds!
Refill your coffee mug
There's a reason you've never heard this expression: Time flies when you're... at the office. But coffee--even just the smell of it--helps. Scientists at the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation of Chicago found that inhaling a coffee scent made time seem like it was zipping by roughly 14 percent more quickly than it actually was. "Coffee is a stimulant associated with productivity and alertness," says neurologist and foundation director Alan Hirsch, M.D. So it could help you focus on your tasks, not the clock.
Just stand up
Desk jobs--they're dangerous. Too much sitting has been linked with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and mortality, notes Lucas Carr, Ph.D., an assistant professor of health and human physiology at the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Use an e-alert like the one at workrave.org to prompt you to get off your duff at least once every 60 minutes, Carr says. Regular movement boosts your metabolism and increases HDL (healthy cholesterol).
Hit happy hour
Working late all the time could be a mental health hazard: New research by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health tracked a group of workers in Britain over several years and found that regularly spending more than 11 hours a day on the job doubled the employees' chances of a major depressive episode. Need help getting out the door? Make after-work plans--and don't cancel them. Tell the boss it's doctor's orders.