Making a commitment to better health isn’t always easy, especially when most of the day is spent away from home. Hectic work schedules with no time to eat, combined with stress and unhealthy food temptations, make it all too easy to give up on your health goals. Your employer wants you to be healthy — healthy employees are more productive, use fewer sick days and have fewer accidents — but many workplaces are not particularly conducive to help you become or stay healthy.

Making a commitment to better health isn’t always easy, especially when most of the day is spent away from home. Hectic work schedules with no time to eat, combined with stress and unhealthy food temptations, make it all too easy to give up on your health goals. Your employer wants you to be healthy — healthy employees are more productive, use fewer sick days and have fewer accidents — but many workplaces are not particularly conducive to help you become or stay healthy.

Following are some simple workplace health tips that you can incorporate into your day to boost your wellbeing.

Step away from the desk. If you spend much of your workday behind a desk, it’s important to take as many opportunities as possible to stand up and move. Start by parking further from the building so you get a walk in at the beginning and end of each day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible. Take a short walk, preferably outside, during your breaks. Your goal should be to stand up to walk or stretch at least once an hour.

Control your food. The best way to do this is to pack your own lunch with the right portion sizes. Try to make a lunch loaded with vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates. If you eat out daily, perhaps you can box half your lunch and refrigerate it to eat the next day. Keep healthier options for snacks at your desk so you will be less likely to find a vending machine when that afternoon slump hits. Whole fruit, nuts or popcorn are all good choices. If you eat in the company cafeteria, make good choices by avoiding fried foods, taking advantage of salad bar options, avoiding sweets and pastries, and choosing broth-based soups instead of cream soups.

Pay attention to posture. Talking on a phone all day or staring at a computer screen for hours can make for tight muscles along with neck or shoulder pain. Correct your posture so that your neck isn’t bent for long periods of time. If you spend hours on the phone, using a speakerphone or headset can reduce discomfort. Do some stretching exercises periodically to keep your muscles loose.

Prevent eyestrain. Staring at a computer for hours can lead to headaches, difficulty focusing and sensitivity to light. Use good posture and keep your computer screen at least an arm’s length away. Taking short breaks between tasks and turning the brightness down on your computer can help alleviate eye strain, as well.

Be aware of the effects of stress. Job stress or burnout can lead to unhealthy habits, as well as weight gain. Signs of a stressed employee include tiredness and irritability, reduced work quality, poor judgment or indecisiveness, or even physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, aches and pains. Use your time away from work to do enjoyable things to help relax your mind. If you have time off, take it to help decompress and get a break from work stressors. At work, take a few minutes of downtime to breathe deeply, meditate or just stare out the window before returning to your task.

Get your sleep. Starting your day tired or with low energy makes for a long day. It also makes it that much harder to stick to a healthy eating plan or to exercise before or after work.

Stay hydrated. That mid-afternoon slump just might be due to dehydration. Dehydration can cause drowsiness and sluggishness. Set a goal to drink 16 ounces of water by lunch, another 16 ounces by mid- afternoon and 16 ounces before you quit for the day. Try to limit your morning caffeine consumption to prevent a crash later in the day. As an added bonus, drinking so much water will get you up and moving more frequently to use the bathroom.

Be mindful of germs. Viruses can survive several hours and even days on hard surfaces. To avoid illness, keep your work area clean and sanitized. Wash your hands frequently and keep some hand sanitizer nearby. Avoid close contact with employees or customers who are showing signs of illness. Don’t forget to wash your hands after touching communal property, such as coffee pots or door handles.

Check with your employer and your health insurance for any wellness benefits that may be offered, such as gym membership discounts, discounted rates for routine physicals or lab work, or incentives to quit smoking.

Anita Marlay, R.D., L.D., is a dietitian in the Cardiopulmonary Rehab department at Lake Regional Health System in Osage Beach, Mo.