Healthy Office Habits For The Holidays
If you’re a time card-carrying member of the cubicle nation, you know what the holidays mean in the workplace – exposure to too many sweets and catching the flu.
Dr. Truxillo, a primary care and family medicine physician at Ochsner Health Center – St. Bernard, said the season of giving doesn’t mean you have to give everyone in your office a cold.
“Shared spaces mean shared germs, so it’s important to reduce contact when you’re contagious,” he said. “If your job allows telecommuting, work from home when you’re ill and be sure your doctor is OK with you returning to the office. And even when feeling well, in communal spaces like offices, it’s really important to wash your hands frequently to lessen the chances of germ spread.”
Dr. Truxillo said maintaining healthy holiday habits at the office also means taking one for the team.
“Most importantly, be sure to get your flu vaccine every year,” he said. “If you do get the flu, you may be contagious for several days with the potential to expose many others to the illness. Getting the vaccine is the best way to protect yourselves and others.”
Regarding keeping your festive figure, even when competing in an “Ugly Christmas Sweater” contest, Dr. Truxillo doesn’t exactly advise against indulgences at the office. You can still squeeze in some extra holiday bark, a slice of chocolate Yule Log cake or a candy cane in between conference calls. But, he recommends spending some time on the weekends coming up with a sensible meal-prep plan for the work week. Planning and preparing healthy lunches in advance can keep you focused on eating right at the office, he said, and not make you feel so guilty if you lean over a co-worker to grab a handful of gingerbread cookies.
Dr. Truxillo also suggests keeping your chin up during the holidays, literally. He said if you don’t want to contend with neck and back pain, keep your posture holly jolly. He suggests when at your computer don’t draw your face towards the screen or crane your neck forward. Instead, retract your chin, as if you’re trying to make an exaggerated double chin, to keep your neck and spine aligned.
Jumping up from your desk chair to wish office mates good tidings can help you keep active at the office. Dr. Truxillo said it’s important to keep moving to lower holiday fatigue and maintain mental focus. That includes taking a quick walk outside, having a phone conversation standing up and engaging in stationary chair yoga.
“It’s easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season,” said Dr. Truxillo. “Remember to make yourself and your health a priority.”
Born and raised in St. Bernard Parish, Dr. Ryan Truxillo attended St. Mark Elementary School, then graduated as Valedictorian of Jesuit High School in 1996. He went on to earn a B.A. in Classics from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2000, and returned to New Orleans for medical school at LSU, graduating in 2004. Dr. Truxillo completed his Family Medicine Residency at the UNC Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville, North Carolina, in 2007, having served as Chief Resident for the final two years of residency. He returned home to help rebuild the healthcare infrastructure of St. Bernard Parish, where he had been in practice at the De La Ronde Medical Center before practicing at Ochsner Health Center – St. Bernard. CREDIT: Ochsner Health Center – St. Bernard