10 ways office workers can get more sunlight each day

Long work hours with mounting work expectations and pressure may mean that those who work in an office have little sun exposure, putting them at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Research shows that one in five Australian workers are too busy during the day to go outside and get some sunshine, and around one in three eat lunch at their desk.1 Unfortunately, this may be compromising their bone, muscle and general health. Office and other indoor workers should be encouraged to take a ‘Dbreak’ (vitamin D‐break) and step outside for a daily dose of sunlight by:

  1. Eating alfresco – Rather than eating your lunch at your desk, take a break and eat outdoors. In addition to obtaining greater sun exposure, it gives you a chance to de‐stress and maximize your productivity in the afternoon.
  2. Going for a lunch time walk ‐ Organize regular lunchtime or afternoon walks with colleagues. It’ll help you to clear your head, regain focus and at the same time, gain a healthy dose of sunshine. Roll up your sleeves to expose your skin, for greater benefits.
  3. Having outdoor meetings – Rather than always having indoor meetings, host one outdoors. A change of scenery may also help boost productivity and creative thinking.
  4. Organizing a staff BBQ – A regular lunch time BBQ or sausage sizzle can encourage everyone to step outside and away from their computer screens.
  5. Hosting a sports/team building session – Organize a cricket, bowls or tennis match with coworkers to promote team building and to get a boost of sunshine and vitamin D.
  6. Setting up a work station in the sun – Ask your manager if you can take your laptop to an outdoor table and work outside every once in a while.
  7. Taking long work calls outdoors – If you have a long work call, consider taking it on a bench in the sun.
  8. Parking further away or walking to and from the station– If you park your car further away from the office, or walk to and from the train or bus station, you may get some incidental sun exposure and extra exercise. Or if you’re able, try cycling to work.
  9. Participating in charity runs or challenges – If your commitments at work mean that you’re not able to free up time for an outside break through the week, consider participating in company‐led charity runs or other challenges on the weekend. It will help you to get to know your colleagues and importantly, obtain some weekend sunshine.
  10. Exercising outdoors before work – Wake up earlier and go for a brisk morning walk, jog or cycle before work. You’ll be increasing your vitamin D levels whilst starting the day in a healthy and positive way.