May is Women’s Health Month, and it’s important to recognize the unique challenges that women in tech face when it comes to maintaining their physical and mental well-being. Long hours, high levels of stress, and extended periods of sitting are common in the tech industry, which can negatively impact women’s health. In this blog, we will provide some tips on healthy eating and other practices that can help women in tech stay healthy, backed by data from reputable sources.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for overall health and wellbeing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. However, many women in tech struggle to get enough sleep due to work-related stress and long hours. A study conducted by the American Psychological Association found that women in tech experience higher levels of stress than men in the same field. To combat this, women in tech can prioritize sleep by establishing a regular bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bed, and creating a sleep-friendly environment in their bedroom.
Sitting for extended periods of time can have negative impacts on health, including an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. According to the American Heart Association, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity per week. Kathleen Mills, Strategic Leader of Consulting & Staffing Services, recommends finding movement that is good for your soul. “Don’t do something just because it is exercise,” she says. Women in tech can stay active by taking regular breaks to stretch and move around, incorporating physical activity into their daily routine, and finding a form of exercise they enjoy. As Jess Doherty, VP of Consulting & Staffing Services at Queen Consulting Group, A Talent Group Company, says, exercise can be a celebration of what your body can do, not a punishment.
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining good health, and this is no different for women in tech. A diet rich in whole foods, fruits and vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats can help maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of chronic diseases, and increase energy levels. For women in tech who may have busy schedules, meal prepping and planning can help them make healthy choices throughout the week. Here are some tips:
- Consider using meal planning services that can help with meal prep and save time. These services provide personalized meal plans and grocery lists based on dietary needs and preferences.
- Place prepared grocery orders online to save time and plan for healthier choices. Many grocery stores now offer online ordering and curbside pickup, which can be a convenient option for busy women in tech.
- Experiment with healthy and easy-to-prepare meals and snacks that can be made in advance and stored for the week. Examples include overnight oats, chia seed pudding, veggie-packed frittatas, and roasted vegetable and quinoa bowls.
By incorporating these recommendations, women in tech can make healthy eating more manageable and sustainable within their busy schedules.
Women working in tech often experience higher levels of stress compared to their male counterparts, which can negatively impact their physical and mental health. Chronic stress may increase the risk of depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Therefore, it’s important to know how to manage stress effectively. Here are some strategies:
- Incorporate mindfulness techniques such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi into your daily routine to help you remain calm and focused during stressful situations.
- Take frequent breaks throughout the day to stretch, go for a walk, or engage in activities that help you relax and recharge.
- Prioritize self-care activities such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and engaging in hobbies or interests outside of work. Amy Migliore, VP of Recruiting and Delivery at Queen Consulting Group, A Talent Group Company, recommends taking time for yourself each morning before starting work or family responsibilities.
- Build a support system of colleagues or mentors who can offer advice, guidance, and encouragement during challenging times.
- Learn to set boundaries and prioritize tasks, so you don’t feel overwhelmed by competing demands on your time and energy.
- Seek out professional development opportunities or training to enhance your skills and knowledge, which can increase your confidence and reduce stress related to job performance.
Remember, stress is a normal part of life, but it’s essential to manage it effectively to maintain your physical and mental well-being.
To sum it up, women in tech face unique challenges that can negatively impact their physical and mental well-being. By prioritizing sleep, staying active, eating healthy, and managing stress, women in tech can improve their overall quality of life and achieve success in their careers while maintaining their health. Taking time for yourself every day can help boost energy levels, reduce stress, and improve overall mood.