Seattle, WA: 206-521-5676 Olympia, WA: 360-236-8748 Portland/Salem, OR: 503-768-9742
5 Healthy Habits for Workplace Coffee Drinkers

5 Healthy Habits for Workplace Coffee Drinkers

Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager, Arcata, CA
Produced by:
Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and California)

5 Healthy Habits for Workplace Coffee Drinkers
Healthy Coffee Habits
1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day.” – International Coffee Organization

Coffee is a popular way to stay alert at work. According to a recent survey, 43 percent of workers say that they are “less productive if they go without coffee.” According to Medical News Today when consumed in moderation, coffee may also have health benefits “from helping prevent diabetes to lowering the risk of liver disease.”

However, too much of anything can have its problems. The Mayo Clinic states: “consuming more than 500-600 mg of caffeine a day may lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, an upset stomach, a fast heartbeat and even muscle tremors, and even moderate amounts of caffeine may lead to negative health effects.”

Knowing there are both risks and benefits to using coffee in the office or workplace, try the following tips to help you enjoy coffee in a healthy way.

5 Healthy Habits for Workplace Coffee Drinkers:

  1. Bring healthy sugar alternatives from home. Sugar can be a major culprit in the negative side effects of drinking coffee. The USNews suggests: cinnamon, unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla or nut extracts, unsweetened vanilla almond or soy milk, coconut milk, and coconut cream as healthy sugar alternatives.
  2. Choose the best time of day to drink coffee. The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant, which may be great for staying alert, but could lead to trouble sleeping or insomnia if you drink too much or drink it too late in the work day. Try only having coffee at the beginning of your work day or see if you can make it until lunch before having your first coffee of the work day.
  3. Eat before you drink coffee. Drinking coffee on an empty stomach may actually be lowering your energy levels for the day. As explains: your body releases insulin in response to caffeine, which causes a drop in blood sugar and leaves you feeling tired. To counter this, you should eat a meal either during or after your coffee consumption.
  4. Determine a healthy caffeine intake for your body. For healthy adults with no medical issues, Caffeine Informer suggests “300mg-400mg of caffeine (1-2 cups of coffee) can be consumed daily without any adverse effects.” However, not everyone is the same and outside factors (pregnancy, for example) should be considered, be sure to consult with your doctor about your needs.
  5. Take your coffee break with your co-workers. According to a MIT study: “employees who take coffee breaks together demonstrate an overall improvement in their productivity. These breaks create a forum within which employees can share both personal and work-related experiences. Allowing employees to take these breaks together showed a lift in overall performance.”

Hopefully these tips can help you enjoy coffee while remaining health conscious. For more guidance on all work related health and safety issues, visit or Contact Us for more information.

Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Northern California, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

Contact our Experts

Tips to Survive the Night Shift

Tips to Survive the Night Shift


By Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Solutions Northwest, Inc. – Arcata, California

to the National Sleep Foundation, “45% of Americans say that poor or insufficient sleep affects their daily activities at least once a week.” This statistic becomes even more worrisome for those that work the night shift or have a rotating shift schedule, as they may be more likely to experience trouble sleeping.

What are the risks of working an irregular work schedule?

According to the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, “there is a 27.9% increase in work-related injuries during night shifts when compared to morning shifts.” This is likely due to the body experiencing disrupted sleep patterns. An example of a disrupted sleep pattern would be an employee that normally works night shifts, but returns to a daytime schedule on her days off. A disrupted sleep schedule makes it difficult for the body to adjust and could lead to Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD).

What is Shift Work Sleep Disorder (SWSD)?

Shift Work Sleep Disorder occurs when you have trouble sleeping due to working an irregular work schedule. SWSD is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder defined as: insomnia and excessive sleepiness affecting people whose work hours overlap with the typical sleep period. There are numerous shift work schedules, and they may be permanent, intermittent, or rotating; consequently, the manifestations of SWSD are quite variable.

How can you be proactive about your sleep?

While not everyone with an unconventional work schedule will suffer from SWSD, it is important to remain proactive about your sleeping habits. Here are a few tips from the Human Factor and Ergonomics perspective:

  1. Stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule, consistency is important.
  2. Choose a job location that is close to home, a short commute will give you more time to sleep.
  3. Work with all of the lights on to stay alert.
  4. Purchase items such as blackout blinds to block sunlight or circadian lighting gadgets that slowly brighten until you wake up.
  5. Limit caffeine during the end of your shift.
  6. Silence your cell phone during your sleep hours.
  7. Avoid bright light after work, wear sunglasses and avoid running errands.

Hopefully some of these tips will help you survive a night shift or rotating shift schedule. Remember to always listen to your body and be sure to consult with your doctor for more information. For more guidance on all things ergonomics, visit or Contact our Ergonomics Consultants for more information.

Contact our Experts

Pin It on Pinterest