When a zombie plague hits London in the movie Shaun of the Dead, several scenes pass before the protagonist realizes that his trudging, moaning white-collar cohorts have transformed. If you’ve ever wandered through the office like the resident undead, you should probably review these tips on how to find some focus, energy, and calm throughout the work day.

This isn’t a guide to hyper-productivity. We’re not suggesting that you turn your cubicle into a mini-gym (and, please, ignore any online article that tells you to try that). Get well, and stay well, by bringing a few of these adjustments into your routine. Remember: you want to be strong and well-rested on the day the real zombies arrive.

Don’t Eat Garbage

Have we occasionally bought potato chips for breakfast? Yes. Do we admit it to our friends? No. Why? Because a walk to the vending machine at 9 a.m. feels weird, and hitting A2 for a salty snack isn’t exactly energizing. Cool Ranch Doritos taste great, but eat them before noon and you’ll feel like taking a second shower. Also, don’t drink energy drinks, because they taste like laundry detergent. Need we say more on this topic?

Don’t Be Gross

A 2011 survey by the American Dietetic Association found that more than 60 percent of Americans eat lunch at their desks, which would be sad enough if the average desktop weren’t carrying 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more bacteria than most toilet seats, according to a 2007 study at the University of Arizona. Not to start a food poisoning scare, but … ew.

Even if you’re not a slave to Sad Desk Lunch, little acts of cleanliness go a long way. Wash your hands before and after eating, and treat your work area like you would your kitchen counters at home.

And needless to say: coming to work sick, while not 100 percent avoidable, is nearly always a bad idea — and, in the case of jobs requiring physical labor, a dangerous one. Choose rest over risk, and take care of yourself. This is easier now that Massachusetts allows employees to earn up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year, per a voter-approved law that went into effect July 1.

Be Kind to Your Mind

We need somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep each night, and cutting that time short cheats your brain out of a healthy day. A chronic lack of shut-eye contributes to lapses in focus and attention, of course, but it can also leave you with mood swings, erratic eating habits, and a weakened immune system.

Regular, reliable sleep is one thing — stress at work is another. The most preventable kind is the much-reviled minor distraction: cross-chatter from co-workers, needless drop-bys, and those blips and pings that our phones make when email arrives.

Do your overloaded brain a favor and put yourself “in the dome” throughout the day by setting periods of time — even brief ones — in which you’re not to be bothered by anyone, including your phone. Switch off email notifications, put some headphones on, take a few slow, deep breaths, and build a reputation as the office’s champion single-tasker.

Straighten Yourself Out

If you’re set up like most desk jockeys, pulling papers and supplies from your ever-expanding mass of detritus probably involves a fair amount of bending down and twisting around.

There’s a better way. Save your back and keep good posture by taking a fresh look at your organizational strategy. Make sure your computer monitor is placed directly in front of you, at least 20 inches away from your face. Get rid of any under-desk storage, which requires you to do awkward gymnastics during item retrieval. Secure a well-designed chair that is appropriately adjusted and that provides good back support.

For a wealth of guiding principles on this topic, look up the Computer Workstations eTool on the website of the Department of Labor’s Occupational Health & Safety Administration (osha.gov).

Get Up, Dammit

Sitting kills. The World Health Organization considers physical inactivity a leading risk factor for death, since static periods like prolonged sitting contribute to decreased circulation, blood clots, and chronic conditions like Type 2 diabetes.

Don’t be a desk potato. Stand up every half hour or so and walk around. It gets your blood flowing, improves your working memory, and releases tension. Stepping outside and taking a brief walk is even better, since it gives your mind a chance to scatter attention — a great way to hit the mental reset button. (Playing on your phone doesn’t count as taking a break).

Set an alarm if you need to. Just get up, stretch, and enjoy life’s short breaks while you can.

Treat Yo’ Self

You’ve got your mind and body covered. Now it’s time to feed your soul.

Thinking of getting lunch with friends instead of alone? Treat yo’ self. Want some new art to perk up your workspace, or maybe a fancy plant? Treat yo’ self. Chill out in the courtyard with a cup of tea? Treat yo’ self. Karaoke party in the parking lot? Treat yo’ self. When it comes to quality of life, you’re a better measure of what you need to stay happy than any workplace study, survey, or handbook.

Not all work feels like play, but little acts of good health can steer you clear of a deadening grind. Don’t be a zombie — be a captain to your own enterprise. Live well, and prosper.•

Contact Hunter Styles at hstyles@valleyadvocate.com