When you work at a desk all day, you tend to live in somewhat of a paradox. You probably go home at the end of the day feeling tired. You’ve been busy all day long. At the same time, though, you really haven’t moved much at all...
Eventually, the lack of physical movement and exercise that comes with life behind a desk takes its toll. We've all heard the hype, or maybe even experienced it ourselves; the sedentary lifestyle can lead to all sorts of aches and pains.
Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to combat the negative effects of sitting all day long. By incorporating some healthy habits into your daily routines, you can make a significant impact on your overall health.
One thing many of our amazing team members at Shift love participating in is Run Club. Every Monday, and Wednesday, around 3pm, we shut off our monitors, and head out for a jog around beautiful Victoria. Getting the blood flowing really helps us #getshiftdone when we get back to the office.
Here are a few other great tricks we've found, in our endless quest to hack productivity, at work, and in our personal lives.
1. Take An Hourly Break
Even if you’re absolutely buried with backed up work, studies show that it’s better for both your body and your mind to take a short break every hour. Give yourself at least five minutes out of each hour to look away from the screen and let your mind unwind. Here at Shift HQ, we've got a nice ping pong table for that!
2. Avoid Elevators And Escalators
If you find yourself going up and down one or two floors every day, why not take the stairs? It really won’t take you any more time, and it will do wonders for the muscles in your legs and back.
3. Drink More Water
Keep a reusable bottle with you and make sure to drink at least one before lunch and one after lunch. Just staying hydrated is good on its own, but the water will also help to curb your appetite and keep you from snacking too much.
4. Walk (or Run!) On Your Lunch Break
Most people only use half of their lunch break (or less) to actually eat their lunch. If you’ve got extra time, use it to walk. A breath of fresh air (and maybe even a sneaky coffee or tea) can do wonders!
5. Stand When You Can
Just getting your body out of the sitting position a few more times a day will have a good effect. Take advantage of moments like when you’re talking on the phone to stand up and stretch your legs. If you can get standing desk equipment that will allow you to change positions throughout the day, even better.
6. Pay Attention To Posture And Ergonomics
The number one cause of aches and pains is simply working with your body in a bad position. Something as small as moving your chair up or down an inch or two can have a significant effect on how you feel at the end of the day.
Try to pay attention to how you’re sitting and make use of things like wrist supports for keyboards and mice to prevent both common aches and pains as well as repetitive movement injuries.
7. Schedule Your Meals
For many people these days, lunchtime is whenever there’s an open spot on the day’s agenda. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits and lots of snacks. Take the time to schedule your lunch and block it off on your calendar!
8. Exercise Outside The Office
You don’t necessarily need to hit the gym every day, but we all know regular exercise is important. Even a light exercise routine a couple of times a week can help to make up for all the time you spend sitting. Walking, biking, yoga? Pick one that fits with your schedule!
9. Take The Long Way
If there’s more than one way to get where you need to be in the office, take the long way. Your colleagues may secretly wonder about you, but, you'll be happier and healthier for it!
10. Make Technology Work For You!
On top of everything else, all the technology that surrounds office workers is usually a big source of stress. It doesn’t always have to be that way, though. By tweaking a few things here and there, technology can be used to reduce stress and promote a healthier routine.
Email, for example, is listed as one of the top causes of stress and lost productivity. The common habit of checking for new mail every few minutes has a very bad effect on stress levels and the ability to concentrate. It gets even worse if you’re managing multiple email accounts — which most of us do.
Making use of software like Shift, can help eliminate these bad habits and the stress they cause. Working smarter is always a healthy move.
Obviously, when you feel better, both the quality and quantity of your work will go up.
Now, go get Shift done, but take a break if you need it! How's that for mixed messages?