More and more, people’s jobs are keeping them locked behind their desks all day. Because more of our work world is being conducted online through our computers, we may find that we barely leave our desks all day in our offices. If that’s the case with you, you may find that you tend to get home feeling stressed out and a little sore.
Here are some tips on how to reduce those feelings:
Take Breaks Throughout The Day
It’s important that you take frequent breaks through the day. Most people can only focus hard on something for fifty minutes, and after that you may find your attention span wandering from what you’re supposed to be doing on the screen in front of you. When that happens, don’t just let yourself drift off into a daydream. Instead, take a walk: go to the bathroom, get a cup of coffee, go to the water cooler, walk over to the other side of your office to talk to a co-worker about something that you’re working on together.
If you move around, you’ll feel less stiff and uncomfortable, and it’s important to take your eyes off your screen as often as possible to reduce headaches and eyestrain. Once you sit back at your desk you’ll feel refreshed and ready to start working again.
Bring Your Own Lunch
It’s important to be careful about what you eat every day at work. It can be easy to go out and buy your lunch every day from a local cafe or coffee shop, and although it’s great to treat yourself sometimes, this can be both unhealthy and extremely expensive in the long run.
If you prepare lunches for yourself at home, not only can you save money, but you can also be aware of everything that you’re eating over the course of the day. And if you pack a mid-afternoon snack like carrot sticks and hummus or apple slices and peanut butter, you’ll be a lot less likely to wander longingly over to the office vending machine before indulging in some chocolate.
You could batch cook at the weekends so that you know you have delicious lunches prepared for the week, or you could take in leftovers, or you could pack sandwiches and salads – or even a cup of homemade soup and some wholegrain bread to dip in it. Make sure that you don’t eat at your desk – you need to take a break from sitting in that position, and you shouldn’t be distracted by phone calls or answering emails when you’re on your lunch break. Also, moving around means you won’t end up dropping any pesky crumbs in your keyboard!
Exercise Outside Work
Staying active outside work is very important. For almost everyone who works at a desk in an office, yoga can be incredibly helpful. If you have pain in your back, yoga can help you to reduce it by teaching you to use your core muscles to sit up correctly when you’re working and by stretching out your body. If you are usually sitting still all day, try to get off your train or bus a stop early to take a longer walk home, and try going on a hike on the weekends for some cardio and also to check out any beautiful local areas that you may not have explored before.
Many companies offer reduced gym memberships, so talk to your boss about offering that as a perk for all the employees – it’s something that could really attract great workers to the company and that could make the people who already work there a lot happier. There are other little things you can do during the day as well – stretch during your lunch break, take the stairs instead of the elevator, make sure that you move your feet while you’re sitting down. Try not to sit still for too long.
Unplug When You Get Home
Finally, it’s imperative that you take some time out when you get home. A lot of jobs expect us to be available 24/7 but you need to detach from your phone and your emails every now and then or you’ll find yourself becoming stressed, which can lead to depression and anxiety.
It’s important to remember that your mental and emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Change your work strategies – check your email less often, make it clear that your out-of-work hours are times that you won’t be around. Focus on what your priorities really are and what makes you happy.
Staying healthy isn’t all about eating celery at your desk – these tips should help anyone who sits at a desk all day feel happier and healthier.