Take 9 to 5 - action - keep rolling and cut it.
To the ones who work on their desks, we know its not easy to manage the pressure of meeting deadlines while keeping your cool, health in place and equally balancing out personal space all at once.
When you work hard, taking few breaks throughout the day is really a crucial thing. But, is 10 minutes of toggling between various apps and social media feeds looks like a healthy break?
While I am writing this, I can understand staring at the computer for long hours in certain position is not easy. Outlining various things one must do to comfort themselves while working on their desks for elongated period. Whether you want to rev your vitality, do something productive, or just to gain knowledge of how you can spend your work days with ease, try these ideas for a well-spent break.
If you spend most of your day in an office, there are high chances that you may think it’s impossible to practice healthy habits on the go.
Here are some easy ways to have a stronger mind, body, and spirit balance. These are so quick, easy and simple you wouldn’t believe you can actually improve yourself by doing them.
Keep Healthy Snacks Nearby Stay away from those vending machines in the corner that tempt you with their ease and convenience, it’s hard to just say no to chips and cookies during that mid-afternoon slump. So, instead, keep some almonds or kale chips on your desk. It’s much easier than getting up to grab something from the office kitchen.
Make Your Own Lunch The basic idea behind bringing your own lunch is that when you make it, you get to control what kinds of foods you choose to eat. Yes, this is much of a task, but it’s so worth it for your health and to avoid burning hole into your pockets.
Hang Out With the ‘Health Nuts’ We all have heard this saying you eat what your friends eat, so try surrounding yourself with people who’ll unintentionally help you to get rid of the junk food you sleep onto. Stand Up and Stretch Often Those emails or those to-dos can wait, spend 30 minutes a day standing at your desk to gain that extra boost of energy which will help you work more efficiently. In case you cannot manage to do so due to limitations at your workplace where you cannot stand and work, just make sure you’re physically standing up and stretching at least once an hour. You don‘t want to go home with a stiff neck or sore muscles, so avoid the pain with these few exercises that you can do.
Here are some more stretching exercises which you can give a try to get rid of that sore back or jittery in your legs:
Seated cat and cow pose
This is especially for those who suffer from lower back ache. The best part? You don’t have to on on all fours to do it.
Start by sitting on the edge of the chair and ensure your feet are flat on the floor and place your hands on your knees.
As you inhale, lift your chest and stick your hips out behind you so that there is a curve in your spine.
Next, look towards the ceiling, broaden your shoulders and squeeze shoulder blades together.
When you exhale, start rounding your chest, pull your navel towards you and curl your tailbone while gently dropping your head towards your chest. Repeat this about 10 to 15 times.
Twist your torso This exercise allows your upper body to release tension and barely takes any time.
Cross your right leg over the left and place your opposite elbow on the top of the thigh, close to the knee but not on it.
Make sure your back is erect and slowly twist it so that you can look over your shoulder. Remember to take deep breaths while twisting.
Hold the pose for 15 seconds and repeat it on the other side.
Toe raises Want to tone your calves while you’re busy brainstorming for that presentation? Try some toe raises.
Stand behind your chair and put your hands on the top of the back of the chair. Make sure your shoulders are tucked in and slowly stand on your toes.
Consciously squeeze your legs and buttocks so that they become hard and hold on for 10 seconds.
Leg lifts Apart from working your legs, this exercise is great for your lower abdominal muscles as well.
Sit straight in your chair and hold the sides so that your arms are straight. Make sure your legs are well rested, with your feet firmly in front of you.
Slowly raise the right leg in front of you and start pointing and flexing your toes. Do this about 10 times.
Lower your leg and repeat the same pattern with the other leg. Complete at least five sets.
P.S. don’t kick your boss, haha.
Side bends This will stretch your sides and shoulders, and ease the stress in your neck.
Sit straight and place your feet slightly apart. Place your right palm near your left ankle and twist your torso so that you are looking towards the ceiling.
Hold the pose for 10 seconds and repeat it on the other side. Five to seven sets are enough to open up your shoulders and sides.
Practice Smart Computer Habits Staring at that flat screen all day is literally exhausting, and takes a toll on the eyes, neck, back, and head. Do not forget to take short breaks in between tasks, turn that shiny screen‘s brightness down, sit straight, use eye drops, and shift positions at regular intervals. Take the Stairs When you don’t have time for workout maybe a quick way to up your heart rate is taking the stairs. So, if you work on the higher floors, maybe try taking the stairs halfway and catching an elevator when you’ve exhausted yourself. Yes, I know it‘s a tiring idea but science says it’ll make you smarter.
Work Out in the Middle of the Day
You must be thinking how can I workout in between my working hours. Here’s a suggestion only if you can, try taking an hour off work to head to a nearby yoga studio or go for a run. Some people say that after doing so, day flies by and you can still get a lot done, despite losing an hour. It feels so productive from that exercise boost that one can barely noticed what time it was. Work Outside Pick your laptop, or a notebook, and get some work done at a park nearby (even for short period), or in an outdoor restaurant. It helps reducing your stress, and aid you a healthy dose of vitamin D.
Get Some Personal Time You have heard this in your childhood, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’. Working all the time is just not good for you, you can‘t do so.
Your constant desire to work will start showing you signs of ‘brownout’—it’s the notion that while you perform fine from the outside, you slowly start getting exhausted, unmotivated, and uninspired. So, without a doubt set aside a slot on your calendar for ‘you’ time. Buy a Stress-Relief Toy You can’t beat stress immediately in an effective way. Take your frustrations out on something else besides your co-workers, subordinates or boss—it’ll reinstate your relationships and ease your stress. There are lot of stress buster toys like a squeeze ball or a scalp massager and many more like them.
Start an Office Workout Tradition You can workout all at pre-determined time and start with small ’no judgement’ push-ups—it’s when members of your team stop what they’re doing to do a round of push-ups together. It’s a great way to bond as co-workers, besides getting in a quick workout. Pump up your team and start with some quick workout tradition. It can be as simple as swapping tea for coffee in the afternoons or taking a 10-minute mid-day walk or before your work time when you are at the desk, play some song for 5mins and let everyone dance for that boost.
Give Your Hands a Break They’re doing the legwork all day, so give them a rest by stretching them out. Or taking a second to relax them in your lap.
It’s been a couple months now since people from all over the world have been working from home. It was fun the first few weeks, considering only things we had to do was wake up and begin our daily tasks. But if you don’t consider ergonomics seriously, and chose to type on your laptop while lying on your bed all day, you’re probably already experiencing a hint of back, neck, shoulder, or wrist pain.
Wrong posture for longer periods of time while working can take a toll on our overall health and wellness. That’s why, even at home, we have to find the optimal working position. Here are some ergonomic basics to take into account.
1. Find a table and chair with the right height.
You should be working in an upright position where your shoulders fall naturally with the height of your desk. Otherwise, you’re risking critical parts of your shoulders and wrists under too much pressure. Finding the right height of table and chair, so that you can relax your shoulders and wrists, will reduce the risk of injuries such as carpal tunnel stress.
2. Find a comfortable chair
Having the liberty to choose where you want to work when you work from home, but as much as possible, you still want to maintain an office setup. Working on the floor, the couch, or bed, might be cosy and tempting, but these will increase the risk of strains.
Find a chair that has a backrest that keeps your back straight, and with the right height that allows your feet to touch the ground. Alternatively, your dining table might be the best option, if you don’t have a home office.
3. Follow the 20-20-20 rule.
Ergonomics is not only about body position and posture. But in actual, eye strains are also risks that can be addressed with an ergonomic setup. In a healthy work environment, there’s such a thing known as the 20-20-20 rule. This goes as follows, for every 20 minutes looking at your computer screen, you should be giving your eyes a break by looking at something else that’s 20 feet away for a period of 20 seconds. Doing this will give your eyes they’re much-needed break from your computer or laptop screen, reducing the risk of eye strain and keeping you productive enough to sustain hours of work.
4. Work on the same spot every day.
Just like in the workplace setting, you have a dedicated space for yourself where you accomplish your daily tasks. Have the similar setup at home by finding the most ergonomic spot and sticking to it. Having a designated work area will enable you to keep your momentum and adapt to the work-from-home environment.
5. Take regular breaks.
As much as possible, avoid sitting continuously for long hours. For every 60 minutes of work, take a short 5 minute break and spend it walking around or stretching. This will help relax your body and keep you alert.
1. Don’t lean forward or tilt your neck down while working.
When working on your laptop or computer, there are chances for you to lean forward or tilt your neck down to see your screen clearly. But again keeping this position for too long will result to neck and back strain, which can cause serious injuries in the long run.
Ideally, your screen should be raised at eye level so that you can maintain a good body posture. Use of a laptop stand to elevate your screen to the optimal position is recommended. If you don’t have one, you can always resort to the idea of DIY (Do It Yourself) and make use of books or boxes.
2. Don’t let your feet dangle while sitting.
When in a sitting position, your feet should always be touching the ground. Letting your legs dangle on a chair that’s too high for you will cause unnecessary stress on your thighs. Always make sure your feet have support. If you don’t have a chair that is right height to keep your feet grounded, make use of boxes, or anything you can use as support.
3. Don’t work on your couch or bed.
It’s very tempting to work on a soft surface like your couch or bed, but we know how unproductive that’s going to be. Not only that, but keeping your body at a vertical position for too long will cause numbness and discomfort.
4. Don’t eat snacks while working.
Working from home gives you a taste of freedom. We all know how much you wish to eat on your desk in the office, but now with the work from home comfort it sure is allowed at home. But there’s a reason your office forbids it. Aside from preventing pesky insects, there are chances you might skip having regular meals by eating snacks while working. Skip the junk food and crackers and make sure to eat healthy, home-cooked meals at the right time of day.
Other things which might help you and your body in certain ways
Offer to go on a coffee run for the whole office. You’ll get the caffeine you need—plus some serious brownie points with your team.
Need to make some phone calls? Step outside or into the conference room and do them while walking back and forth. The combination of movement and chatting will be a boost of energy before you head back to your desk.
Find some inspirational stories to read to get you motivated and excited. These TED Talks and other motivational videos/stories are good way to start and will get you revved up to do just about anything.
Watch the 7 to 10 minute opening sequence of a late night show from the night before for a quick news recap and a quick laugh.
Grab some brain-boosting snacks to nibble on. Blueberries, black currents, leafy greens, and nuts have all been shown to help your brain function better.
Write something! Crank out a blog post. Pen a short story about the happenings in your office, or even get started on that novel you’ve always wanted to write.
Download some language learning app and take a lesson or two. Even if you don’t remember much more than “cerveza, por favor” from your high school Spanish class, these apps will have you easily increasing your international vocabulary in just a couple minutes a day.
See if a your colleague needs a break too, and go grab coffee or have a walking meeting. For bonus points, use the time to pick this person’s brain on something you’ve been thinking about, maybe dealing with a difficult client.
Spread some office cheer and send a co-worker a funny e-card.
Move out and call your mom, dad, grandparent, sibling, or other family member just to say hi and see how the day is going. They’ll appreciate it.
Send an email to your 10 closest co-workers, asking for the best joke they’ve ever heard. Reward with coffee for the winner.
Send a thank you note to someone who’s helped you out recently—your assistant who’s gone above and beyond or a co-worker who proofread a report for you. Be it big help or small, it will be appreciated much than you think.
Organise your smartphone. Take a few minutes to delete any apps you never use, sort your latest photos by event or date, and file apps in folders. Shift any apps you use daily to the front screen.
Pick one project that’s on your plate, and do a 10-minute brainstorm on it.
Slow afternoon? I see a great opportunity, it’s a good idea to update your online passwords every often. Best practice is to create a phrase that combines upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and at least one special character. Try not to use the same password for your email and all your social networks.
Actually take time to go through your office drawers and declutter unnecessary things. Clear out old gum, pens that don’t work, un-bent paper clips, and anything else that you don’t need.
We all have been there. Subscribing to newsletters and then a month later we ignore them. Unsubscribe from 10 newsletters in your inbox. Anything you haven’t read in a month or more? You probably don’t need to be getting it every day.
Organise and rename your files, it will take a few minutes spend it wisely. Trust me your future self will thank you when you will not spend those extra minutes when the boss is watching you.
Spend some time on Pinterest! Think about boards you can create to inspire your career. Think about it, crafting those resumes you love, work outfits that you long for which are sure to impress, and awesome companies you want to work for one day.
You may want to stalk some of your contacts. Did some of them publish a book? Totally re-built a website? Give a great talk at some seminar? Catch up on their lives and recent make shift changes they made then shoot a couple people an email congratulating them.
Better yet, take a look at your LinkedIn feed to see what your connections have been posting about. Comment and congratulate anyone with news or new jobs. You never know when you’ll wish you stayed in touch with someone.
Sit back in your chair and daydream for a few minutes. Before thinking about warm beaches or exciting vacations—progressively think about where your career might take you two, five, even ten years from now. Do you want to be in a more better role? Have a job that lets you travel? Start your own business which you wanted to do since long time but couldn’t? Just give a serious thought to yourself, for yourself - allow your mind to wander, don’t focus on what’s possible or what you might have to do to get there.
Following Linkedin influencers is an awesome way to absorb some career wisdom from people who have had major success themselves. Head on over and follow a few.
Tart up your LinkedIn profile. You never know when it might come in handy.
Do nothing for two minutes. Put your eyes, brains, body at rest.
Pick a new desktop background—an inspiring cityscape, a motivating quote, or your favorite vacation spot. In fact, pick a few, and rotate them out every month or so.
Head to your favorite coffee shop and treat yourself to a peppermint mocha, a chai tea latte, or any other warm drink you really love. Actually sit and savour every sip of it.
Browse National Geographic’s photography archives and get lost in another part of the world for a few minutes with those serene landscapes.
Stressed or feel like using that pen and paper? Take out a notepad and pen and write for a few minutes. Don’t worry if nothing brilliant comes to mind—even just writing down your feelings or what you’re grateful for can be incredibly relaxing.
Tap into your imagination and add some fun, inspirational ideas to your life’s to-do list,
into some book or the notepad in your computer.
Make your ultimate work playlist to help you power through the rest of the day.
Change-up your desk accessories to immediately make your cubicle feel very very cool.
Head to the supply closet and pick out a few new office supplies. Or, do some online shopping and treat yourself to something nicer than your boss would probably spring for.
Challenge a co-worker to a chair race. Need we say more?
Everything in moderation. Healthy habits are about balancing work and pleasure, cookies and vegetables, sitting and standing. You don’t have to stop having fun or enjoying a beer with co-workers, but be mindful of how much and how often you choose one thing over another possibly better option.