Have a desk job? One that requires you to sit for most of the day? Feeling scared about the ways in which sitting too much can be bad for your health?
Want to make a change, but aren't ready to quit your job and start doing the self-sufficient farming thing? Don’t despair. With just a few changes, you can keep your job and protect your health. Here are 5 tips to try out for a better desk life.
1. The eyes have it.
Ever finish the day with eyes that feel like they have been sprayed with dirt? That’s what comes from staring at a screen for the entire day. And when our eyes are unhappy, it's straight to bed we go. When a person’s eyes are fatigued, nothing but time and rest can help them feel better. However, there are ways to prevent them from getting to that state. Felix Gray creates glasses that prevent digital eye strain, using proprietary lenses that cut glare and harmful blue light wavelengths.
Also, consider the lighting in your office space. Natural light is best. And, oddly enough, lighting or screens that are too bright can also strain your eyes. So make sure that your lighting sources are well-adjusted. Other tips for caring for your eyesight include a nutritious diet, wearing sunglasses when out, and not smoking.
2. The air up there.
Air pollution causes the premature death of up to 7 million people each year. Your office might seem like the last place that could be guilty of such hazards, but indoor air pollution is a danger to be guarded against. A common cause of indoor air pollution? Air conditioners. When air conditioners are not maintained or are badly designed, they can circulate contaminated air.
What's an office worker to do? Lobby for air purifiers in the workplace. Check on your air conditioner's filters or make sure that the maintenance crew comes in and checks on them regularly. Buy plants for the office that help to purify the air. Aside from cleaning up the air around your desk space, plants have also been found to reduce stress, as well as increase feelings of wellness.
3. Sniff something nice.
Need a quick pick me up after a stressful conversation with a co-worker or boss? But you've used up your break time already and have another 2 hours to go before the end of the day? Why not try a little aromatherapy? While you might not be able to light a lavender candle at your desk, you could have a little in a spray bottle or a perfume dropper. The smell of lavender has been used by many to help calm their nerves and alleviate stress. Jasmine scents have been used to help perk up the mind and get one going. And rosemary is being researched for its memory enhancing properties.
4. Walk your break.
First things first. Take all your breaks. And if you do that already, make sure that you are moving about. From walking to the store on the corner, to dashing up a flight of stairs, use this time to engage in physical activity. This will help to combat the ill effects that accompany a desk job.
Oxygen flowing through your lungs and throughout your body is necessary for mental sharpness. But when you sit, slouched, in front of a computer, your lungs are restricted, and chances are you aren't getting enough oxygen to your brain. This is one of the reasons experts recommend you take breaks every 20 minutes. When you get up and stretch, oxygen is on the move throughout your body. You will notice your focus is improved when you sit back down.
5. Pay attention to what you eat.
Nutrition plays a key role in how you set yourself up to feel for the rest of the day. Want to feel lethargic and ready for a nap? Eat that sugar-laden doughnut! Or, perhaps you want to feel like you have fuel in the tank and enough fight in you to keep at it until the lunch bell rings? Then make sure you start your day off right--with a nutrition-packed breakfast. Choose something with high protein content and low in sugar and refined carbs. What you eat at the start of the day can make the difference between sagging energy, or boosted performance. Do it right and your day will be better for it.