In the middle of the afternoon, you feel your eyelids getting heavy. You stop typing, sit back in your chair and rub your eyes for a few seconds. You get up from your desk—with stiff legs—make a coffee, and sit back down thinking the caffeine will be enough to get you through the rest of the day.
We all go for temporary fixes when it comes to a long day at the office. If you’re tired, you get coffee. If you’re hungry, you grab a sugary snack from the vending machine. Something quick and easy is optimal, but doesn’t always make you feel good. On top of your daily tasks, you have to take care of yourself from 9 to 5 too. Here are five ways to improve your workday habits. Who knows, you might even be able to ditch the afternoon crash for good.
1. Move at your desk
You can’t move around as much as you’d like to at work, and that’s okay. It’s easier than you think to keep moving while seated at a desk. You should be getting at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day, so why not get a few exercises in at work?
Sit at the edge of your chair with your feet on the floor. At your own pace, extend your legs in front of you and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat.
Swivel Chair Abs
Lift your legs up off the ground and hold them in a comfortable position. Grab onto your desk with your fingertips and swivel side to side in your chair. Choose between short, quick reps or slow, full movement reps.
2. Stay hydrated
A serious downfall to staying inside all day is the dry air. Heating dries the air by warming it, and air conditioning removes humidity. With that, sitting in the office day in and day out can have a drying effect on your skin and hair. The solution: drink water.
Keep a reusable water bottle at your desk and make it a point to refill it all day. If aiming for a specific number of cups is too daunting, take a sip of water every time your bottle catches your eye. Soon enough, hydrating will become a habit. It can help you improve your complexion, prevent headaches and aid digestion.
3. Pack your own snacks
Forget the buttery pastries left over from a board meeting and bring your own snacks from home. Nutritious foods will keep you fuelled and focused when you’re on a tight deadline. Eating small portions throughout the day will also keep your energy levels up while satisfying your hunger more than a doughnut ever could. Try keeping unsalted nuts, dried fruit or dark chocolate at your desk.
4. Personalize your space
Adding a few personal touches to your space can make sitting in an office more pleasant. It can be as simple as setting out your own hand cream, bringing a decorative pencil holder from home or using your favourite mug every day. If you want to get more creative, use a few colourful sticky notes to decorate your space with quotes or doodles. Keep your décor professional and clean looking to feel a little more at home at work.
5. Go to work rested
I know it seems simple, but a good night’s sleep can make all the difference in your workday. The National Sleep Foundation recommends anywhere between seven and nine hours for adults ages 26 to 64. Adults ages 65 and over can get away with a little less sleep—seven to eight hours.
If you aim for seven hours of uninterrupted slumber a night, you’ll reap the benefits at work. Better sleep can help reduce stress, improve memory and put you in an all-around better mood.
Share your healthy office habits with us in the comments below.