Don’t get me wrong, I love being busy and I do not mind working at a computer for a bit of the day. But like most, my day job involves being at the computer for the majority (if not all) of the day, five (sometimes six) days a week. It is no secret that I’m a big fitness and health advocate (despite my complete inability to stay on the wagon – what fun is that anyway?) and so I was delighted when I joined a team who were very like-minded. I was feeling really lethargic in that mid-afternoon slump and struggling to sleep. I decided to make some changes to my work space, seeing as I was spending so much time at it!
Hire An Occupational Therapist
Their job is literally this blog post. They will come in, assess your work space and make it work for you. This can range from measuring the distance from your eyes to your computer screen to measuring the length of your legs and the height of your chair. We are lucky enough to have a local occupational therapist who came in to do an overall assessment for each of our individual work stations. She ended up telling me my ideal computer screen height, what height I should have my chair at (when seated), and various other tips and tricks to make my work station more suitable for me and therefore ‘better’ for me. You do not HAVE to have a professional in. By all means, there are various ways you can adjust your work station yourself. What works for one person may not work for another.
Get a stand up desk– it has been one of the best decisions I ever made. I was first introduced to these by my former employer who was a total fitness fiend and also REALLY (like, really) tall. But he loved it and swore by it. Just a pointer – get one that can be lowered as well just in case you’re a little worse for wear one day – you’ll thank me for it! Anyway, the point is, you are standing up all day so generally feel more alert, less lethargic AND you burn more calories whilst at work – what’s not to love!? You can TOTALLY justify that office cake now. In all seriousness, stand up desks are great. The main two health benefits of stand up desks are:
- An increased metabolism. When you are sedentary at your desk, your calorie-burning slows to a third of the rate compared to walking.
- Improved posture. It is no secret that office workers and those who sit at desks for long hours of the day tend to have back problems, and bad posture; they tend to slump with shoulders forward. A stand up desk, when used properly, keeps your forearms at a ninety degree angle on the desk, which encourages your shoulders to go back and opens your chest.
Just a word of warning: if you are not used to standing up at all times of the day, you may feel a little discomfort in your feet over the first couple of days. It is also worth investing in a rubber mat to stand on to relieve your lower back.
Invest In A Sun Light / Light Therapy
If you’re anything like me, you would have got excited and thought, ‘BRILLIANT! A sun tan at my desk!’. Yeah, not so exciting (or bad for you!). BUT they work. Living in a ski resort that prides itself on the number of sunny days it receives a year (over 2,000 by the way…) it gets to me a little when I’m in the office and have no natural light. I literally pop out the office every chance I get to get my ‘sun fix’.
So when my friend suggested I get a sun light I was really intrigued. After some solid research I bought this Philips goLITE BLU. Quite frankly, it is the best purchase I have made in a long time. It is a great size so does not look ridiculous on my desk (despite wearing sunglasses for the first five minutes) and I can take it with me when I eventually have my budding career/business that means I can travel a lot(!)
Seriously though, it is great. I started by having it on for quite a few hours now I only need it on in bursts. But make sure you don’t use it too late in the day as it inhibits melatonin production, which is the hormone that sends you to sleep. Which makes sense, as the light is meant to mimic a bright, bluebird, sunny day. No suntan but also no seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Get A Himalayan Salt Lamp
Fear not, I am not suggesting you book a fricking flight to the Himalayas, gather a load of salt and bring it home (although that trip is totally on my bucket list and should be on yours too). These lamps are all the rage now darling, particularly in the holistic health world. They have various health and wellness benefits but if you have one in the office, they can basically do the following:
How? They reduce electromagnetic pollution and minimise the effects of your computer’s radiation. Genius.
Got loads of meaningless crap everywhere? Loads of post-it notes? I do. And it stresses me out. De-clutter your space. Can’t live without your post-it notes of ‘to do’ lists? Either get a nice little notepad or step into the 21st century and create an electronic to do list (I’m old fashioned and prefer the former!).
Find A Buddha Buddy
Totally optional but a nice little addition. Meet Barry… he is ALWAYS happy.