Many of us spend most of our day at work, so it's important to create an office space that's as conducive to our health and well being as possible. Here are some simple tips to help you feel better and work better.
- Watch your posture.
Make sure to sit up straight with both feet on the ground and avoid hunching your shoulders as you type. Adjust the height of your computer screen to eye level so you aren't slouching or stretching to see. Think of maintaining ninety degree angles at your knees, waist and elbows as much as possible. And position your ears over your shoulders and shoulders over your hips so that your spine is perpendicular to your chair.
- Stand up!
Consider an adjustable work station so you can stand behind it. Standing is less stressful on your back than sitting and works your legs and core muscles, resulting in better posture. Or consider at least standing up for the duration of every phone call you make.
- Walk it off.
If you can swing it, get a desk that doubles as a treadmill so you can walk while you work. Talk about multi-tasking! If you need to meet with one or more colleagues, schedule a walking meeting instead of sitting in someone's office or a conference room. Walking lunches are also a great way to fit some exercise into your work day. You'll return to work feeling refreshed and energized.
- Bounce around.
Sit on a large fitness ball instead of a chair to tone your abdominals and strengthen your back. When you have a bit of extra time, you can roll the ball into your lower back and do some crunches or stretches.
- Set a timer.
It's easy to get lost in your work, so set a timer to remind you to get up, stretch and move every hour or so.
- Turn off and tune out.
Technology can be our friend and our foe. Often, our inability to simply dig in and work without interruptions becomes a source of stress, whether you realize it or not. If you need to concentrate, turn off the volume on your email and text alerts so you aren't constantly breaking your stride to check when messages come in.
- Make a mood board.
Artists, designers and writers make mood boards for inspiration and you can do the same to motivate you. Fill a bulletin board with images of peaceful settings, exotic locations, amazing athletes, graceful animals, your loved ones and anything else that makes you feel good and encourages you to take care of yourself.
- Keep a smart snacks drawer.
Avoid the temptations of the vending machine and office donuts by keeping good-for-you snacks at hand in your office or bringing them from home. Almonds, trail mix, Fiber One® bars, fruits and veggies are your ticket to happy and nutritious snacking.
- Do some yoga.
It only takes a few seconds and a few poses to feel renewed, limber and energized. Try these seated yoga poses for starters. If you can find some space and privacy, go for a few sun salutations and downward dogs to open your chest, stretch your spine and relax your shoulders.
- Water water water!
Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day by bringing in a reusable water bottle to keep at your desk or a special mug for herbal and green tea. If you have the space for it, consider a small bubbling water fountain or even an aquarium for a relaxing water element.
- Stick out that green thumb.
Plants are a wonderful way to make your office look and feel better. Sharing office space with something green and alive will elevate your mood and brighten your day, not to mention leave you breathing easy with all that extra oxygen that it will produce.
- Adjust that mood lighting.
Overhead lights can be harsh and create a glare on your computer screen. Create a more relaxing and inviting environment by bringing in a desk lamp from home. Your eyes and mood will thank you.
- Do the five minute clean up.
Taking just a few minutes at the end of the day to straighten your work station will not only feel great as you walk out the door, you'll be more relaxed and ready to hit the ground running the next day.
What have some things you’ve done to healthify your workspace? Put a few suggestions in the comment box below.