Think about it, most of us spend more waking hours each day at work than anywhere else. The creaky office chairs, beige walls, and fluorescent lighting tell a sad tale. The wear and tear on our health (mental and physical) builds up over those 40 hours a week, 160 hours a month, and nearly 2,000 hours a year, but it doesn’t have to.
Here are 5 easy changes you can make as soon as tomorrow that will boost your physical activity, which will in turn increase creativity and mental drive. Your boss will thank you.
Ditch Your Chair
Don’t wait until you’re so frustrated you throw it out of the window. Act now, and calmly set it aside, so you have room to stand or go to town bouncing on a fitness ball.
Some say that sitting is the new smoking (and hot dogs are the new cigarettes). Not exactly the trends you want to be on the forefront of… but standing certainly is. It reduces your risk of heart disease, obesity, cancer, etc… so elevate your work day by getting off your rump.
You can encourage your coworkers to get on up by standing instead of sitting for team meetings and brainstorming sessions. Daily stand-up meetings provide a great opportunity for everyone to stretch it out and shake it off before discussing daily tasks and goals.
Swapping out your chair for a fitness ball will work your core and increase your balance without you hardly noticing. Plus, bouncing to your music is far more engaging and acceptable than that full-body car dancing you would have done on the drive home.
Take A Hike
Now that you’re standing up, why not go for a walk (you thought I was joking about escaping your office)?
Here’s an idea: that conference call is portable. Pop in your headphones and find a route outside that’s quiet, or meander through your building to get your blood flowing and keep your energy level up. Take your one-on-one chat with your boss or coworker outdoors for a brisk walk around the block (much like standing, this is more fun and energizing when you include others).
Whether you work from home, in a corporate office, or the shop around the corner, this is easy to implement into your daily habits.
Companies are increasingly becoming aware how important a healthy work environment is for their employees, but no matter how great the salad bar and wellness counseling are, those vending machines filled with sugary soda and salty chips might still prove tempting.
We eat more out of boredom than true hunger, and the act of crunching on something (anything!) can alleviate the need to feast on unnecessary, nutrient-poor calories, so give yourself a snack you won’t regret. Apples, pears, carrots, and bell peppers are all healthy, easy-to-eat treats you can throw in your purse, backpack, or briefcase on the way out the door. They don’t need prepped or peeled — just rinse off and bite down! Raw nuts have good-for-you fat that will carry you over in-between meals or through a late night at work.
Need something more satiating and don’t have healthy meal options? Plant-based soups are nutrient-dense, easy to cook & transport, and they offer endless variety for healthy meals. We make some really delicious flavors that are as hearty as they are nutritious, so you don’t have to choose between a boring salad or greasy burger.
Somedays we just need an emotional pick-me-up. That tense conference call, missed deadline, or unending email chain can be cumbersome and slowly eat away at us. Fleeing to the hills of social media and all of its adorable baby animal videos will definitely make you feel better in the moment, but it doesn’t give you the skill-set you need to work through the stress and make long-term change in how you handle anxiety.
Mediation is more than a crunchy zen moment of quiet introspection. It helps you build an emotional toolbox of techniques that help reduce stress and sharpen focus. There are a ton of new apps with calming, guided meditations from 5 to 20 minutes. Some can track your progress, emotional status, and even record your heart rate. It’s amazing how taking 10 minutes to recenter yourself can turn your day around!
Always Be Jammin’
Music makes life better. And it’s easier than ever before to utilize the power of music to keep the good vibes flowing in your workplace. There are playlists made to suit every mood and work-style. Who doesn’t want their own personal soundtrack to hammer out a project or meet a deadline?
Drown out the noise of your coworker’s gum chomping or relationship drama, and get in your zone. Plus, how are you expected to bounce on that exercise ball (see #1) without some sweet tunes?
Now You’re Set.
Try out one or all of these tips, and let us know how they helped. Have some of your own that you’d like to share? Drop ’em in the comments below!