It seems there’s a different study every week warning us of the dangers of sitting down for long periods at work. But as so many of us have busy jobs in offices it can be difficult to find the time to look after ourselves while we’re at our desk. There are a few ways you can loosen up and relax in the workplace though.
When you’re having a busy day it’s not easy to think about your fruit and vegetable intake but simply giving yourself a vitamin and mineral boost can increase your energy levels and reduce stress. Juices are a great way to get some good stuff inside you with minimal hassle, plus juicers can cost as little as £20. Try mixing up a range of stress-busting foods such as blueberries, oranges, sweet potatoes and avocados for an instant pick-me-up.
2. Cut down on the caffeine
Coffee is a part of most people’s morning routines, but the caffeine in a cup of coffee can antagonise existing health problems or even be responsible for new ones. Pregnant women in particular should take a look at their caffeine intake as the drug has been linked to poor fetal growth and miscarriage. Caffeine can also increase blood pressure, zap the body of vitamins and minerals and can cause stomach upsets.
3. Get on the move
No matter how busy your day is, you should always take the time to get up and away from your desk. Whether it’s walking to a colleague’s desk, going for a walk at lunch or volunteering to go to the bank, anything that gets you away from your desk will help to get your blood flowing and reduce stress levels.
Even if you don’t move from your chair, you can still give your body a mini workout at your desk. Simple movements such as shrugging your shoulders, crunching and releasing your stomach muscles and glutes and stretching your arms above your head can leave you feeling refreshed.
5. Introduce ergonomics
Using ergonomic equipment at your desk can reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury, back pain and relieve pressure on muscles and joints. A computer monitor arm, an easily adjustable and supportive chair, and an ergonomic mouse and keyboard can help you to maintain a healthy and comfortable position at your desk.
6. Have a real conversation
When your days seem to go by in a blur, it can sometimes be difficult to remember if you’ve actually had a conversation with someone which wasn’t on the phone or via social media or email. Simply taking to others in person in the office not only gives you a reason to stretch your legs, interacting with others can also reduce stress and often work related issues can be resolved more quickly with a face to face conversation.
7. Team build
Although the thought of team building can cause fear in the hearts of some, taking part in team games and events can actually make work more fun and less stressful. Ideas include bringing in cakes for people’s birthday, after work drinks, lunches out, team sports, quizzes and team yoga classes.
Drinking water at work can help boost your energy, reduce the risk of headaches, reduce the risk of swollen ankles and feet in warm weather and even make you feel less peckish at your desk. Try to drink a pint of room temperature water with a squeeze of lemon in it about 30 minutes before each meal for maximum hydration.
Sarah Stewart is a lifestyle blogger with 8 years writing experience. She writes on a range of topics including health, fashion, families and parenting.