by Ada Egbule (Public Affairs Department)
- Water. We will start with the glaringly obvious; but it’s so important to keep hydrated at work for an active brain and replenished skin. It is often easy to think that you are hungry when you are in fact thirsty. Try to drink 4-6 glasses a day at work. This will also ensure mobility when topping up your glass.
- Make a ‘health’ draw. While the Diet Coke commercial was glamorised by advertisers and sparsely clad men back in the day, it’s not going to help you out in the long term. Natural sugars in fruit and good carbohydrates will keep you full for longer and your brain alert. Try bags of dried fruit, Marmite rice cakes and non-salted peanuts.
- Keep your blood flowing! Arms and legs act as pumps to push blood around the body so when you are sat at your desk blood from the body can flow to the feet. About every hour try to have a brief walk around the office or do some gentle stretching; this pumps blood back to the heart and brain to keep your mind alert and awake.
- Fresh air. Lights, computers, servers and stereos, as well as people, all add to the overall temperature in an office; making it hot and stifling. If possible keep a window open near by, have plenty of green leafy plants around the office to recycle the carbon in the air and ensure that you leave your desk at lunch time, even if it’s just for 10 minutes. With Facebook calling it’s easy to eat your lunch at your desk, while you watch what the rest of the online world is doing. Go out side! Breathe in the air, look at the sky and you will come back ready to attack the afternoon’s schedule.
- Chair. Your chair at work is a piece of furniture that you spend most of your day in and is massively important to ensure that it’s ergonomically placed in relation to your desk, height, weight and various other factors relating to your work. Ergonomic office chairs support you in a tailored way which is one solution. Ask your HR manager for a work space assessment also, this can reveal simple quick wins such as raising the height of your computer or a block for your feet to make your workspace comfortable.
- Exercise. The internet is peppered with tips and routines that you can do from your chair. But we have unearthed a couple or yoga moves for you to try out from the Yoga Journal. Take five minutes out for a forward bend and back twist that you can do on and behind your chair to leave you energised.
- Laugh! It’s nothing new but has again featured in the press recently. Laughing is stress busting, releases serotonin and it’s great to see your colleagues smiling. While we are not in a position to suggest you spam the office, occasionally there is a ‘funny’ email worth sharing. Lighten the mood and spread a giggle.
- Eyes. Tension headaches and eye strain are a common complaint for anyone working in an office. Bad lighting, screen glare and being too close or too far from the screen can all contribute to sore eyes. Ask your HR manager for a work space assessment (a DSE assessment) and you should also be entitled to an eye test.
- There’s an app for that! Pomodoro is a new app (we imagine there will be plenty of these around) that helps your productivity. Set a task list and you have 25 minutes of work, no emails, twitter, phone, breaks etc; when the task is complete you have a five minute break for catching up. It’s tried and tested and is a good mindset to be in to achieve deadlines.
- Switch off. When it’s time to go home, remember to switch off! With iPhones common place, it’s easy to never stop, with access to twitter and email continuing the activity that you’ve been doing throughout the day. Read a book, look out of the window at the countryside, talk, cook, have a bath – anything that keeps you away from a flickering screen.
Team Base (UK)