On average, we spend at least 50% of our waking hours at work. But are we really awake? A lot of us sit at our desks for so long that our body starts to shut itself off, leading to physical and emotional fatigue as well as the daily post-lunch battle to keep your eyelids open. The good news is we can take positive steps to try and counteract this tiredness!
Here are some daily actions that can contribute to a happier, more fulfilled work life:
Don’t sit still for too long.
I had a teacher at school who, if she saw the slightest hint of a yawn, would make you stand up and do 10 star jumps in front of the whole class. As humiliating as this was, it actually worked. I would be more alert and focused for the rest of the class. NHS advice tells us that when you sit down for a long period of time, certain parts of your body start to shut down. Less blood and oxygen get to your brain, which leads to lower brain activity and poor focus and concentration. So in between tasks, get up and walk around the office, stretch and get blood flowing to your brain!
Go for a walk during your lunch break.
Another great way to get moving is to go for a walk during your lunch break. Taking walks – especially in parks or nature – is not only conducive to a creative, sharp, and concentrated mind but has also been proven to reduce stress, improve mood, and reduce social isolation. It’s also important to get outside the office and give your mind some time to relax and take a break from emails and answering phone calls. Enjoying those small moments of calm is essential for looking after your mental health and wellbeing.
Get enough rest.
There are so many reasons why sleep is important for the healthy functioning of both your body and mind. Physical and emotional wellbeing are highly dependent on sleep and the more you sleep, the better you will be at making decisions, solving problems, unleashing creativity and feeling in control of your emotions. So switch the TV off early and make sure you get at least 6-8 hours of restful sleep to feel happier, healthier and more alert at work.
Cut down on stimulants.
While it’s tempting to reach for the caffeine and sugar every morning, try not to overdo consumption in either of these areas. Research has shown that high doses of sugar and caffeine lead to the inevitable crash a few hours later, usually after lunch when your body is working hard to digest your food as well. Instead, keep your brain hydrated with plenty of water!
Get the office engaged and incentivised!
As we spend so much of our lives at work, it is really important that you feel stimulated and motivated in your work environment. One way to do this is to engage with other staff. Don’t hide behind your computer screen all day – connect with colleagues not just outside of work but also in and around the office. A great way to get staff talking is through workplace schemes that encourage friendly competition. Our Jump scheme incentivises staff to engage in activities that promote wellbeing and sustainability in the office by rewarding them for hitting their environmental and wellbeing targets. It’s a great way to get the office talking and engaging with each other.