There’s nothing quite like the great feeling of having been productive, of having gotten something done. I love when I can walk out of the office feeling like I’ve accomplished something with my day … but I don’t always love the process of getting there. Some days, it can be a real struggle to get yourself moving, cut through the clutter of things to do and messages to respond to, and get things done. But with a little organization and a few tweaks to your routine, you can raise the odds of being able to leave at 5 o’clock with a sense of accomplishment.
When’s the last time you hit the gym? I’d be willing to bet that that question made you feel a pang of guilt. But you’ve surely got plenty of company: It’s hard getting in enough exercise during the winter, not to mention the rest of the year, between a hectic family life and your workplace responsibilities; it seems to get twice as hard. You look out the window and see the snow, or you hear the wind picking up, and you just think, “nope, I’m not going out in that.”
By now, most people have heard the panic-inducing news that sitting at your desk all day can be deadly. In fact, studies have shown that sitting for prolonged periods every day raises your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, and even an earlier death. Sitting is said to be so bad for you that it’s been compared to smoking, and time at the gym doesn’t seem to offset these negative effects. But there’s a solution out there that’s growing in popularity: the standing desk. Workers are increasingly giving up their chairs for taller desks so that they can stand while they work. No sitting equals no horrible health problems, right?
Even if you love your job like I do, work can be pretty stressful sometimes. Between the constant demands of projects and deadlines and the persistent fear that for many, this might be the week they get laid off, it’s no surprise that many of us are stressed out on the job. Not only can this take a severe toll on your mental health, but being under pressure on the job can actually hurt your physical health, too. For instance, a study done in Finland showed that workers who feel like their bosses don’t listen to them are actually at a much greater risk of coronary heart disease! Stress can also cause symptoms like headaches, panic attacks, and even elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels. That’s some pretty alarming stuff. But what can we do about it? While we can’t all win the lottery and retire to Tahiti, there are a few things that we can all do to lower our stress levels at the office.
Your office chair is trying to kill you.
Well, alright, I’m being a bit dramatic there. But the truth is that sitting for extensive periods of time can be really harmful to your health. In fact, studies have shown that people who spend a large part of their day sitting have about double the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular problems compared to more active people. Add on top of that the aches and pains that can be caused by bad ergonomics at your desk, and having an office job can start to sound downright dangerous! But there are a few things you can do to keep active while you’re at work, and they don’t have to be as strenuous as going to the gym. Every little bit of activity helps.