Creating a Healthy Workstation
This may be news you don’t want to hear while sitting down: You are more likely to gain weight, suffer from depression or other health issues if you don’t get up and walk away from your desk and get moving once in a while. Quite simply, our bodies are not getting the much needed exercise throughout the day that is required for a healthy lifestyle.
But with looming deadlines, meetings, emails and never-ending phone calls, taking a few minutes to walk outside and gather your thoughts is often easier said than done. However, creating a healthy workstation is an excellent first step, especially when paired with regular exercise and intermittent ‘moving about’ breaks. Here are a few ideas to follow when you are stuck at your desk for long periods of time:
1. Make sure your chair is the perfect height for you. If your knees are slightly below the hips with your knees parallel to the floor, you are in a good ‘starting’ position.
2. If your eyes are level with the middle or lower portion of your computer, it is situated too high on your desk. Ideally, you want your eyes to center with the top of your computer screen. Face the screen directly to avoid neck strain.
3. Make sure arm rests are at a height where your shoulders are down while still being able to reach your keyboard comfortably. You want to avoid slouching, having your shoulders bunched and or your neck strained.
4. Ever wonder what to do with those old phone books that we rarely use anymore? Consider using these ‘relics’ like a footrest if your feet are unable to reach the floor. You will immediately notice the relief that comes with much needed back support.
5. Relax your hands and fingers by touching the keypad lightly. Don’t take your frustrations out on the keyboard. Your work won’t get done any faster.
6. Believe it or not, those stress balls do work! Squeeze one throughout the day to relieve tension. Roll your palm over a golf ball or tennis ball to provide a quick deep tissue massage.
7. Take deep breaths throughout the day by breathing in and out slowly and regularly. This simple exercise is one of the more beneficial tasks you can perform. Combine it with a gentle stretch for maximum benefits.
Finally, make it a point to get outside. Take a walk during your lunch hour, climb the office stairs or conduct walking meetings. Studies show that people who incorporate some form of exercise into their workday are more productive, happier and suffer from less stress. On a side note, avoid the afternoon ‘crash’ and stay away from fast foods and drinks loaded with sugar. Try snacking on nuts, apples with peanut butter, raw vegetables and hummus or some yogurt mixed in with flax seeds, granola or honey.