Wellbeing: Adapting to a Desk Job
Hey Hey There,
This article was inspired by the transition from working shift work to a desk job, its easy to ignore your body and well-being in a busy environment. Some days sitting at a desk for long hours is harder on the body than being on your feet all day during a busy shift. Whether you are working an office job, sitting as a charge nurse on a ward, researching or pulling long hours studying it is important to be conscious of your wellbeing.
Do not eat meals at your desk. This may seem obvious but you can easily fall into the habit of pulling out lunch at the desk while ‘continuing’ to work.
Keep your space organized and have fun with it. In a work week you will spend 40+ hours at your desk, so make it functional for you. Set yourself up for success, think of keeping your work area organized is an aspect where you can control the chaos. Also, make this a personalized space you can enjoy by adding photos, art, a personalized screensaver, cute stationery to name a few.
Bring in something green. Plants make us calm and happy and can reduce stress, its a natural reaction to nature. According to Psychology Today even looking at a picture of nature can provoke positive physiological responses. Some plants that thrive in low light are ZZ plant, spider plant or a staghorn fern. If you have no windows (like me) find an imitation plant.
Your Calander is your best friend. Update your calendar, share and repeat.
Keep Hydrated. Feeling thirsty is a sign of being dehydrated. When we are even slightly dehydrated it affects attention short-term memory and recall of longterm memory; therefore will hinder productivity and well-being according to an article in Psychology Today. Keep that urine a nice pale yellow!
Posture. Did you just sit up straighter when you read that word? Be conscious of how you are sitting. Sit all the way back in the chair, get a chair with lumbar support or simply use a towel, have knees at about a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the floor. There are some apps out there they can detect when you are slouching like, Upright go posture trainer.
Skip the elevators and Get up and move every hour. Avoid the risks of living a sedentary lifestyle and get up at least hourly. Tips: Instead of messaging a colleague, go see them in person if your workplace permits, take a walk during lunch/break times, use a washroom on a different floor. A device with a pedometer, I use a Fitbit, it very motivating when you see your steps continue to go up, or if you reach a daily goal.
E-mails never stop. If you're a list person or like to keep a very clean inbox it's easy to get distracted by trying to keep your inbox clean. Block out time to focus as the task at hand, setting a timer can be very effective and remember that there will be a next day to go over e-mails.
Schedule in physical activity. Book your favourite type of workout class, go to the gym, or leave the car keys at home if conditions permit and start biking or walking to work.
Bring your own food. Supply yourself with healthy options to satisfy your craving throughout the day, who likes cafeteria food anyway? Also, you're more likely to say no to the sugary treats that are usually hanging around workplaces if you have your food at hand.
Sticking to good habits is a work in progress, I would love to hear some tips and tricks that have helped all of you! luckily, even though I spend some days at a desk for long hours, I still get to wear scrubs!!!
Grow all ways,