Get more energy at work

DOES your office suck the energy out of you?

It's possible that your work environment is not the Shangri-La you would like it to be.

But you can make it healthier and happier with a few pro-active moves.


1. Start the day by remembering why you're there

You may love your work, or you may just need the money.

Either way, your job has to be fulfilling a need for you.

Remind yourself what it is and lose the attitude.

It's self-sabotaging in the end.

Even if you are working somewhere staff are facing redundancies, it helps to bring your best game, says Shane Garner, a director of corporate training and wellness company Mischief Motivation Attitude.

"We have found that people who can still focus on performance are more likely to be retained or to find another job more quickly."

2. Protect your eyes

Don't stare at the screen from the moment you get in the office.

Look away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes and stand up and walk around too.

This will not only help you avoid eyestrain, it will give your body a break from sitting in a rigid position.

3. Resolve to focus on one thing at a time

Being able to concentrate on one task is a great measure of mental toughness, says Shane.

"Clear the desk of all paperwork except that pertaining to the task and turn off the email alert until the job is done."

4. Beat the air-conditioning

If you can't open a window, get a plant.

It can help absorb the carbon dioxide that can build up in a sealed room.

Putting a bowl of water on your desk can also help add moisture to the air.

Most importantly: drink plenty of water during the day.

5. Get an office pet

Some companies now allow you to bring your dog to the office on assigned days.

A survey of 3000 American office workers by digital online marketing agency the Bio Agency found that 16% had an office pet with the top 10 being fish, dogs, cats, tortoises, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, geckos, snakes and tarantulas.

As many as 55% of those canvassed admitted they would feel more motivated if they did have a pet in the office.

6. To release tension sit on the edge of your chair

When you feel overloaded, your body's sympathetic nervous system kicks in, lactic acid builds up, and your muscles feel sore, says Anna-Louise Bouvier, executive director and creator of Physiocise.

She suggests balancing on your bottom bones and lifting your chest off your stomach then rolling your shoulders in backward circles.

This will help to reverse slumping that reduces the amount of oxygen you take in.

7. When you leave work, don't think about work

"Turn the phone off," says Shane. "The off button is not made of Kryptonite. You need time out to refresh yourself."

8. Get a blue light

If you feel sleepy during the day, a blue light may help, according to researchers at the University of Surrey.

Apparently it stimulates a receptor that triggers activity in parts of the brain associated with alertness.

9. Eat the right lunch

Too many refined carbohydrates in the middle of the day can drop blood sugar and leave you desperate for the instant high of sugar and caffeine.

Always have some protein for lunch - a can of tuna, slices of chicken or turkey (that will help soothe nerves) and team it with wholegrain bread or crackers and salad vegies.

Most of all, get away from your desk to eat.

You need a break from that monitor and, besides, it's not very hygienic to eat at your keyboard.

10. Stretch it

Don't sit on your backside all day. American medical researcher Professor Marc Hamilton says several studies show sitting for long periods can be dangerous to health.

Stretch, make a cup of tea, or go for a short walk. Do anything to reduce your butt-on-seat time.


Keep moving

Research confirms that sitting too much can increase the risk of developing heart disease by as much as 50% - even if you are getting the recommended amount of exercise elsewhere in your day, says the National Health Foundation.

The foundation suggests:

  • At work and/or home take and receive phone calls on your feet. At work, go over to your colleague's desk instead of sending an email.
  • Drink more water at work: it's the best way to keep hydrated, and going to the water cooler and toilet will break up sitting time.
  • Ban yourself from using lifts or elevators whenever possible: take the stairs instead.
  • Don't want to miss your favourite TV program? Stand up to watch it and get the ironing finished at the same time
  • Head to the park with the kids after school for a walk or play

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