You may spend a lot of time in your vehicle out on the road but no doubt you also spend a significant amount of time behind your desk. Anyone working at a desk will know the almost hourly temptations that arise. Whether it’s a colleague offering treats, or your team deciding to order takeout, it’s all too easy to get led astray. Add to that hours of sitting in front of a bright screen, often with high levels of stress … and you have a recipe for poor health. Is your desk space one that helps you create and produce fabulous work? With no inspiration, comfort or much-needed calm, your workspace can drown you in dreariness.
Use these simple yet effective techniques to drastically improve your workspace wellness and boost your productivity.
Healthy Living Tips for your physical wellbeing:
• Trade your office chair for a fitness ball
A firmly inflated fitness or stability ball will improve your balance and tone your core muscles, giving you a six-pack without you even realising it!
• Keep some fun fit tools close at hand
No time to get to the gym? Keep fun fit tools in your office and you’ll be able to exercise any time without the schlep. For example resistance bands that are stretchy cords or tubes that offer weight-like resistance when you pull on them. Jump on line or pop into your closest sports store and you will be surprised at the choice of funky and affordable fun fit tools such as downloadable pedometers, exercise DVDs, compact weights, stress balls, skipping rope or mini trampoline.
• Software to get your muscles hard
There are many exercise type websites and online support programmes that can help you reach your fitness goals eg: www.bodybugg.com or www.nikeplus.com. Why not install an ergonomic programme that will remind you to take breaks and do certain energising exercises such as www.ergocore.co.za.
For your nutritional wellbeing:
• Keep desk drawer delights
Do you begin the day with good intentions, only to raid the office trolley dolley when you feel peckish at 11am? Stock up on some healthy non perishable snacks such as Fresh or dried (no sugar) fruit, unroasted nuts, popcorn, pure fruit bars or lean biltong. If possible, keep perishable snacks in a refrigerator such as crudités (cherry tomatoes, snap peas, baby corn, baby carrots) and low fat dips.
• Replace your coffee mug with a water jug – in sight means in mind.
You may need that first cup in the morning to get going but over-consumption of coffee isn’t healthy. Turning to caffeine as a quick “wake-me-up” throughout the day will often leave you feeling overly buzzed and wired, and the surge of energy that follows a cup will be quickly followed by a slump … leading you to drink yet more coffee or crave sugary foods. Plus, coffee and regular tea act as diuretics, dehydrating you. Try swapping every other cup of coffee for a glass of water or switch to herbal decaffeinated tea and see how much better you feel!
• Your vitamins
Although supplements cannot replace a good diet, the following may give you a physical and mental boost. Take a reputable brand such as Nutrilite, Sportron, Foodstate, Bioharmony or Solal. Speak to a dietician or health professional for personal advice on supplementation.
Multivitamin and mineral providing at least 100% RDA for all nutrients
Omega 3 essential fatty acid providing about 1000mg of EPA and DHA
Vitamin C providing about 1000mg daily
For your environmental wellbeing:
• Keep your desk clean
Keyboards and telephones harbour all sorts of bacterial nasties, especially if your desk is used by several people. These unwanted guests may result in you suffering from coughs and colds or other ailments. Keep some waterless soap and anti-bacterial spray or wipes close at hand for quick easy cleaning.
Keeping your desk free of clutter will not only keep you more efficient , but you’ll also have a sense of calm every time you use your clean and simple workspace.
• Go green
Plants release oxygen and help replace what we inhale from air conditioned or closed environments. The right levels of oxygen in enclosed environments will help you to think and feel better.
For your emotional wellbeing:
• Don’t forget about feeding your soul, keep photos of loved ones in sight and motivational reading such as posters or calendars with inspirational quotes. Local book stores have a selection of wellness diaries that can support you on your journey to better wellness.
• An aromatherapy burner with a scented oil will not only keep your desk area smelling fresh, it will boost your mood too! For example, rosemary oil has a pronounced action on the brain and the central nervous system and is wonderful for clearing the mind and mental awareness, while having excellent brain stimulant properties, as well as improving memory. You can find burners at most health stores, gift shops or pharmacies. Fill the bowl of the burner/vaporiser with water and then add 3 – 6 drops of essential oil such as rosemary, lavender or geranium. Light the candle and the oil will evaporate as the water heats up. Do not let the bowl dry out.
• Relaxation DVDs can offer meditation for busy sales people who need to relax and recharge their energy in a short period of time. Many of the exercises are easily done in as little as 10 minutes. Browse any bookstore, health shop or shop online such as www.kalahari.net.