Monday, February 10, 2014

10 Ways to Get Comfortable At Work in 2014

Sometimes getting comfortable at work can be a pain - literally. Problems like office aches, inability to focus, chatty co-workers, and stress can take a huge toll on your productivity in the office. Happiness is an important part of life, and in a career, it's the key to staying healthy and ready for each day. If you find yourself run down, bored, tired, or just plain overworked, here's a few tips and tricks to help you reach your greatest potential. Remember, it's all about balance!

Get Enough Sleep

Proper Sleep

Sleep is the key to successful cognitive function. The body uses bedtime as a time to recharge, just like the way most people turn their phone off so it recharges faster. Energy drinks can certainly wake you up with a buzz, but they don't offer your body the same opportunity to digest food and build up the immune system. When we sleep, the brain has the opportunity to go back and sort through all the information we gather during the day; it keeps the important, like knowing what appointments you made, and tosses the unimportant, like the color of a co-worker's shirt. According to WebMD, sleep has also been linked to weight loss, largely because lack of sleep causes hormonal imbalances that cause us to gain weight. Sleep is just one of the many keys to living a happy, healthy life. Be sure you give yourself the time to snooze!

Eat Right

Healthy Smoothies

There's no way around it. Eating the right foods is another key to successful cognitive function at work and at home. Having a balanced diet that fits your needs and the amount of exercise you get does wonders for awareness, mood, focus, and energy. If you find yourself nodding off at the office, be sure to start the next day and every day after with a smart breakfast. WebMD says things like yogurt, eggs, avocados, fruit (especially blueberries), salmon, whole wheat bread, nuts, and even a bit of dark chocolate all make wonderful, high protein breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack foods that all help to improve concentration and productivity at work. Instead of heading straight for the coffee, buy a few bags of your favorite frozen fruits and veggies, toss them in the blender and make a smoothie for breakfast, and don't be afraid to go healthy in your other meals either. It will be a nice change up, and we promise you'll feel all the better for it.

Stretch


Stretching

Stretching is actually a surprising way to burn calories, retain focus, and improve overall health in many ways. Taking a few minutes at the start of each day just to extend the muscles a bit loosens them up and prepares the body for a long day of activity. Just the act of stretching can help wake a person up. You may even decide to go for a quick jog or a brisk walk to get yourself ready for the day. Taking a five minute break at work to stretch every hour can also improve cognition and health in the office. Even if this simple act does wonders for the body though, there are many rules for rigorous stretching that should be looked up beforehand if you plant to stretch cold muscles, so look them up first.

Add a Desk Plant

Peace Lily

This may sound like a weird trick, but keeping a small desk plant in the office brings all sorts of health benefits to anyone who keeps one. Desk plants like golden pothos, gardenias, peace lilies, and spider plants are all beautiful, low-maintenance plants that can handle a few forgotten waterings here and there. In addition, each one is super adept at improving air quality by removing harmful VOCs, or volatile organic compounds. Studies by universities like Penn State, Rutgers, the University of Hawaii, and even NASA have all shown these plants to be the best for indoor environments because they improve air quality so well. Those who keep them often report better focus and easier breathing, so they are ideal for elderly individuals. Adding a little greenery can also liven up the look of your workspace. Humans have been outdoors a lot longer than they've been sitting at office desks. Don't be afraid to bring the outside in!

Open the Windows


Open Window

Bringing in the outdoors also holds true for this next tip as well. Opening the windows is a great way to improve indoor air quality if you live in the suburbs or rural areas away from the city. Often, sounds of the birds and the wind can vastly improve mood for those that like the outdoors. It can help create the illusion of time moving faster, and bring in some fresh air for free if you don't want to pay for or spend time taking car of a desk plant. Open windows removes any potential odors, and may help cool the office down or warm it up depending on the season. It's almost like keeping discount air purifiers for work applications in the office (which by the way is a great substitute if open windows aren't an option for you). If you're feeling blue at the office, or that you don't have enough time to spend around nature, opening the windows may help do the trick!

Organize Your Workspace


Organized Mayline Aberdeen Executive Desk

Now that you have a healthy body, it's time to get started at that desk. However, trying to work through a mess results in hugely diminished inefficiency in the office. Choose a day or two to stay after work for a bit of spring cleaning where you organize your space. Toss old papers and phone numbers that aren't in use or file them away for safe-keeping. Organize tools like pens and staplers in an efficient manner. A good rule of thumb is if you use it a lot, keep it on the desk, if not, keep it in a drawer. Try to build a habit structure where you put things away right after using them. For many, using modern office desks with modular design helps them keep everything at arms' reach. It only takes twenty-one days to build a habit they say. The sooner you start, the sooner you'll get there!

Improve Office Lighting


Bright Office Lighting

For those that work at office desks, a lack of lighting can be very destructive to productivity. If you spend a lot of time reading paper at the office, too little lighting can strain the eyes, just the same as the bright lights of a computer screen could. Human eyes are only capable of handling so much light. Overloading them or not providing them with a sufficient amount can cause stress, pain, or even injury to the eye. If you read more bright computer screens, less ambient light is the better way to go. Dimming the blinds and shutting off the overhead lamp will help reduce computer eye strain. If you read more paper, be sure you have plenty of light to work by. Letting in some sunlight and brightening up the workspace with efficient lighting for office use will improve both eye health and mood!

Add an Adjustable Keyboard Tray


Adjustable Keyboard Tray

Got joint pain? If you've got it in the wrists, one of the best ways to solve it is with the addition of a keyboard tray. Adding adjustable keyboard trays for desk applications allows the users to set the height and tilt of they're computer keyboards. Often, these trays mount easily on sliders underneath office desks so they are retractable. Ideally, they're set at arm level when the arms are at right angles, and titled so they are parallel with the wrists and hands for maximum blood flow, which reduces swelling and relives pain. They are wonderful tools for anyone working at an office desks, and they provide all sorts of healing and health benefits. As if that weren't enough, they also leave more room for desk space!

Add a Monitor Arm

Adjustable Ergonomic Monitor Arm

If you experience neck pain at the office, it could be because your computer isn't in the right spot. If you spend all day staring at a computer screen or other object, it's best if that object is directly in front of your head, about a foot and a half to two feet away when sitting upright, looking straight ahead. Neck pain is caused by muscles that have moved and adjusted unevenly over time when a person spends hours staring at an object that is improperly placed relative to their eyes, which more often than not is a computer. The good news is that adding adjustable monitor arms for computers can solve all of this! These nifty devices can mount to walls or desks to support a computer monitor (or many if need be). They can be adjusted by height, tilt, and length of reach for maximum potential, and are a huge help to those that suffer from neck pain, upper back problems, or computer eye strain.

Pick an Ergonomic Office Chair

Ergonomic Office Chairs

Choosing to add affordable ergonomic chairs for office use can be one of the best decisions a manager can make to help his employees. These chairs are built for pain relief and ideally designed to help improve focus and function in the workplace. Ergonomic chairs rely on the studies conducted by ergonomic engineers and scientists, whose whole field goes to understanding the need for comfort and productivity in the workspace. Chairs can be bought at varying prices, from tens of dollars to hundreds depending on need, but every one is incredibly comfortable and super efficient. Users can find them upholstered in mesh, leather, fabric, or vinyl, and with specified health benefits such as joint pain relief or superior lumbar support. Few users that buy one ever regret their decision, and with so many chairs to pick one, the hardest part is just choosing.
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