Saturday, February 5, 2011

Desk job? Stay active and alert all day.

I’ve spent the last 13 years sitting at a desk working on a computer for 8+ hours per day experiencing monotonous days, cravings for naps and even headaches due to eye strain. Sound familiar?

It’s important to boost your energy throughout the day no matter how full your email inbox. Trying these ideas will help rejuvenate you and keep your energy up throughout the day. Taking time to do these activities will make you more productive in the long run.

I actually do all of these things - give it a try!

Tip: Leave your desk once per hour. Get a glass of water or instead of sitting in meeting rooms, take a walk and discuss topics.
My personal comment: This forces me to drink more water and helps burn an additional 100 calories or so throughout the day.

Tip: Move your eyes away from the computer periodically. Your eyes will get used to looking at the screen up close. Over time, your long-range vision can deteriorate because you are so used to looking at something a foot away from you. Get away from the screen and take breaks by looking down long hallways or out the window.
My personal comment: Given my already poor vision, this has helped my eyes feel much better!

Tip: Sit on an exercise ball instead of your desk chair. This will force some movement and engage your core muscles to help improve posture. This is important! Poor posture can give your brain up to 30% less blood and oxygen.
My personal comment: My co-workers thought this was odd at first, but now I’ve started a trend!

Tip: Engage your cubicle mates in afternoon calisthenics. Lead them in neck, arm and leg stretches and maybe even a few jumping jacks.
My personal comment: This seems silly, but my co-workers love this!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's February 1 - Keep your New Year's resolutions going!

It's February 1. There are those of us that succeeded in sticking to resolutions by creating new habits over the last 30 days. And, there are those of us who are not making it to the gym EVERY DAY as we promised ourselves on January 1. If you've been slacking a bit, don't give up yet! Try this:

If your resolution is to try to lose weight, don't take an all or nothing approach. Fit in a 10 minute walk when you can and make it 15 minutes next time. Try a new healthy recipe this week. Cut down to one soda per day and drink a bit more water.

If your resolution is to give back, it doesn't mean you need to take a 6-month hiatus to help rebuild a community halfway across the world. Try walking or biking versus driving when possible. Buy a fun coffee mug and re-use it instead of depleting Starbucks of their paper cups. Gather some friends and spend a few hours volunteering for a common cause.

If your resolution is to be more organized and hiring a personal assistant isn't an option, try tackling one mess at a time. Clean out your "junk drawer" and buy an organizer for it. Get a white board with different colored markers to highlight activities for each person in the household. Get an "inbox" for your household where everyone can place pertinent papers for immediate attention, such as school field trip permission slips.

Small changes over time will help you reach your ultimate goals. Break down your large goals into small tasks and tackle each one separately. Your New Year's resolutions will become day-to-day habits by Dec. 31, 2011!