With the recent emphasis on mental and physical health in the media, it is time we turn our attention to our habits during the 40-odd hours we spend at work.
Not taking breaks, bad posture, skipping lunch and not moving around enough is detrimental not only for our health and well-being, but it also affects our concentration, mood, and productivity levels at work. Working longer doesn’t necessarily mean we will get more done, so it is time to start working smarter!
Whilst the idea of taking breaks to increase productivity can seem counter-intuitive, this can actually help us work more effectively. We are giving our thinking-brain a chance to rest, which allows connections and ideas to be formed.
Set an hourly timer to get up and move around (a minimum of 250 steps an hour is recommended).
Walk laps with your colleagues rather than gathering in a conference room for meetings.
Take the stairs when possible.
Alternate tasks where possible to avoid being at your computer for long periods of time.
If this is not possible, take a few minutes break every hour from using the computer.
Take frequent mini pauses by viewing something at a long distance (more than 3 metres) to rest the eyes e.g. look across the room/out of the window.
Use your lunch break to your advantage. Go outside, get some fresh air and sunlight – even if it is just for a few minutes.
Whether or not you spend a lot of time seated, ensure that you sit correctly at your desk. You should be sitting upright with your feet flat on the floor. Knees and elbows should both be at 90-degree angles and the top of your monitor should be at eye-height.