For a gentler work day:
– Work in some workouts at work: If you’re like me and make your living sitting at a computer all day, I’m sure you’ve been properly scared by all the research that shows regardless the exercise we get in, the act of sitting for basically 8 hours straight is deteriorating to our health. To combat this, I try to (covertly) do a few squats or wall push-ups in a corner of the office throughout the day (when my outfit allows). I also purposefully choose the smallest glass in our kitchen so I have to get up frequently to refill it from the cooler (also a good time for a quick squat). I’m particularly bad at moving around once I’m in a groove, though, so I sometimes run this this app on my computer—it’s not the prettiest, but it gets the job done by allowing you to program regular breaks (of the 10-minute variety) and microbreaks (15 seconds, meant to remind you to look away from your computer screen) throughout the day.
– Check your lighting situation: If you can avoid overhead fluorescent lights, you’re exceptionally lucky. If you can’t, see about getting a lamp at your desk to provide a softer glow that can block the retina-burning blaze of the ceiling lights. My office situation won’t allow for that, so I downloaded f.lux, which uses your location to adjust the lighting of your screen based on the amount of daylight present, minimizing the awful blue light emanating from your computer that messes with your system (and sleep cycles!).
– Keep moving: Depending on where you live and where you work, try to make more of your commute dependent on your own two feet, especially if you sit all day. Walking to and from work, or to a further subway stop or parking spot, gives you more time to get into work mode before work or decompress after, to get in some fresh air, and to get your blood circulating.
– Guard your calendar: If you have jam-packed days, schedule in some “you time” throughout, especially when back-to-back meetings rear their head. No one’s day is made any better if you’re grumpy, so having time to pop out for a walk or lunch or just to use the bathroom will make your work day ever so much nicer.
Thanks again, J! What are some things you do for a gentler work day?