For most folks in Canada and the USA, The first Monday of September is an important date as it commemorates the hard work of generations before us, people who had to fight for adequate working conditions and who ultimately helped create the working conditions of our modern times.
Both celebrated in the United States and Canada, the first labour day Holiday took place on September 5, 1882, in New York City, as a recognition and celebration of the labor movement and its workers.
While this holiday is highly anticipated for most, you shouldn't wait for a “day off” to reflect on your work environment in regards to your health and wellbeing. Health should be celebrated and incorporated into your workdays all year long.
At Ergonofis, your work schedule is flexible, you have access to natural light and an environment filled with plants and adjustable desks. Yoga and postural classes are offered and the team spirit and cooperation status are at all times high. While this reality is far from the norm, for folks working in corporate offices and in enclosed spaces, there are still some ways to create healthy working habits and ensure optimal performance and heightened energy all year long.
1- Move around
This tip is usually widely known and acknowledged, moving your body is extremely important, especially at a desk job. Our bodies aren't made to stay in a single position all day long.
- Stand up and stretch while your web page is loading
- If you need to get on a call with a colleague, use your headphones and go for a little walk around the office
- If you need to go to another floor use the stairs instead of the elevator.
These tips might seem trivial but trust me, they really do add up! In the best-case scenario, your employer encourages or even covers the costs of an ergonomic desk. These desks allow one to alternate between standing and seated work while providing a tailored adjustment to your body’s specific height. The research around the health benefits of ergonomic desks are overwhelming, more on ergonomic desks here.
2- Make the most of your lunch break
If you can get outside, do it. Getting some fresh air, sun rays in your eyes and a change of scenery might be exactly what you need. Working outside or simply getting some fresh air in between meetings or on lunch breaks have been shown to reduce stress, lead to more creative ideas and a general increase in concentration. Getting some natural light is a game-changer in maintaining a healthy circadian rhythm. Incorporating a workout during your lunch break is also an incredible idea if you have a facility near you and can plan your lunch accordingly! Go for a dance class, a spin class or even a yoga class! Get your body moving in different ways while increasing blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Guaranteed you’ll feel energized for the rest of the day!
3- Get off the blood sugar rollercoaster
Make sure your breakfasts and lunches are full of healthy fats and protein in order to optimize cognitive functions and maintain stable blood sugar all day long. Starting your day with carbs or grabbing a coffee on the run with a pastry is not breakfast. That’s a guaranteed crash in energy, mood and everything else for the rest of the day. All your energy should be directed at your work, not in digestion or in trying to balance blood sugar. Work with your body to get the best results, not against it. That might mean a little extra work on the weekends to meal prep or stopping and realizing what you're about to mindlessly stuff in your mouth while “in work mode”. Aim for a high-fat high protein breakfast which should easily hold off hunger at least until lunchtime. stabilizing blood sugar means less mindless snacking, more energy, and less time thinking about eating and more time focused on the tasks at hand!
4- Go green
Most office spaces are devoid of natural light and are usually riddled with chemicals from toxic cleaning products and dirty airing systems. While you can’t control all these factors you can make sure your personal workspace is a green heaven. Ensure your hand cream, soap and perfumes are 100% natural in order to minimize your direct exposure to chemicals. If you're going to use products to clean your desk, use all-natural cleaners such as this company. Purify your office air with indoor plants such as Spider plants, snake plants or Aloe vera plants. Ditch toxic candles and especially air fresheners. Opt for natural beeswax candles which release negative ions into the air and bind and eliminate toxins. Get an essential oil diffuser and choose a scent which clarifies your mind and makes your workspace more peaceful.
Take away any distractions from your desk and/or elements which make it look too busy. keep the minimal and switch up the placement of things. When it comes to work and your personal space, changes and new things can lead to inspiration and energetic shifts.