How Staying Active at Work Can Increase Productivity

activity

Picture yourself at work. Hunched over a keyboard, clicking away on a mouse, answering the phone, or having meetings, the most moving around you are likely to do is to and from the bathroom, or the occasional standing. It is no surprise that our sedentary jobs are causing fatigue and stiffness, both mentally and physically. Fortunately, having a desk job doesn’t exclude you from experiencing more physical activity at work. Give these activities a try and you are sure to find out you feel better physically and experience higher productivity.

Time for a Mental Shift

Somehow, somewhere along the way, Americans got it into their heads that working without breaks is the sign of productivity. Not true! Working without breaks not only causes physical and mental fatigue, studies have shown that people who allow themselves to take a break are more productive than their power-through counterparts.

Use the 1 in 20 Rule

Studies have shown that the mind can only work continuously on a singular task for 20 minutes at a time before productivity begins to slow. Fortunately, it does not take a lot to reset the brain’s ability to refocus. Standing up and moving around every twenty minutes, changing positions, or walking to another office is enough to give your brain the blood flow it needs to be ready for the tasks at hand.

Stay Hydrated

On average, water represents up to 60 percent of our body weight yet many of us walk around chronically dehydrated. In addition to digestive problems, fatigue, muscle aches, and joint pain, chronic dehydration can slow productivity. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Make sure you are consuming water throughout the day in order to keep your brain firing the way it should. A good rule of thumb is to drink 1/2 of your body weight in ounces of water per day. So, if you are 150 lbs, drink at least 75 ounces of water each day.

Stretch

Stretching your muscles is a great way to keep the blood flowing to your brain. You may find that your body has a natural need to stretch when it has been stagnant too long. This does not mean you need to roll out the yoga mat by your desk and do a pigeon pose. You can stretch your arms, legs, back and neck in just a few minutes without special equipment and enjoy greater productivity for hours afterward. Try this: cross your right ankle over your left knee and gently lean forward. You should feel a good stretch in your right hip. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side. 

Don’t Forget to Breathe

We breathe thousands of times a day without even thinking about it, yet becoming aware of your breath is a great way to reduce stress, think more clearly and work better. Take deep breaths that fill your lungs by breathing in through your nose for 4 seconds, and expel all of the air out through your mouth for another 4 seconds. Then, enjoy a more productive work day.

If you are in need of an ergonomic assessment for your desk at work, contact Reneu Sport + Health today and speak to our physical therapists to learn how we can assess your work environment via pictures/email!