Author: Kara Schuft, PT, DPT: Doctor of Physical Therapy, Business owner, and Blog Contributor. Specializing in chronic pain, pelvic health and peripartum care. Passionate about health literacy and conversation around our changing bodies throughout the lifespan. Learn more about Kara here.
Having a desk job will naturally keep you from moving about in a natural fashion. The less you are active, the more you will experience fatigue and stiffness, both mentally and physically. Taking the time to move around and create a more comfortable environment for yourself may seem like wasted time, but your productivity will actually increase if you trust yourself to perform. Here are just a few of the activities that you must take the time to perform routinely in order to keep your blood flowing and your productivity high in the office.
Change Your Mentality
You must first break yourself of the mentality that says working without breaks is the most productive schedule that you can make for yourself. As a matter of fact, this is not true! Staying active will allow you to work more quickly, meaning that you can actually spend less time on work and accomplish more.
Break Every 20 Minutes
That's right: You should get up to break from your job at least three times per hour. 20 minutes is just crossing the limit of the mind's ability to work in a continuous manner. If you continue to work beyond this point without giving the brain the extra blood that it needs, you will slow your productivity. This is a physical reality, not a mental trick, so do not think that you can somehow will yourself to work faster. Take the breaks.
Exercise At Least 30 Minutes Per Day
Exercising at least half an hour per day will help the body get started. You should try to take this extended exercise break at a different time each day so that you can surprise your body into a higher mode of productivity. However, if lunch is the only time that you can get this done, then take it at lunch. Use that time for a brisk walk outside, and make sure that your lunch is healthy.
Alongside blood, water is the most important element of productivity that you can give yourself to keep your productivity high. You do not have to worry about water with electrolytes or any special treatment other than purification. However, making sure that your body always has enough water is a physical reality, not a mental trick, and depriving yourself is doing you no favors. Take the time to ensure that you have the proper hydration to keep blood flowing to your brain and your joints loose.
Another way to keep your blood flowing is to stretch whenever you feel the urge. The body naturally gives you the feeling that you should stretch when it is feeling cloistered, and that means that blood is not moving as well as it should. The great thing about stretching is that you do not have to take a huge break to do it; the most that you may have to deal with is looking a bit weird at your desk. However, your productivity will speak volumes when it comes to your employee review, so do not worry about what people think of your looks.
Breathing deeply helps to reduce the amount of stress that you feel. You will be able to think more clearly, and you will also work faster. Stress is not a productivity inducer for most people, regardless of how you think you perform under pressure.
Move Your Muscles
Finally, move your muscles constantly throughout the day, and take special pains to take a challenging class such as yoga or zumba. If you are improving your body, you cannot stay stagnant.