Has this ever happened to you? You arrive at work and hit the ground running, ready to get a lot done…and by mid-shift you’re ready to crawl under your desk and take a nap. Whether you work in an office, factory, or at home, here are some tips to stay energized in your workspace.
- Get a good night’s sleep (7-8 hours) and fuel yourself up with breakfast to give yourself energy.
- Light up your workspace. Bright white light keeps you alert. Open up curtains and turn the lights high in your workspace, if you can.
- Use proper posture. It was annoying when our parents commanded us to “Stand up straight!” But they were onto something. Poor posture, such as slouching while standing or hunching over your desk, can increase your level of fatigue by the end of the workday and create neck, back, and shoulder pain. By contrast, proper posture increases your overall alertness. Here are some tips.
- If you have a desk job: Sit with your back against the back of your chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor, with hips and knees at a 90-degree angle, thighs parallel to the floor. Maintain your head and neck in a neutral position with shoulders straight and parallel to the hips.
- If you’re on your feet most of the day: Maintain your natural spinal curve. Your weight should be evenly distributed on your feet, with your knees slightly flexed and not locked. Your chest and ribs should be uplifted but not pushed inward or outward. Shoulders should be level and relaxed, away from your ears. Your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be in a straight line, and your chin should be parallel to the floor.
- Stretch your legs every hour. This also boosts energy by circulating blood throughout your body.
- Take short breaks—a 10-minute break in the morning and another in the afternoon. Taking a walk outside, doodling, etc. refreshes your body and mind, promotes relaxation, and eases stress.
- Boost energy with a snack. Avoid your energy levels slumping before and after lunch with nutritious mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. These could include mixed nuts, a boiled egg, protein bars, or cut veggies and humus.
- Avoid heavy lunches. Digesting these can cause blood to divert to your belly and your energy to flag. Foods high in sugar may also lower your energy and alertness. Keep your lunch light and healthy.
- Stay hydrated. Drink at least 8 ounces of water or another liquid such as 100% juice or tea every hour. Dehydration can sap your energy and affect your ability to concentrate.
Try these suggestions, and you’ll have energy to burn at work!