Two facts: a healthy body is a happy body, and being healthy at work is harder than running in dry sand. Some companies have started promoting healthy workplace habits, but certainly not all. If you feel trapped in a sedentary, fluorescent-filled work cycle, here are five healthy, FREE office hacks you can do on your own.
DIY Standing Desk
Standing desks are tackling the problem of sluggish, aching office workers everywhere, but do you have to pay for one? Rather than fork over the cash for a professional standing desk or rely on management to supply a standing desk, it might be possible to adapt your current setup at no extra cost.
Use books for their true purpose—being stacked underneath laptops. Turn a small bookcase into a raised computer station, like I did here. Put your entire desk up on cinder blocks like a rusty fixer car in an unpaved driveway. You’ll feel more productive and accomplished just by building your own standing desk—remember when we used to build things, America?
Swivel in your chair while posing for a more enlightening experience.
If a standing desk isn’t a viable option for you, then doing yoga exercises in your office chair can help alleviate the pain of sitting, relieve stress and reenergize you for more work. Go here to get some ideas for easy and relaxing chair yoga poses.
Though the exercises aren’t difficult (no “pretzel” poses here), the challenge is remembering to do them! Try setting a reminder in your email calendar or on your phone to do these exercises throughout the day. If you’re really high-tech, rig your chair to vibrate or alert you with a stern vocal command to stop slouching and start stretching.
Leave at Lunch
If the temptations of work snacks, comfy chairs and internet videos are too much to handle, try leaving the building on your lunch break. At Laserfiche, we have showers so employees can pack a full workout into their lunch hour and not feel disgusting afterward.
Turn a chilly day into a team-building opportunity.
If your workplace doesn’t have showers, go for a light walk and soak in some sun. If you work in a bitter, unforgivingly cold climate, get out there anyway! Have a snowball fight or splash in puddles—anything you can do to channel your inner child is bound to make you happier.
Snack-free Desk Zone
If there is ever a bag of cheddar popcorn within ten feet of me, I will eat the entire thing. Then, when the food coma arrives I lethargically wave goodbye to the rest of the day’s responsibilities. Keeping your workspace free of snacks can prevent this type of food-borne derailment from happening.
I, too, used to keep a drawer full of rotisserie chickens.
If your office has a break room or a communal fridge, keep food there and not at your desk. When you’re hungry, try eating away from your desk, too. This will give you an excuse to get up and move around with the added benefit of keeping your personal workspace free of delicious distractions.
Call a Friend
This isn’t just useful when you’re on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire—taking a quick break to call a friend or family member from the office can change your mood for the rest of the day. These are the people who will let you vent about every little frustration, give you sincere advice and, most importantly, won’t share your secrets with your coworkers (assuming they don’t work with you).
“And then she asked for a TPS report! We don’t even USE those!”
The trick to making this a physically healthy hack, as well as a mentally therapeutic one, is doing it on your feet! Take the phone call outside or go into a room where you can stand, pace, twirl, stomp angrily . . . whatever you need to do to feel better.
Is there anything you do to feel better at work? Or perhaps you think a drawer of cooked chickens is actually the best way to drop cholesterol levels and schedule meetings simultaneously. Either way, leave a comment below!