Tips for Staying Productive and Healthy at a Desk Job

If you spend a good portion of your day sitting at a desk, it can be tough to maintain healthy habits. You might feel like you’re stuck in a rut and constantly losing focus, but here are some tips that might help you!

Food is Fuel!

We checked out WebMD for insight on Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate, here are some of their recommendations:

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Sugar! Not so quick, we don’t mean processed sugar. Naturally occurring sugar like a glass of orange juice or an orange can help enhance alertness.

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Eat Breakfast! If you’re tempted to skip, think again. A bowl of high-fiber cereal can jumpstart your day and improve short-term memory and attention.

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Your co-workers might not thank you for this one, but your brain will: fish! Omega-3s and fatty acids are known for their brain-building powers. For a healthy brain and heart, eat two servings of fish each week. Allergic to fish or shellfish? That’s OK, you can get healthy oils from plant sources like leafy green vegetables, walnuts, and canola oil.

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This next one is a real treat—dark chocolate and nuts! The combination rich in vitamin E and naturally occurring caffeine will help you healthfully overcome that after lunch slump.

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Blueberries! Blueberries are great because they are very versatile, you can throw them in a morning shake, lunch-time salad, or just eat them plain as a snack. They also help your brain and may reduce effects of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

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A good night’s sleep and a healthy diet make all the difference. Experts differ on how much sleep we really need, but according to WebMD, adults should get on average 7-9 hours a night. If you feel drowsy during the day you probably haven’t had enough sleep. Learn more here: Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Get Moving!

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The typical desk job is about 8 hours of sitting, give or take a 30-minute to an hour lunch break and the occasional trip to the bathroom. Sitting for that long can be uncomfortable and unhealthy. Maintaining proper posture or having a lumbar-supported chair or standing desk may not be enough. Take a quick walk or stretch and ask a few coworkers to join you. If you have a busy schedule, you can do few simple stretches at your desk. Here are some simple stretches we found from HealthLine:

*If you are suffering from any injuries or medical conditions we recommend you consult with your doctor before taking part in any exercises below.*

Arms –

  • Overhead arm stretches from side to side or straight up will limber up the triceps and lats. Clasp hands together and face palms outward either straight above your head or side to side, spending about 10 seconds on each side.

Torso –

  • Clasp your hands together behind your back and stretch your arms out while expanding your chest and raising your chin.
  • Stretch your arms out straight in front of you while hugging your chin down into your chest.
  • Keep your feet firmly planted on the ground while facing forward and twist your body to the left while gripping your armrest. Repeat on the other side.

Legs –

  • Leg stretches are simple at your desk. Simply sit straight up and stretch your legs out as fair as possible; do some gentle leg lifts and toe flexes for an extra stretch.

Neck Stretch –

  • While sitting straight up with feet planted to the ground, gently roll your neck in clockwise, and counterclockwise motions.

Check out more stretches here!

These are just a few of the many things you can do to stay productive and be healthy in the workplace. Set a reminder to take breaks on your phone or computer. You can even download a break reminder app on your smartphone or tablet—check out a few free ones here. It may be hard to start these new habits at first, but we hope these tips point you in the right direction. Remember, eat healthy brain foods, get plenty of sleep and get moving!

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