You might think the perfect workday includes a promotion or a raise, or perhaps your evil boss getting fired. Sadly, such monumental events don’t happen very often.
The good news is that there are plenty of little things you can do to improve both your productivity and your happiness if you feel stuck at your desk all day.
One simple trick is to structure your time better — which includes taking more breaks. In fact, the highest performers work for 52 minutes consecutively before taking a 17-minute break, according to a recent experiment conducted by the productivity app DeskTime.
Other helpful habits are even easier to pick up: Just going outside or taking a few minutes to watch the latest cute cat video can help make you a better worker.
Sure, you might realistically not have enough time to incorporate all these suggestions in your daily routine, but every little bit helps. That’s why we’ve pulled together research and anecdotal evidence from a variety of sources to build the perfect workday.
I converted to a standing workstation over the last month. I have an update on rookie mistakes. Don’t assume that just because one stands a lot of the day, the conversion won’t mean changes. The improvement I have made is the mat. Always one to hunt for a bargain I turned to a nearby Home Depot intent on purchasing EVA Foam Flooring to ease the concrete floor more than the ancient shop pad I was using. One of the floor people kindly directed me around the end of the aisle to where the Martha Stewart Living Anti-Fatigue Western Weave Mat was located. I pulled all the mats out and bounced and stood on them and the Martha Stewart clocked in as the “cushiest” by my scientific study. For $20 it is also the easiest on the wallet.
I write this standing on the Martha Stewart Anti-Fatigue mat from Home Depot. I am very impressed with the immediate improvement. I will let you know if it doesn’t hold up. At $20 this is an upgrade that pays for itself.
While researching activity one can do at work, I stumbled across this recent article titled 20+ Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk on Mashable. I have to agree with their labeling this a favorite, it turned out to be ours as well. But the important point we took away was to review Video Sites for exercise routines and HOWTO tips about easy exercises and stretching we can incorporate into our daily work routines. We will post relevant videos we find here, send us yours!
A sweeping review of shifts in the labor force since 1960 suggests that a sizable portion of the national weight gain can be explained by decliningphysical activity during the workday. Jobs requiring moderate physical activity, which accounted for 50 percent of the labor market in 1960, have plummeted to just 20 percent.
The remaining 80 percent of jobs, the researchers report, are sedentary or require only light activity. The shift translates to an average decline of about 120 to 140 calories a day in physical activity, closely matching the nation’s steady weight gain over the past five decades, according to the report, published Wednesday in the journal PLoS One.
Walker Engineering has been beginning active work on integrating exercise and activity back into the workplace to aid in improving working and living conditions and general health of employees. As the article goes on to say
… the new emphasis on declining workplace activity also represents a major shift in thinking, and it suggests that health care professionals and others on the front lines against obesity, who for years have focused primarily on eating habits and physical activity at home and during leisure time, have missed a key contributor to America’s weight problem. The findings also put pressure on employers to step up workplace heath initiatives and pay more attention to physical activity at work.