The summertime is awesome. It’s the best time to get in shape and also the easiest time to get out of shape. Here are a few tips for taking care of yourself in the workplace.
If, like many college students, you accepted that 9-5 desk job to earn a little more cash you are undoubtedly discovering that sitting for too long can cause as much strain on the body as being on your feet for too long. Sitting for extended periods of time can cause severe lower back pain, and here’s why. When standing, the discs that make up your spinal column equally share the weight of supporting your body, which is good. But as soon as you take a seat your discs become either stretched (if you are a tall person) or compressed (if you are a short person), causing pain after a while. A good way to prevent this is to just, every hour or so, stand up, rotate your knees, do some toe touches and take a short walk to give your body a break. You also want to get your blood pumping at least a little bit throughout a long day of sitting.
Take care of neck muscles and avoid cradling the phone between your head and shoulder. Sure it feels productive to type that business email while dealing with company agents over the phone, but the reality is that using the phone this way stiffens your neck muscles, and has even been shown to have life-threatening health consequences,. It is always best to just support the receiver with your hand or, if you really must multitask, make sure to at least alternate between holding the receiver and cradling it. Need tips on caring for a stiff neck? Try here.
To avoid weight gain, steer clear of heavy junk food snacking. Eating breakfast and lunch are the most effective way to keep off the hunger. But if boredom compels to eat something, try these: slices of any type of fruit, yogurt and granola, sunflower seeds, popcorn (lightly salted), and dried fruits. Low-fat candies actually include Twizzlers, Swedish fish, sugar-free peppermints, and chewing gum (yeah not a candy, but still good!)
Finally, if you’re typing away all day, be sure to take breaks from starting at the computer screen. Look away from the computer and for about 45 seconds (or however much time you need, but not for too long!) and allow your mind to just wander and relax. When you are done then go back to the work task you have. Taking a break helps you think clearer, and gives your body a mini chance to rejuvenate.