Certain careers can have obvious risks and hazards, such as construction or manual labour, but working at a desk does not necessarily come hazard-free. Many office jobs deliver stress, bad posture and unhealthy behaviour (biscuits, anyone?).
Whether you work from home or from a desk in an office-based company, there are things you can do to make sure you are healthier and happier at work.
Clear the air
It has been found that working in an office environment can trigger occupational allergies. These are sensitivities to the carpet cleaning chemicals or the office furniture for example, which can lead to headaches and rashes. If you are not experiencing physical symptoms, do you ever feel stuffy or unmotivated after six or seven hours in the office?
You may not be able to alter the ventilation system in your office, but let yourself get some fresh air from opening a window or taking a walk on your lunch break.
Speaking of air, certain scents can improve brainpower and motivation. The smell of citrus in particular has been found to improve thinking ability, memory and lift your mood. If you are able, keep an aromatherapy dispenser on your desk. Choose to diffuse essential oils for a natural aroma, rather than candles and artificial scents.
Stop eating at your desk
It is important to have your lunch away from your desk, so that you get a proper break. Have a dedicated area for lunch where you can leave your normal environment and spend time with other people to clear the mind of the working morning.
Taking lunch away from your desk will help reset the brain for the next few hours of work. You will be more productive after a rest. Eating away from your desk also prevents you from eating mindlessly.
Display personal items
Decorating your desk with a few home comforts can reduce workplace stress and dissatisfaction. However do not go overboard, cluttering your desk can actually lead to more stress, so stick to two or three items.
Pay attention to posture
While we are becoming more aware of the dangers of sitting all day, slouching at your desk can be even more harmful to your health. Posture is important in maintaining both good health and productivity. If you are sitting up straight and tall, you will feel a sense of pride and confidence, whereas slumping in your seat can enhance feelings of tiredness.
Slouching in your chair, over a keyboard all day is also the leading cause of back pain. Try to replace your standard desk chair with an ergonomic desk chair that will support your posture.