Working at your computer can be stressful; here are several tips and tricks to help you stay energized, relaxed and productive at your work station
The latest technologies can help to make people’s life easier. But they also leave us seated at our office desks and chained us to various screens. A day full of important tasks and events can be especially stressful if you do not have the opportunity to take a full break. Here are a few simple tricks to help you relax at your computer:
Take a Break
No matter how strange it may sound, even a 20-second break will help you relax a bit while maintaining your productivity. It may seem that full concentration on a task will help you to finish it faster, but studies show that after forty minutes, the level of attention can be significantly reduced. To avoid this, use the ‘3×20’ rule:
Every twenty minutes, look intently at a point twenty feet away from you for twenty seconds.
This simple exercise will refresh your eyes, renew your mental focus and help you stay productive all day, especially when doing monotonous work.
Another way to relax at your computer is to use visualization. If you feel that stress interferes with your work, try to calm your nervous system. You may not be able to physically go to your ‘safe place’, but you can take a virtual trip. Imagine this place, feel the new environment — the sound of water or wind, the warmth on your skin. Smile at the new sensations and then, after a couple of minutes, return to your duties. This switching between conditions and places will allow you to calm down and reduce stress during the workday.
Often work at a computer makes us passive and laggard. Moreover, we often experience excessive fatigue or headache in the middle of the day. This may be due to incorrect screen positioning, body position at the table, or lack of water. Studies have shown that insufficient hydration of the body can lead to unpleasant consequences: headaches, increased fatigue, and irritability. Keep track of how much water you drink. Besides, a walk to the cooler is a great wy to move the body during a sedentary job.
One of the most popular ways to reduce stress is to take a deep breath.
Apply some of theseseveral breathing techniques. Remember, it is important to breathe correctly; it is also useful to combine this with visualization. Take a deep, deep breath, imagining how the air fills your lungs and penetrates deeper into the stomach. You can even push out your stomach for clarity. And then exhale, releasing air from the lungs. Repeat three times and return to work relaxed. Focusing on simple respiratory movements makes it possible to relieve a particularly acute stress state for a while.
Examine Your Workplace
Tension in the neck, shoulders, and eyes are frequent complaints by office workers. One of the main reasons is a poorly organized workplace. Check that your computer desk is fully suited to your needs by assessing its size and location. If possible, do not sit near the window to avoid glare on your screen. Or turn the monitor in such a way as to protect it from reflections from the window.
Your computer chair should also be comfortable and ergonomic. There is no need for strict adherence to the anatomical features of the body, but a supportive back and soft comfortable sitting are preferable. Make sure that the height of the chair matches your height and the height of your table/desk.
It’s also beneficial to stand at your workplace for part of the day.
If you don’t have a sit/stand elevating desk, there are many brands of risers that can be placed on the desktop and will easily elevate your computer and keyboard to standing height, so that you can switch back and forth between standing and sitting during your workday.
If you’re inclined to engage in computer games to relax during your work break, try taking your eyes off the screen and look at your desk, instead. Reorganizing and restoring order on your desk is also an excellent relaxing technique. Take non-essential items to the recycle bin, then sort papers, notes, pens, paper clips, and other stationery. A short respite of ‘desk cleaning’ will become more physically activating if you do it standing up.
Do Some Exercises to Relax the Muscles
The easiest and best way to relax your muscles after a long time sitting is to take a short walk. You can get up every hour to make a small circle around your office or do it at other time intervals. But if the walk is not possible for you, or if you are waiting for a call or have an important Skype conference, find other ways.
For example, simply standing by your desk and bending down toward your toes to stretch your back and hamstrings can work wonders.
You can even do a few yoga postures, such as sun salutations to stretch and activate the muscles.
Another technique is to use anti-stress toys that need to be squeezed and unclenched in the palms of your hands. Through this exercise, you will train your hands — not only your palms, but all of your arm muscles. You can also try gymnastics for the eyes by turning them without turning your head. Then turn your head to stretch and relax your neck.
If you sit a lot, you need to know how to correctly relax the muscles of your legs. Start with your toes by sliding them in your shoes and then raising and lowering them. Next, spin your ankles around in different directions then stretch both legs above the floor and bend alternately left and right. This series of stretches can be repeated several times during the day.
To relax your back muscles, sit back, bending as much as possible. Raise your hands up to stretch them even higher. Spread your shoulders and rotate them while lowering your arms along the body. Then try to sit straight for a few seconds and relax. Repeat this exercise three to five times.
There are many simple and beneficial ways to relax at your desk and avoid the physical complications of long spells in front of a screen. Taking breaks and practicing exercises like these will help you maintain your concentration and productivity throughout the working day.
You may also enjoy reading Office Break: 7 Minute Yoga You Can Do at Your Desk, by Menna Olvera-Feder