For the past few years, I’ve offered musings on maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a student here on Primal Bites. Now that I’m a fully fledged ~adult~ working a full-time job, my story is changing. One of the biggest changes has been working in an office environment. I’m extremely fortunate that the team at SEEN is full of goobers who like to have fun, but still get shit done, so we maintain a pretty healthy and balanced office culture.
But work is work, and it’s easy to slip into bad habits that drain your creative, physical, and mental energies. So today I’m sharing three of my top tips for a healthier office experience.
1. Switch up the scenery.
The cubicle has seen its heyday– offices are moving towards open floor plans, communal workspaces, and hot desks. Since you’re no longer confined to a lil solitary 4×4 cubbyhole, move around throughout the day. Sitting in the same seat with the same line of sight for 8 hours a day 5 days a week just sounds SO dull. So I like to move between “my” desk, the two conference rooms, and the coffee shop on the street level of our office building. This helps my work feel more dynamic and wards off feelings of stagnancy.
2. Step away from the screen.
When you’ve hit a productivity or creativity wall, don’t stare at the screen. Don’t scroll through Facebook or Instagram. Don’t stare at a blank document or some confusing code just waiting for inspiration to strike or the solution to slap you in the face. Step away from the screen. Play foosball. Take a short walk. Play with the office dog (follow me on Snapchat for daily vids and pics of our office pup Drake!).
The other thing I like to do is take my work analog for a bit. I love using notecards and sticky notes to document and organize content ideas and strategy. I get to give my eyes a break and have fun with colorful stickies 🙂
3. Stand (or lean) at your desk.
Standing desks are alllll the rage (with good reason!) By nature we are not sedentary creatures– we are meant to move. More upright and engaged postures are healthier for our spines, joints, and muscles. In my case, sitting for long periods of time hurts my back and also tends to make me sleepy, so standing and leaning at my desk has been crucial during the workday to keep work flowing.
What in the world do you mean by “leaning,” Sarah??? Well let me tell ya.
The absolute #1 thing I am first to invest in is my health. So when it came time for me to start work in August, I bought myself a Focal Upright seat. Focal Upright furniture is designed to promote an active and physically engaged office experience. Their seats put you into a “third” posture in between sitting and standing, in which you’re effectively perched and leaning back on the seat while engaging your core and legs.
So far I have adored my Pivot seat by Focal Upright. I spend most of the day alternating between standing and leaning, and occasionally I fully sit down in a normal desk chair. I say this fully acknowledging the cliché, but: I don’t know where I would be without my Pivot seat.
I’ve been recovering from a lingering low back and hip injury, and my Pivot seat has forced me to improve my posture and engage my core, and consequently it has alleviated a lot of back pain and stiffness that I was experiencing while sitting down for long periods of time this past Summer. I don’t want to wax poetic about my love for Focal Upright, so if you have any questions just drop ’em in the comments below!
My Desk Set-Up
Standing desks don’t have to be expensive. There are tons of clever Ikea standing desk hacks (some affordable, some less so). Or if you’re like us at SEEN, you can just plop a shoe shelf on top of a normal desk and call it a day. I can’t take credit for this thrifty hack myself, the shelf standing desk arrangement was already there when I arrived at SEEN. Anywho, simple as that. Add a plant, some sticky notes, Sharpie finepoint pens, my trusty Moleskine notebook and Passion Planner, and we’re in business.
Disclosure: Damn right this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase a product from Focal Upright I’ll be able to take my boyfriend out for a nice dinner at Chipotle, not buy a Ferrari. I am grateful to be able to bring you tons of original content free of charge, and small affiliate commissions such as these keep my side projects like Primal Bites afloat. I will never endorse I product I would not normally use on my own (I bought my own Pivot seat), and all opinions in this article are my own.