Stressing Without Moving:
From time to time everyone gets fatigued at work, no matter what they do.
You don’t have to be out toiling in the fields or welding skyscrapers together.
And especially for people who sit at desks, the reasons can seem a little mysterious at times.
Well, HealthTrekker is here to the rescue! Here is a short list of many things that could be affecting you with mystery-fatigue, followed by a few solutions.
-Even if your job involves few things more physical than just sitting at a desk.
Here Are The 27 Problems:
1) You Don’t Move.
2) Sitting All Day Is Still Endurance Exercise For Your Back, Shoulders, & Legs. Even the human-statues at the park take breaks.
3) You’re Hunching, Shrugging or Holding Otherwise Bad-Posture
4) You’re Working In A Sick Office
4a) The Office Air Is Bad.
4b) The Office Surfaces Are Dirty.
4c) The Office Grows Harmful Microbes Because It’s Humid Or Damp.
4d) Chronic Exposure To Environmental-Irritants May Wear On You, Your Immune System, Or Stress You Chronically.
5) You’re Working In A Psychologically-Draining Office That Uses “Debbie Downer” Language Too Often.
6) You’re Dehydrated.
7) Your Body Nearly Shuts Down From Inactivity.
8) So Does Its Ability To Clear Emotions Physically.
9) Your Metabolism Tanks.
10) Your Blood-Chemistry Goes To Hell, With Both An Increase In LDL & Triglycerides.
11) Your Insulin-Sensitivity Goes Down & Your Body Becomes Slightly More Diabetic.
12) Your Circulation Slows Down.
13) Your Brain Gets Less Oxygen & Nutrients As Your Circulation Slows Down.
14) Your Brain Is Slower Therefore, Because It Needs 20% Of Your Energy Even Though It’s 4% Of Your Bodyweight.
15) Your Body Experiences Emotions As If Things Are Really Happening.
16) Your Body Changes Its Chemistry In Response To All Emotions & Stress.
17) Your Crappy Co-Workers Are Killing Your Brain With Excess Stress.
17a) Some low to medium-grade stress based on challenges is actually healthy & invigorating. Chronic stress with no resolution has proven time and again to be very unhealthy. Most-recently, Sandrine Thuret has shown stress to be neurotoxic.
18) Your Crappy Co-Workers Are Killing You Through Anticipation.
18a) Your body experiences emotions as if they were real, but also by Anticipating what could happen based on experience. So if you have a particularly-difficult colleague or boss, your body will start going through chemical changes before you actually have to deal with them.
19) If You’re Anxious, You Go Through These Chemical Phases More Than A Normal Person.
20) Your Office Is The Wrong Color.
21) You’re Deprived Of Natural-Spectrum Light or Sunlight.
22) You’re Exposed To Excess Blue-Light From LCD Screens.
23) Your Eyes Focus At The Same Distance All Day.
24) You Multi-Task.
24a) Ah the managerial-buzzword of just a few years ago. Well, it turns out you will be less-effective and experience an effective temporary loss of about 10 IQ points as you try to do more than 1 thing well at a time. -Which causes more stress.
25) All Of The Chronic Pains Will Add-Up.
26) So You Will Subconsciously Associate Your Workplace With Pain.
26a) Because your body & your eyes are basically “wrestling” all-day to stay in roughly the same position, the results of that tightness will build up & make you associate chronic low-grade pain with the office. You may automatically go into “Pain Mode” whenever you step through the door.
27) All Of These Effects Add Up Long-Term.
27a) Your risk of heart-disease increases by 64 percent, your quality of life decreases by 7 years, and you become more prone to other diseases as-well.
And Here Are 18 Ways To Solve Them:
1) Move Around.
1a) Take Water Breaks.
1b) Take Bathroom Breaks.
1c) Walk a few Stairs.
1d) If you can, move in some way a minimum of every 60 minutes.
1e) Do As Much Incidental or “Stage Business” Exercise As You Can
2) Stretch Your Aching Muscles!
2a) Periodically find ways to gently stretch your neck, back & shoulders to release some of the tension-pain they may be carrying and keep you from associating that in a distracting & productivity-sapping way with your workplace.
3) Walk Over To Talk With Coworkers Instead Of Emailing Them.
4) If You Drive To Work, Park Near The End Of The Lot.
5) Make Sure You Have The Best Chair For You The Company Can Afford.
6) Reset Your Workstation Ergonomics With The Tools At ErgoTron
7) Find A Way To Change & Get The Right Color(s) At Your Workstation.
7a) Red Will Give You More Energy.
7b) Blue Will Influence You To Be More Creative.
8) Take An Actual Real Lunch Break & Don’t Eat At Your Desk
8a) Do this preferably outdoors, or at a location other than your office.
9) Eat Really Healthy Food.
9a) The better you nourish yourself with all kinds of good macros, vitamins & micronutrients, the better your body’s going to be able to survive The Marathon Sit.
9b) Stay away from anything like Fast-carbs & sugars; Ie: Lots of bread, pasta, rice, sweets, etc. The bread alone on a Subway sandwich is ridiculous!
9c) The cleaner you eat, the better your blood-chemistry profile, the lower your saturated-fat intake, and the more “brain foods” you eat, the better you will be at functioning when it gets a little worse from office-induced inactivity.
10) Exercise Regularly!
10a) The fitter & stronger your body is, the more of a reserve it will have built-up to help resist the rigors of the office.
10b) Cardio: The better your circulation, the more room you will have to taper-off once you sit in one place compared to a sedentary person.
10c) Strength: Also doing office-seat specific exercises like Upright-Seated-Rows will help keep your posture in the right place.
11) Sleep Like A Champ.
11a) One way to solve the energy problem when you come in, is to be in as fantastically-rested condition and rejuvenated as you can be. Tony Schwartz agrees
12) Get A Pair of Blue-Light Blocking Computer Glasses.
13) Take Lutein To Help Your Computerized Eyes.
14) Keep Office Communications Either As Positive Or Neutral As Possible.
14a) Resist the urge to bitch in groups, because you will bring-down the whole group. If you must, try to keep it to 1 person as much as you can. Try not at all if you can help it.
15) Give Your Brain A Rest & Schedule Down-Time.
15a) Set aside some kind of time in the day when your brain is to literally do nothing. No TV, no social-media, no internet, no phone. Nothing.
15b) This is also the best time to do Mindfulness Meditation too; -which is the healthiest “nothing” your mind can do.
16) Journal &/or Write “Never Deliver” Letters.
16a) One way of dealing with the stress of some situations is to at-least write out your thoughts in-detail at home. It’s even been suggested to then either throw out the file in your computer’s trash, or print out a copy of it, take it to a fireplace and set it on fire. Watch the stress disappear…
17) Connect With Friends.
17a) One calming & healthy hormone people secrete with social closeness is Oxytocin. Connecting with people you know & care about will make the same thing happen. Even if it’s just a small note across email or social media to someone you really treasure.
18) Make Your Home Environment Ideal.
18a) Have an Oasis to go back-to & look forward to at the end of the day. Make it one where as many elements that are out-of-whack at your job are back in-whack where you live, like color, sun/full-spectrum light, air-filtration, water-filtration, etc. It can almost work like a stay-at-home retreat that charges you right back up after the office brings you down a little.
Photo Credits: “Workplace Fatality”, by Bill Dimmick
• More Coverage: HT-Sitting Is Killing You
• Source Studies:
• BioMedRed-In Vivo Spinal Posture during Upright and Reclined Sitting in an Office Chair
• MedSportsExercise-Sedentary Behaviors Increase Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Mortality in Men
• ADA-Breaks in Sedentary Time
• APAPsychNet-Blocking: a new principle of mental fatigue.
• Meditation, Restoration, & The Management of Mental Fatigue