Staying Active when at your Desk

My Tips on How to Stay Active at your DESK!!!!
 HI all, how is everyone??? I hope you are all doing well and having a great Monday morning, afternoon or evening wherever you are in the world. One of my new goals/ habits was to create a more effective working space that was not my bed or the floor, as working while cosied up in my duvet was great. I even spent the entire working on my bed, which was not great for my back or neck. In Pakistan, I would write my notes, check papers etc. sitting on the floor with my back to the wall or bed in my aunt’s room, as I was killing two birds with one stone, doing my work and giving company to my elderly aunt. 

“Tech Neck/ Camel Neck”

Tech neck, that horrible bump you see to develop at the back of your neck when you do not sit upright and spend hours with our head lowered towards our laptop and mobile devices. If you are like me and do not have a long swan-like neck, you would also try to avoid the ‘tech neck’ at all costs too. With COVID 19 and online home-schooling, you will have noticed your kids, younger siblings, cousins with their neck lowered to their devices that might give you the boost to tackle the neck situation. There are a ton of YouTube videos showing how to improve posture, reduce the tech neck. Exercises do work consistency is KEY. Make changes to your desk set up and other tiny tweaks that will improve your health. Below are my tips on how I stay active at my desk, at the end are some links to videos and other exercises you can do at your desk.

1.Take Timed Breaks and Do a Mini Workout

When I was still working in my office and busy typing away. I would make sure to stand up and move around my office every hour. So when an hour passed I would get up and do 20 squats, YOUR HEARD ME PEOPLE, 20 SQUATS. The next hour passed and then maybe do a plank or a stretch. As an educator, I knew that attention span lasts around 45 minutes, then minds wander around. The same is true for your muscles, sitting or standing in one position for a period your back starts to ache or neck strain. SO give yourself timed breaks, while on the laptop and move your body, for like a few minutes, and just stretch, take a deep breath walk to your kitchen and back.

2. Improve your SLEEP, invest in a silk/satin PILLOWCASE

For a healthy body and mind, you need good quality sleep. I am a very light sleeper and a toss and turn a lot resulting in not enough sleep, and low energy in the morning and drinking large cups of coffee will lift it. After reading review after review, I got myself a satin pillowcase (it 100% polyester). OMG, it’s been like two days of sleeping on it; I’ve had the best sleep in years, I get my full eight hours in, I am fresh as a daisy and in a great mood. Other benefits of satin pillowcases are your skin and hair are less dehydrated as satin does not absorb so much moisture like cotton pillowcases, making your hair less frizzy, who does not want frizz-free hair? I KNOW I DO!!!!

3. Take care of your EYES!!!!

We have our faces towards a screen around 90% of the time. This behaviour affects not only our back and neck but also our eyes. The constant looking at our screen is immense. I have taken some measures to prevent and treat eye strain.
  1. Keep my phone away from my desk, so I do not have the temptation to check my Instagram or take a selfie.
  2. During my timed breaks from my laptop, I look at my window or watch something from a distance.
  3. Close my eyes keep them closed for 20 seconds and then get back to work.
  4. Perform eye stretches, like rolling them from left to right, then reverse, then up and down and reverse.
  5. I have propped my laptop on top of a sturdy box, making me eye level with the laptop camera. A great tip for when you are on your next zoom/Teams call (you are supposed to look at the camera instead of the person on the screen as from their point of you it will seem you are looking directly at them).
My desk space and using my HGD box to rasie laptop to eyelevel

6. Before bed, I stop using my phone at least an hour before I sleep, and instead read a chapter from my book.

I hope these tips inspire you to make similar changes that will improve your health and mood while working at your desk!!!!. Below are the links to more exercises, stretches and yoga while at your desk.