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How to take good care of your body at work (you'll be much more productive)

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If you’re busy, you probably focus on what’s going on in your mind – and forget all about your body. That’s a shame, because if your body is in good condition, you’re more productive and you turn home feeling balanced. This is how you take good care of your body at work.

Eat mindfully

No matter how busy you are, eating is always a priority. If you eat mindfully, in a quiet place (never behind your desk – you deserve better than that), you recharge yourself. Pick food that brings you energy: lots of fresh vegetables, eggs, beans, nuts. Put a pitcher of water (lovely with some ice and raspberries, lemon or cucumber) on your desk, to make sure you stay hydrated. 

Let’s go outside

For many people, going for a walk is the first thing that’s crossed out on the list on a busy day. That’s while fresh air and some exercise are perfect ways to recharge. You can do it in less than fifteen minutes (which is a lot less time consuming than postponing an unpleasant chore or staring at your screen with a writer’s block). Other ways of getting a little extra exercise: take the stairs, walk up to your colleagues in stead of emailing them, go to get some groceries for later. Or, if you’re really serious about it, exercise with your colleagues. Research shows it has a miraculous effect on your motivation. 

Put the phone away

It might sound simple or stupid, but it actually works: put your phone out of arms reach. It will still allow you to take important phone calls, but you’ll reduce the endless distraction of texts. It will increase your energy level and especially your focus. 

Customize your working place

If you work at several desks, or even at multiple companies, you may not feel like adjusting your desk and chair every time. Try to invest the couple of minutes it takes to do so, because your back will thank you for it. 

Pay attention to your position

Try to look at yourself with a helicopter view: what’s your position? People who are stressed tend to have a convulsive position. If you know you tend to sit in a huddled position when you’re busy, try new positions every now and then. A simple aid like a sitting ball can be very helpful: it helps you to sit up straight. Even better: work while standing every once in a while. 

Meditate

Why not? Behind your desk, in the toilet, in the company restaurant or outside. Meditating can be done in just a few seconds. American meditation teacher davidji explains it like this. Breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold this breath for four seconds, then breathe out slowly during four seconds. Now wait for four seconds, then do it again. No matter how quick, this meditation will distract you from your busy day for a moment. Meditating even helps you to get more and better ideas. 

Text: Dorien Vrieling - Photo: Ellyot