Like so many people who work in offices, I’m often stuck at my desk for long stretches of time. I love my job, but I once threw out my back working on a particularly intense grant application that had me chained to my chair for several weeks straight. That’s just not ok!
When I learned that I was lucky enough to be switching offices this summer – to one with a WINDOW!! – I decided that it was time for a makeover.
This is my new office.
Normal enough, right? (And yes, my desk IS always that neat. I’m one of those.) I have some secret weapons, though!
First, my adjustable monitor arm.
This allows me to switch positions easily, so I’m never stuck in the same spot for hours on end. It also swivels and tilts, so I can still view it comfortably when standing (or doing squats, leg lifts, or calf raises).
Next, my balance ball.
I use this as a chair for several hours each day. I’m noticing a change in my core already, and using those muscles helps my back stay loose.
But my favorite secret weapon is my under-desk bike.
I started splitting my lunch hour and devoting 30 minutes to pedaling each day. I close the door, face the window, and read my kindle. When I open the door again, I’m happy, relaxed, and ready to face the rest of the day.
Everyone needs a pair of sneakers in the drawer, to take walks around the neighborhood when the weather is nice!
The area around my building is being completely revamped, so it’s fun to explore and see the changes in the neighborhood.
I invested in a mini fridge last fall, and it was a fantastic decision.
Not only is it convenient, it ensures that I have healthy breakfasts, lunches, and snacks ready to go at all times. I barely run to the deli across the street anymore, because it’s hard to justify when lunch is right there in the fridge. I also keep almonds and wheat crackers in my desk, for those days when I'm starving between meals.
Then, because I like to “spread the spark,” I keep track of my workouts on my white board. I usually note the current exercise streak as well.
(Admittedly, this is last week… between thunderstorms and a sick toddler, this one hasn’t been my best ever.) It’s an awesome way to get people talking about their own workouts – there are a TON of runners in my office – and to cheer each other on. Plus, I notice that when I have a good streak going AND I have it posted, I'm hesitant to break it.
It's been almost a month already, and I've been so much happier since I moved! The natural light, plants, and extra exercises all combine to melt the stress away.
I've been breaking my day up into 90 minute focused work sessions, followed by a few minutes of stretches or walking around the office, and I've noticed that it prevents me from getting derailed (since my next break is always within sight) and gives me something to look forward to (since I reward myself with a little action during those breaks).
I've noticed that I've been incredibly productive in the last month -- I'm within sight of being current on my to-do list. That just doesn't happen in my job, so it's pretty amazing!