(Yes, we realize the irony of publishing a piece on unhealthy desk habits that was typed out by a writer hunched over a laptop at a desk )
Ramzan is the month of good habits and new beginnings – might as well use that as a motivation to break yourself of some bad work desk habits! Here are a few that most of us are guilty of:
Desk Lunches / Snacks
While this may not be pertinent during Ramzan, eating at your desk remains one of the most common bad habits in professionals young and old. Remember: your brain requires frequent breaks to remain productive and efficient. Research has also shown the diminishing returns of multi-tasking (spoiler alert: it’s actually inefficient!) so you’re not really doing anyone a favour by munching at your desk.
Everyone knows bad posture causes neck and back pain, it makes you slouch (which never looks pretty) and is known to negatively impact your mood. Why, then, does everyone still end up doing it? There are two main reasons behind it – poor lumbar support and:
Sitting Too Long.
Much has been said about the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle, one that is exemplified best by the 8 hour-a-day desk job. Sitting long hours without a break can cause your body to inadvertently slouch and develop bad posture. It also increases your chances of getting diabetes or heart disease. Probably a good idea not to sit at your desk all day then, eh?
A great way to break this bad habit is to employ the help of a co-worker to remind you to take frequent breaks and vice versa. Not only does this give you a timely, organic reminder to move your body every once in awhile, but you get to help another person break this dangerous habit!
No, don’t attempt to deny it. We all know your workstation is more cluttered than that one sofa you put some clothes on one weekend and has now become a makeshift closet. Clutter leads to distractions, reduced productivity and increased stress. Sounds stressful, doesn’t it?
Beat the stress – de-clutter your desk at least once a month. Trust us, you’ll be better off for it.
Staring at That Screen Too Intently
Get frequent headaches or eye strain? That’s your body telling you to stop staring at that backlit screen for too long! Our eyes need to frequently stare at things at various distances to keep their muscles from tensing and causing strain and headaches.
It’s tough remembering to take a few moments to relax the eyes when you’re in the middle of work, but there’s a solution! There’s a fantastic little online tool call EyeLeo, which reminds you to take a few seconds break every 15 minutes and a longer one every 60 minutes. We’ve been using it for years and it’s helped us immensely!
Drinking Too Much Coffee / Tea
You do know tea and coffee are not water? Yet we insist on consuming copious amounts of it during an average workday (especially if your office has a service team to get said beverages to your desk). Remember: These liquids are NOT a replacement for water and can result in mild dehydration and other health issues.
Using coffee as a primary source of energy instead of, say, a healthy breakfast, is also a big NO. In summary: Drink more water. Any maybe have some breakfast.