Health & Wellness Articles

Energy Boosts at Work

Stay Alert All Day, Every Day

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You see the computer screen, but you really don’t. It’s more like a two-foot blur. Your eyes are between open and closed, although you’re not sure where. At the moment, you have no idea what you’re working on. And it’s only 3 p.m. Sound familiar? Is this a typical afternoon or morning? Are you looking for an energy boost at your desk? Office life can suck the energy right out of you, if you let it. But, there are numerous ways to take advantage of your workspace and stay energetic all day.

Did you realize bad posture alone can give your brain up to 30% less blood and oxygen? Along with good posture, the most effective way to fight energy lulls is with heavy doses of good stretching and good breathing. Shoot for five minutes of mental or physical activity per hour, every hour at the computer.

Here are more, different ideas for rejuvenating your mind and body. Each will only take a few minutes.
  • Go to the staircase and step up and down the bottom step, like in step aerobics.
  • Massage your head and shoulders. Find trigger points of tension in the shoulders and base of the skull. Hold pressure for 6-10 seconds. Don’t forget your face and jaw.
  • Take two steps back from your desk and lean forward until you’re at an angled push-up position against the edge of your desk. Do a couple quick sets.
  • Lift 1-3 packs of printer paper in each hand. Curl them like weights or lift them over your head.
  • Close your door and shadow box. Imagining a stressor while you’re punching will increase your energy, guaranteed.
  • Jumping jacks. Simple, quick and pumps you up.
  • Squeeze a stress ball. Relieves stress while strengthening forearms and wrists for typing.
  • Try word puzzles. Keep a jigsaw puzzle in your office.
  • Switch hands with whatever you’re doing.
  • Stand perfectly still for two minutes. Regroup.
  • When you first arrive at work, take as long as possible before sitting down.
  • Forget the boardroom. Hold walking meetings.
  • Hand-deliver mail, memos and faxes.
  • Chat face-to-face instead of by e-mail or phone.
  • Use a bathroom on the other side of the building or another floor.
  • Have a lot of phone time? Buy a cordless and move around while talking. Continued ›
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About The Author

Mike Kramer Mike Kramer
As a writer and artist, Mike has witnessed countless motivational stories and techniques. See all of Mike's articles.

Member Comments

  • Good to have a mental break too. I work 10 hour days at a desk, and I found that walking on all my breaks (two 15s and 20 minutes of my 30 minute lunch) helps TREMENDOUSLY as well. - 7/25/2014 9:27:50 AM
  • Multitasking Mover and Mindful Master. Kinda makes sense. - 4/22/2014 4:49:38 PM
  • Don't work. Great article. - 7/29/2013 7:08:23 AM
  • Good practical advice; however, the lead-in quip to article mentioned those who stand on [their] feet all day yet there was no mention of how to deal with that. - 4/23/2013 11:13:48 PM
  • I sat up straight while reading the article! I work from home usually, and slouching is a bad habit I need to break. - 4/23/2013 1:16:39 PM
  • Quick, easy, useful recommendations. Thank you! - 4/23/2013 1:03:34 PM
  • Everything sounded great except the walking meeting. However a brainstormning meeting with two or three people may be great. It's just hard to take notes when you're walking. Maybe I will try it with one person on my team, we'll call it action research. - 4/23/2011 2:46:02 PM
  • This is the reminder I needed! I have been snacking (started with the bad stuff - junk - have moved onto healthier items - edamame, rice cakes - but still snacking in order to stay awake is not a good habit) and drinking tons of coke zeros... next week will bring a fresh start. - 4/21/2011 8:09:45 PM
  • AMANDA-RAE3
    I work retail. In the event that I have a lunch break, I've started walking around the mall, or during my fifteen, I do some moderate stretching in the breakroom. When we're slow of an evening I get on the sales floor, walk, greet customers (your boss will love that), and clean the cases (I work in the jewelry department). I don't hit the vending machines on my breaks and instead chug water and eat an orange or protein bar I carry in my purse. - 4/21/2011 6:45:07 PM
  • These sound great for those in an office, but not all of us do. I work in retail. I'm walking around all the time. I sit maybe 10 minutes in 6 hours. What about us? What is there for us to do to keep our minds focused? - 4/21/2011 2:58:55 PM
  • You'd think with no job it would be easier for me to do the stuff I need to at my desk...but ...NO.... luckily I work out in the basement but I would like to do both - 4/21/2011 10:52:59 AM
  • I am guilty of this. I am a teacher and most of my day is spent trying to get students to focus and do their work at a table. I will try to have them move more! - 4/21/2011 7:33:42 AM
  • GORDONG2
    Why not try a scientifically proven nutraceutical like neurapex (www.neurapex.com
    )? It will help keep you focused and, when you're focused 'time flies' ... which means the office hours pass more quickly!!! - 4/21/2011 7:22:09 AM
  • OUTDOORSDC
    Another great article. Taking breaks at work is so important, but sometimes so hard to do. - 4/21/2011 7:19:02 AM
  • I'm a teacher and I just went to a seminar on "Teaching with the Brain in Mind." It is amazing how much simply moving or playing upbeat music can refocus adults as well as students. The whole seminar was based on Brain-based research and I'm sure it is available to hand to a stubborn employer. Unfortunately, some employers don't understand or don't care. Too bad we couldn't convince them to do a productivity study in the office. LOL - 4/27/2010 2:28:49 PM