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Avoid an Afternoon Crash by Staying Active at Work

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By Brian Farris   |    December 20, 2021   |    8:50 PM

How to Avoid the Dreaded Afternoon Slump

Lunch is over, the afternoon is dragging on, and 5 p.m. feels like a pipe dream. Our first instinct is to trudge through the remainder of the day, like a battle-worn warrior of productivity.

But, if you want to stay focused all day, add activity into your work routine.

Soldiering through your afternoon projects with minimal energy isn’t going to help your productivity or your sanity. Instead of reaching for energy drinks or taking a nap, try these tips for maintaining your energy and destroying that 2:30 feeling.

Set a timer to remind yourself to move around

This might be the most important tip for staying active at work. Every hack in the world won’t be helpful when you’re overwhelmed with everyday tasks. Setting automatic reminders takes the guesswork out of staying active.

When you’re slouched over another project in the afternoon, a previously scheduled email or calendar reminder can provide a helpful trigger to prompt some desk stretching or a quick walk to the water cooler.

Stay active at your desk by stretching

You could do jumping jacks, but not everyone feels comfortable busting a move in front of the entire office. Thankfully there are plenty of discrete ways to stay active at your desk.

Regular stretching can help sitting-induced back pain and make you feel more alert. Shoulder shrugs, seated leg raises, and spinal twists are only a few options. Desk stretching is subtle and often offers immediate relief.

Reorganize your office space

If you alter the way your workspace is structured, you automatically add more activity into your workday.

Reorganize your office to be less convenient by keeping supplies in a separate area, or by moving your printer across the room. The act of getting up and moving around will help keep you alert.

Posture is paramount

Sometimes, it’s difficult to resist the urge to melt into our chairs. But, slumping over isn’t going to help you stay awake and attentive.

It’s easy to forget to sit up straight, but remember our first tip? Try setting an alarm reminder on your phone or putting a post-it on your monitor. This quick fix can give you an easy reminder to fix your posture.

Look into alternate desk options

Desk chair alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. Standing desks, yoga stability balls for chairs, and treadmill walking desks are all options.

With stability balls and other alternative seating options, the idea is to sit actively. When you’re forced to use your core to sit, abdominal muscles stay active and less pressure is put on the spine. You don’t have to use these contraptions all day, either.

Keeping your body active helps your mind focus

However you choose to stay alert at the office, remember that fostering an active body is one of the most successful ways to keep your mind moving, too. Especially when you have a to-do list the size of a novel and you’re praying for 5 p.m.

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