Can Standing Desks Prevent Daytime Fatigue?

Tired and sleepy but need to work? Try some of the following easy-to-do energy uplifting practices and routines. If you make it a habit, you will increase productivity significantly.

Get up and Move

Studies show that people get energized by movement. When they stand at work or take a break from sitting to take a 10-minute brisk walk, they will increase their energy for the next two hours. Movement pumps fresh oxygen through your veins, brain, and muscles. Not only is this healthier for you, but it also makes you more productive.

What Can You Do? 

If you have a desk job, ask your boss to provide a standing desk. This will encourage you to sit less and stand more. Have short walks once at least every 60 minutes (even if just to the water cooler). Walk to your favourite diner or restaurant during lunch breaks. Use the stairs more often. If you want to be alert and refreshed, try walking around your office or in your vicinity.

Take a Nap

Experts suggest taking a nap once a day if needed. But no more than one nap, and not close to bedtime. The nap should be taken at least six hours before bedtime. If you really must take a nap close to bedtime make sure it is not more than 10 - 15 minutes. You can also close your eyes for 5 - 10 minutes if taking a nap is not your available option (see our other posts on meditation, which can also be helpful and reinvigorating). Maybe don't do this if your boss is around unless he is really understanding!

Rest Your Eyes

When you need your back to relax, you can stand and walk. In the same manner, when your eyes need to rest, you stand up, walk, and perform eye exercises. Blinking is actually a good eye exercise. Allocate at least 2 minutes for every 60-minute interval to perform conscious blinking every 5 seconds. Whenever you blink, your eyes are closed and experiences quick darkness which helps to keep your eyes fresh. Blinking also reduces eye strain. If you are in the modern office environment staring at screens and fluorescent lights all day, you could definitely use some of these exercises. 

Turn on the Lights

If your office light is dim or there is insufficient lighting during the day, it can add to that feeling of fatigue. Those unnatural fluorescent office lights do not help. Exposure to natural bright light (like new LED lights) can increase your alertness and reduce your sleepiness. Swiss neuroscientist Mirjam Muench recently released a study about the negative effects of how office lighting can sap your energy. Think about changing to LED lights since they can be very useful for your productivity levels. 

Switch Tasks

Research shows that repetitive work is as harmful as sleep loss. It lessens your alertness making you unproductive. If you feel sleepy but need to complete a task on hand, shift to a more engaging task that requires you to stand, walk or use both your hands. Return to your previous task when you are ready and alert.

Whatever technique works best for you and your health, do it. It is always beneficial to be consciously aware of your working habits. Use a standing desk to optimize productivity at work and have an easier transition from sitting to standing.