Staying Alert and Energized At a Desk Job
by Jon Viguerie
Tired at Work? Maybe this will help you…
We all know that working a job which mainly has you glued to a chair can have us yawning and wanting a mid-afternoon nap. I call this “the grind” because it sometimes was hard to stay alert and focused on the task at hand. What to do about this mid work day lag? I’ll get to that here in a quick minute…
A while back, I read an astonishing and eye opening book called “Get Up: Why Your Chair is Killing You and What You Can Do About It” by Dr. James Levine.
This piece of literature really changed the way that I needed to go about my day and was absolutely another key incentive in finding ways to maintain or increase my energy level while being mostly sedentary for an 8-hour period. Dr. Levine experimented with decades of tests and research in his Mayo Clinic Lab to reveal the astonishing and eye popping effects that sitting down for long periods of time has on our overall health — both body and mind. To give you a brief synopsis, Dr. Levine revealed the science behind sitting and its connections to weight gain, obesity, and diabetes. He described how sitting can cause our muscles and brain function to become sedentary, and how forced inactivity hinders young children’s learning abilities. These are at the core of the issues talked about in this profound book, and yet there is much more scientific information and many case studies that really are jaw-dropping to say the least.
So, after finishing this book I set out to change my approach to being chained to the chair and wanted to make some refinements here and there to keep me alert, energetic, and fresh throughout the 8-hour work day.
I feel that keeping things simple is the way to go, so I started implementing easy to-do, scientifically proven energy boosting hacks. These life hacks really brought beneficial energy to keep me going towards the final 3-4 hours of my work day. A few of these are somewhat out of the box techniques that I put into action throughout my day.
I’ll start with my top, go-to techniques that have not failed me, get me focused and back on track when I become aware of myself feeling low energy:
- You can actually do this one exercise sitting down. The Exercise: Hold your shoulders back and sit up tall and straight for a minimum of two minutes and be conscious of it. This is scientifically proven to release testosterone throughout your body, which will give you a nice boost of energy. The indicated technique has been used in many of Tony Robbins seminars. It’s a really cool tool to use, also being highly effective!
- Here is a second technique that I will use once or twice per day. It’s another great hack to positively change your physiology as well as give yourself an added energy boost and sense of confidence. Because we tend to slump over in our desk chairs, this is a remarkable exercise to practice daily so we can maintain a healthy mind and body. When doing this specific exercise:
- Stand up and keep a wide base
- Put your arms up in an L-shape by your sides with fingertips facing the sky
- Scale your elbows back and squeeze your trap (upper back muscles) together for 1-2 seconds, then relax your back keeping your arms in the same position as started
- Repeat this 10-15-20 times
- Another solid technique may involve you taking a 10-12 minute walk after lunch by either going outside, or if your workplace has a gym, then taking a walk on the treadmill. I suggest that if you have some extra time, try this on for size. Studies have shown that going for a brisk walk after eating helps in regulating our blood sugar levels. If your family has a history of diabetes than this exercise will help combat against this disease. An estimated 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes…that’s quite a lot. So take a page out of the book of the European culture and go for a walk after lunch to boost your energy level and keep your body fresh!
- Air squats. Yes, leg day at work…not quite though. Here is a great energy hack to boost your energy levels naturally to give you that edge to stay alert during the working hours. My suggestion would be to go to your company gym or an empty office space and knock out 15-20-30 of these bad boys! Really get nice and deep on these squats to get the blood flowing. This exercise is short, sweet, and will really be of tremendous benefit to you for the remainder of the day.
- Mediate. Stand up, go outside, sit down in a chair (if available), close your eyes, and take some deep breathes to clear out your lungs and relax your mind. Simple yet highly effective. Give yourself 3-5 minutes here. Notice the difference in your physiology? You should. Do this a couple times a day if need be.
Again, some of these techniques may seem off the wall or odd, but I have found that doing things differently yields better results. Changing our approach is a major key to transforming our lives. I feel that all of these are reasonably doable and do not take much time at all, maybe a few minutes. So, next time you become aware of that overly tired feeling, take one of these energy hacks and put it to good use. Utilizing tools that benefit you is very powerful because you are the one that has absolute, total control and that’s the key to growth and development.