Quick Tips to Improve Energy Levels at Work

Feeling low in energy? It’s a common problem for all of us that have sedentary office jobs.  As we age, it is also normal to experience more fatigue than in younger years. Juggling multiple schedules, children and other responsibilities also sap any energy reserves. Others may struggle with lifelong conditions such as fibromyalgia, seasonal affective disorder, or chronic fatigue syndrome.

Here are a few tips to improve energy, mood, and productivity at work:

#1. Stop drinking coffee all day long.  Drinking coffee can be a vicious cycle.  Drinking coffee when you’re tired may make it difficult to sleep, thus making you tired the next day.  The maximum recommendation for caffeine is 400 mg/day, which is about 2 cups of coffee.  If you start your day with coffee, try to keep a box of decaffeinated tea/coffee at work to have in the afternoon. Caffeine doesn’t replace a good night of sleep. That brings us to point number two… J

#2. Try to get ~8 hours of sleep. “Enough sleep” differs from person to person. Research has shown that people who go multiple days with insufficient sleep tend to increase their food intake as a physiological adaptation to get more energy! Some people don’t have the luxury of a regular sleep schedule, such as shift workers (hello fire fighters, police officers, and nurses!). If this applies to you, try to get ~8 hours of sleep within a 24-hour timeframe from short/long naps.

#3. Eat every 3-4 hours. Going long periods of time without food can result in low blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling tired and light-headed. It’s easier to focus after you have had a snack. Keep convenient fruit (i.e. apples, oranges, bananas) with nuts or granola bars in your office for those hectic days when you can’t step away from your desk.  Making sure that you have enough food, and a proper balance at all meals is also very important.

#4.Take a break! In the famous words of Kit-Kat bar commercials, take a break!  Short, regular breaks help manage your physical and mental health.  Research has shown that taking regular breaks at work may actually boost performance and motivation, especially during tedious tasks or stressful project deadlines.  There are apps that you can use to alert you when to take a break or set a timer on your computer to take a short 5-10 minute break every hour.

#5. Natural lighting. If you’re close to a window, take advantage of it! Natural light can help us to feel more awake at work.

We spend much of our time at work, finding ways to feel your best while you're there, may require a bit of tweaking, but well-worth some attention!