We have all been there. The case of the Monday's or just another long day. The 3 o’clock afternoon crash when our coffee has worn off and our eyes can barely stay open. The infamous ‘drag’ has begun and all we want is to do is take our cranky, fatigued suits or uniforms (pun intended) away from the office. Some of us run to the nearest coffee shop and re-fuel – until the cycle starts all over again. Despite a productive morning, the struggle begins in the afternoon crunch.
The Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, (published by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine) has released findings on a nationwide study on the relationship between workplace productivity and health. This study is one of the first to focus specifically on rates of fatigue among U.S. workers, and how they correspond to worker productivity.
The study concluded that a workplace can manage fatigue in a controlled active culture of health and well supported work environment. However between customer demands and the willingness of employees to work unconventional hours, or requests for night shifts due to work-home balance considerations, challenges are inevitable.
How do we help ourselves and each other to support a healthy work atmosphere when working hours and sleep schedules are non-negotiable?
Create accountability partners in your office! It works like this: A team of employees sign a roster or pledge allegiance to apply their best efforts for life-at-work behavior to fight fatigue. Throughout the day everyone participating briefly journals using a publicized, shared checklist of the activities they completed.
These very simple practices make a huge difference and affects everyone that works around you.
- Eat breakfast no matter what -whether you are on a diet or not, this meal is essential for everyone. Bonus: Try this green smoothie (see recipe below)
- Snack often and on healthy foods - like nuts, raisins, protein bars and fresh veggies.
There are tons of desk side snacks to choose from without a lot of sugar. Dried and fresh fruit contain natural sugars so eat in moderation.
- Drink plenty of water - coffee will never replace water and is even more of an energy booster over time and lasts longer.
- Take a break - Get out and walk! Exercise on your hour instead of going for that long sit-down lunch. If you don’t have a gym or shower at your office go to the restroom with your towel and soap at the sink. Nothing should get in the way of your fitness and well-being. Taking even a fifteen minute brisk walk can do wonders for your brain, eyes and attitude! When you return to the office smiling, the person who didn’t walk will wonder how they can feel that good in the afternoon too!
Workplace warrior- This smoothie is fast to prepare, delicious, and made with common ingredients that you probably already have in your refrigerator. It tastes great and makes you feel good – all day.
2 cups of raw Kale
2 cups raw spinach
5 stalks of celery
1 cucumber (peeled or skinned)
1 apple (any kind) I prefer (Fuji)
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 inch fresh ginger root
1 1/2 cups of water
1. Put the ingredients in your juicer
2. Pour into a travel container and go!
Be well, feel better and improve endurance at work.