Start the working day in the right way

18 May 2018

How can you and your team be at your best at the start of a work day? Sure, that cup of coffee you look forward to might help you to perk up temporarily. But there are lots of healthier ways to help you become more of a morning person in the long run. Here are some quick-fire tips to consider.

1.Organise your workspace

Lots of us delve straight into work without getting our environment in order. If you work at a desk, give it a quick tidy to make sure you aren’t distracted by clutter. Otherwise, you may find your concentration waning.1,2

Also, if you make sure your chair is adjusted correctly, and everything you need is within reach, it’ll reduce the risk of straining your muscles and bones. This could help prevent troubles such as back pain, which – along with other muscle, bone and joint injuries – is a leading cause of sickness absence at work.3

Organise your work space diagram. Avoiding leaning across the desk

2. Try some desk stretches

Back and shoulder pains can be a big problem for office workers.3 Starting the day with some simple stretches could both avoid this, and help you clear your head before you begin the day’s tasks.

To see some examples of stretches you could do, read our blog about promoting desk exercises in the office.

3. Be mindful and reflective

In simple terms, mindfulness is ‘present moment awareness’. It means paying attention to what’s happening around you, and in your mind and body right now. The evidence is in its early stages, but it’s thought that there are lots of benefits to mindfulness in the workplace.4 And what better time to start practising it than when you arrive in the morning? It could help you start the day on the right foot.

Read our blog about how to create a more mindful workplace to get some inspiration.

4. See if any apps can help

There are mobile phone and tablet apps that could help you get closer to the goal of becoming a morning person. This includes apps that can help you:

  • track your sleep
  • complete a quick exercise routine in the morning
  • reduce the amount of ‘blue light’ from devices, which some experts think may interfere with sleep5

Find out how one of our colleagues at Bupa got on with some of those apps in this blog about five ways to become a morning person.

References

1. McMains Sand Kastner S. interactions of top-down and bottom-up mechanisms in human visual cortex. J Neurosci. 2011, 31 (2) 587-597; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3766-10.2011. http://www.jneurosci.org/content/31/2/587.
2. Chae B, Zhu R. Environental disorder leads to self-regulatory failure. J. Consumer Res, 2014; 40. DOI: 10.1086/674547 http://images.transcontinentalmedia.com/LAF/lacom/disorganized_environment.pdf
3. Sickness absence in the labour market: 2016. Office for National Statistics. Release date 9 March 2017. https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/labourproductivity/articles/sicknessabsenceinthelabourmarket/2016
4. The Mindfulness Initiative. Building the Case for Mindfulness in the Workplace. Published October 2016. http://themindfulnessinitiative.org.uk/images/reports/MI_Building-the-Case_v1.1_Oct16.pdf
5. Czeisler CA. Perspective: Casting light on sleep deficiency. Nature, 2013; 497, S13. doi:10.1038/497S13a. https://www.nature.com/articles/497S13a

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Not a morning person? Starting the morning the right way
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