It’s not uncommon to race off to work, power through the day and focus on health after the fact. Maybe it’s squeezing in a bike ride after work or in the early morning. Or cooking a healthy late-night dinner for the family. Or spending some decompression time on the car ride home or a short meditation session before bed.
That’s all good. But how about making the eight-plus hours you grind at work a more integral part of your wellness plan? Imagine a solution to slouching in your chair as you feverishly finish a proposal. Or drinking some fresh-brewed green tea rather than eating a donut to sustain you during a long meeting. Or choosing your shoes based on how they will impact your comfort and energy level throughout the long workday.
FEET FEED A HEALTHY SPINE
Since we’re a shoe company, we’ll start with the latter. What you wear to work, especially on your feet, matters. Your feet are your platforms for posture. So when you wear a high-heel shoe, for example, with a dramatic drop from heel to toe, that does damage. That goes for fashionable narrow dress shoes that squeeze the toes or wrap the feet in an unnatural way.
The wrong shoe can quickly misalign your spine. When the most significant structural component in your body is out of whack significant amounts of time each week, you’re setting yourself up for some serious health hazards. Not only can this lead to weaknesses and tightness that will affect your workouts later in the day, sitting or standing on the wrong base could cause long-term effects that you haven’t even thought about.
There are a variety of ways to fix this. You could experiment with a standing desk for portions of your day. You could inquire about a better, more ergonomic task chair. You could look at how your current desk is setup and add in some healthier options, like a vertical ergo-mouse or elevated computer screen.
But we’d argue that what you put your feet in each day could give you a big boost as well. Lems’ design philosophy is all about giving your feet a wide toe box to allow your digits and forefoot to spread apart, and zero drop for a stable, barefoot-like stance. That wider, lower base not only allows you to move more naturally throughout your workday, but can also help encourage proper circulation and energy transfer as well.
So whether your profession requires you to sit at a desk for prolonged periods of time, alternately working at a stand-up system or staying on your feet all day, a shoe that’s shaped around your foot is worth considering. It could protect your long-term health.
2 MORE WAYS TO STAY SUSTAINED AT WORK
So what else can you do to improve wellness at the office? Here are a couple more ways you can start sustaining during the workday.
Focus on food substitutes.
Those donuts, birthday cakes and loaded leftovers are always going to be there. You can refrain better if you bring some substitutes. Green tea is a favorite because it can fill you up while delivering the kind of sustained energy (rather than a high-caffeine jolt) you need to get through the day. Use high-quality tea leaves that you can steep several times, stock up on a variety of green tea hybrid flavors to add variety and invest in an insulated steeping container that you can refill to stay hydrated.
Add a protein snack mix like nuts and dried fruit that’s easy to make ahead and keep on hand at work. Almonds, cashews, walnuts and filberts pack a healthy punch, and dried fruits like mango and tart cherries will add some extra antioxidant boosts.
Take power breaks whenever you can.
For a lot of workers, each day is different. Meeting, phone calls and deadlines change constantly. That can make it difficult to take a consistent lunch break. So instead of pining for an hour-long meal then kicking yourself when you don’t get it, build in mini breaks throughout the day — and make them count.
Pack handheld snacks that you can take with you on a 10-minute walk around the block. Take your tea tumbler with you for a meditative break outside under a tree. You don’t even have to close your eyes. Just stare into space and take in the natural sounds around you.
Slip down to your office gym for a power stair-climb on rainy days. Keep a townie bike at work and go for a 10-minute spin to get an errand done that you’d normally save until after work. Bring a yoga block and some mini weights and do some simple stretches or exercises. Believe us, your co-workers will be jealous. It might just catch on.
Part of finding healthier ways to stay sustained at work is just being mindful that they exist in the first place. Try to build in one practice at a time.
Start with some shoes that let your feet move the way they were made to; bring in some simple energy-sustaining fluids and snacks that can quickly replace office sweets; then discipline yourself to take several 10-minute power breaks throughout the day.