Staying Healthy While Living the Cubicle Life
For the majority of us, eight hours of our day, for five days a week, are dedicated to sitting in front of a computer monitor. Some employers are even “generous” enough to give their employees the luxury of sitting in front of dual monitors. Then to ensure that we are focused on our task, we are semi-confined to a five foot (and sometimes shorter) cubicle. Maintaining your overall health consists of three areas: mental, spiritual, physical. These three areas are usually drained once you enter your cubical. The little mental stimulation you get is from solitaire (if your employer hasn’t blocked it), physical consists of walking back and forth from the printer, and the spiritual consists of a “Thank you, God”, when your shift has ended. But there are a few ways you can keep a little life in these areas.
Yes, you can devote your lunch or break to taking a brisk walk – but there are other ways to get daily exercise in your cubical. Stretching, standing, doing light exercise (i.e. squats, calf raises, and chair lifts) can keep your body from becoming stiff. Cleaning and sanitizing your cubicle before you leave will keep germs at bay. Resting your eyes and controlling the lighting will help protect against eye strain and headaches. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is synonymous with desk jobs, so be sure to take breaks when your body gives you signs of fatigue.
There is a separation of church and state, which is understandable. If the office was to cater to one religion, then it is only fair that they cater to all religions presently practiced in the office. And honestly, there is no way management will approve that many staff holiday parties. But keeping your spiritual literature nearby, holding a healthy conversation with a co-worker that shares your same beliefs, and a few moments of silent reflection can keep the spiritual aspect alive in your cubical.
Depression is rampant among cubicle dwellers. Not speaking of manic depression which can only be controlled by medication, but depression in the sense that your whole mood changes once you step into your cubicle. The cubicle is like an imaginary cage that restricts you from doing the things you enjoy in life. The bland walls, uncomfortable office chair, and unhelpful lighting do not dispute the fact that it is somewhat a mental cage. Plants have been known to change the mood of a cubicle instantly. Pictures of family members and loved ones give inspiration to make it through the day. If possible, bring in a flameless candle with your favorite scent and keep your headphones plugged in. Studies have shown that favorable scents and music reduces an individual’s stress and tension levels.
So, until you hit the lottery, here’s to a healthy and tolerable cubicle life.