HydrationMost people don’t drink enough water. The “eight glasses a day” recommendation is a myth, but people who are dehydrated perform far worse on many cognitive tests than those who are fully hydrated. Remember, contrary to popular opinion, caffeinated drinks will hydrate you, although not as well as a good old glass of water.
Repetition and postureUsing a keyboard and mouse can lead to all kinds of problems, from repetitive strain injury to arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders. Being hunched over all day and travelling to work with a big rucksack can also impact your posture.
Screen TimeThe average City worker spends 11 hours a day using digital devices, including computers, phones, iPads and TVs, and by 2020 the average worker will use six connected devices to access their work, all of which can increase your chances of eye strain, headaches, migraines and insomnia.
Mental StressThen, on top of all these physical maladies, there’s the mental stress of having a job in the City: long hours, differences of opinion, unhappiness about your career, high workloads, poor time management. These things all create anxiety, which can lead to depression. Every single one of my City clients has had some sort of work-based anxiety at one stage or another. Awareness is the key to change. In order to tackle some of the above disruptors, you need to be aware of how they affect you. Ask yourself some questions about your working day: how long do you sit without getting up? How many calories per day are you consuming and what foods are you eating? How many litres of water per day do you have? How many hours of work do you do in a week? Do you enjoy your job? How do you sleep? Do you suffer from anxiety and what triggers it? Once you have worked out the problem areas, you can start to make small changes. For every two hours’ work, have a break and move for 10 minutes. You could take a walk to the water fountain to hydrate yourself, killing two birds with one stone. The key is to create a habit of physical activity. Try setting a reminder when your next ‘walk break’ is due.
Nutrition is all about awareness, too. Track what you eat, right down to the sneaky biscuit you pinched from the kitchen. Enter them into a diet tracker app and you’ll see if you’re over-eating. Pay attention to alcohol consumption, too, as this can easily lead to over-consumption. In the longer term, try bringing in your own packed lunches and refraining from snacking throughout the day.