The Athlete’s Healthy Office Set-Up for At Home or At Work
Now that we’re actually living in our condo more frequently (as frequently as I’ll ever live in one spot, anyway) and I finally have it somewhat organized the way I want it, I wanted to do a post about how we’ve set up our home office to be optimized for a healthy, training-friendly environment. We’re definitely weirdos when it comes to wanting stuff to be extremely healthy, but I don’t think anything we have going here is that kooky, and all of it looks pretty darn cool, for the most part. Or, at least, none of it looks excessively sporty (with the exception of the pull-up bar in the doorway, but there are more artistic ones you could install!). So, I think most of these suggestions can easily transfer to your workplace if you don’t work from home. Let’s dive in!
A Morning Yoga Practice
Hey, remember that video I posted on Friday of a super quick morning yoga routine? I’ve realized the best thing I can do for my workday is my few minutes of core and stretching in the morning right when I wake up: it perks me up, puts me in a healthier mindset, and because I am stationary (seated or standing) a lot of the day, I know I need that added movement and mobility. So even before hitting the office, I love this.
A Standing Desk
OK, duh. This is sort of an obvious one, but worth leading with. I’m a huge fan of our standing desk, but you’ll notice that we also have stools (with pretty low backs). I personally find it easier to do some work while seated, so I’m not a big fan of a standing desk without options. Standing all day is still being stationary, so I like the idea of being able to mix it up. (I built this one with pine boards and steel piping cut and threaded from Home Depot. The whole thing was around $150—and let me know in the comments if you want a DIY tutorial on it!)
PS: Trust me, the office is still a work in progress in terms of the floor/full setup. But at least the desk is in great working order!
Water and Tea, Always
I have a definite tendency to get dehydrated during the day because I will happily go for hours without drinking and without thinking about drinking. So when I am working in my office, I’ve found that if I just always have a cup of tea or water next to me—and refill it anytime I get up—I stay reasonably hydrated throughout the day.
This is a very recent addition after realized that we had literally nothing alive in our condo, let alone our office. I’m going to add more, but for now, I figured I’d start with a couple of tiny succulents, and I have to say, after just a couple days, they really do make me feel a little bit better somehow—especially since it’s still quite gloomy out. Expect more from the plant kingdom soon!
A Good Breakfast
Not actually eaten at my desk, but it is a huge part of the healthy office thing. Because I work at home a lot of the time, I have easy access to the kitchen. So eating a solid breakfast—almost always eggs with veggies and sweet potatoes plus coffee, a greens powder, and a shot of apple cider vinegar—is imperative to make sure I don’t end up sneaking into the fridge by 10AM for some junk food. It’s super easy to over-eat when the kitchen is 10 feet away, so the healthiest thing I can do is have a good start to the day! (The other note is that we don’t work over breakfast. We both will read for fun, and usually spend at least a few minutes chatting about the day. Then, we get to work.)
I’ve written before about how I love my Prospek blue-light blocking glasses because they a) help keep my eyes from wanting to fall out of my head and b) don’t make me look like a total dork while doing it. The amount of eye-strain I feel like I’ve prevented by using them, especially later in the day, is seriously impressive. (I also obviously use the Flux app and have my phone and iPad set to change to nighttime mode.)
A Pull-Up Bar
We talk about this a lot on the podcast and I mentioned it in my how-to pull-up video, but it bears repeating: I love having this pullup bar in the doorway to the office, so almost every time I go in or out, I can either do a pullup or two, or just hang for a few seconds and let my spine decompress a bit. It’s done wonders for my strength and grip, and I think it helps remind me to be active throughout the day. Sneaky strength!
When we had office expert Brandon Olin on the podcast, I asked him about treadmill desks because I desperately want one. We don’t have a ton of space, though, and he said most people don’t… But he offered a cheaper, smaller, simpler solution in the form of a stepper. This little guy is only $52, and takes up NO space. It’s not a treadmill, and yes, I would still *prefer* to have a treadmill, but with the size of our place, it’s just not the most realistic option for us at the moment. And the stepper provides a way to move for at least a few minutes out of every hour, and I can hop on when I’m not doing “heavy” work like writing articles. It’s better for phone calls/reading articles/researching/note-taking vs. deep work. (Even if you don’t work from home, I recommend one of these—they’re great for adding a few extra steps while you talk on the phone or are just reading on the computer. Really handy for days you can’t get out to walk or move around!)
What I don’t use… My Apple Watch
I used to wear my Apple Watch all the time, but I realized that during the work day, I’m actually better off without it while at my desk. If I get messages/emails/notifications, I can see most of them on this screen, so I really don’t need a vibration to warn me about them as well. I find it a lot more stressful when that’s added in, so now, I leave that in the bedroom and only wear it when leaving the house / training.
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