Maintaining a healthy lifestyle while working at an architecture studio can be very challenging. This is the kind of job that requires long hours of sitting down by your desk, facing the computer screen and straining your eyes to deal with the slightest details of an architectural project. Sometimes you could forget to eat, and coffee is your best friend. You may need to stay overnight to finish your tasks before the deadline, then you would have to move to another job you had left undone, right after. This kind of lifestyle does not only lead to exhaustion; it can, also, trigger serious depression.
So, young architects, taking their first steps in practice, need to be fully aware that following a mentally and physically healthy lifestyle while working is not a luxury but a necessity. It influences productivity, product quality, creativity, and passion for work in many significant ways. This sort of lifestyle can be achieved to a great extent by following these simple guidelines. Let’s check them out.
Staying hydrated is very important for better productivity. Not getting enough fluid intake can cause fatigue and headache, as well as focus and memory problems. The most common recommendation for daily water intake is 8 glasses per day which is equivalent to 2 liters. However, you can also keep yourself hydrated by eating watery fruits and vegetables or drinking herbal teas.
You may get the help of smartphone technology to stay dehydrated, by downloading apps which remind you to drink water and keep track of your daily intake. “Water Drink Reminder” for Android and “Daily Water” for iOS are two free apps which can do the job for you.
No one can tell you to stop drinking coffee but try to go easy on it for, of course, you have noticed it is diuretic, so it does not, probably count in your daily fluid intake. Also, try to avoid soda drinks, they are a quite unhealthy substitute to coffee which could get you bloated and raise your sugar levels.
• Extra Tip: You can add to you water fresh mint or lemon slices for a bit of refreshment, or you can check for Detox water recipes. The sweet and refreshing taste will encourage you to drink more.
2.Keep a Healthy Diet
Well, for starters, you should never miss breakfast. Eating your breakfast within an hour from waking up will boost your metabolism for the day and keep from overeating at lunch. It will, also, help you stay active and focused.
As for lunch, it is always better to bring your already prepared lunch box from home than end up eating fast food which could get you bloated and lazy, and gain you unnecessary weight. Preparing a lunch box might seem like a troublesome task that needs time which you are already short on, but you can always have leftovers from dinner, or you can prepare your meals on weekends and keep them refrigerated in sealed plastic bags or boxes.
Finally, try to go for a balanced diet in all your meals for more energy and better brain functioning, as well as better immunity and night sleep. Check the following chart
One of the setbacks of working in an architecture studio is that you will sit, sit, and sit, which is not good. You will have to counteract the harms of that much sitting, by moving whenever possible.
Starting your day with exercise: jogging, cycling, or anything of the sort, will keep you active and energetic for the rest of the day. Are you not that kind of person? Well, then maybe you will need to force yourself to move. If your workplace is not too far, then wake up early enough and walk to work. You, absolutely, need to take the car? Then, park it a mile or so away from your workplace, so you will have to walk to and back from there. If neither options seem valid, then just go for a walk or a jog during your lunch break.
•Extra Tip: To keep track of your daily movement and exercise, as well as your nutrition and calorie intake, you may find smartphone apps like Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal very helpful. This is a popular free app which lets you log your meals, water intake, and exercise activities. It guides you to better food choices for a healthy diet, counts your daily steps, and helps you set fitness goals, which can be very motivating. It is available for both Android and iOS.
Since there is no way around sitting, then at least you can sit right. Fixing your sitting posture can save you a lot of harm. Choosing the right chair and sitting the right distance from the computer screen, as well as holding the mouse in a correct manner are simple things you can do to protect yourself from back pain, deformations, and weakened eyesight. Check out this animated video which explains more about the importance of sitting in the right chair with a correct posture.
When sitting in front of a computer screen, it better be within the same level as your eyes so you will not have to look upward or downward, and bend your neck uncomfortably. You, also, need to sit, at least, an arm’s length from the screen to minimize eye strain. If you can’t see from this far then zoom in or enlarge the text font. When holding the mouse or typing on the keyboard, make sure not bend your wrists in uncomfortable positions. Keep them straight.
• Extra Tip: To improve your posture, reduce stress and pressure on your back, you can practice Yoga at your work desk. There are many postures which can be done while sitting on your chair; no need to stand up or do anything that grabs the attention. Check out this helpful infographic.
5.Improve Indoor Environment
You, probably, spend most of your waking hours at your office, and staying that long in a gloomy space, with no fresh air, natural light, or pleasant views can be really depressing. So, how can you change that?
•For starters, and though this can be hard for architects sometimes, try to keep the space neat and organized.
•Let in the daylight and the fresh air whenever possible.
•Keep plants in your office, for fresh air and eye-pleasing views.
•Use an aromatic oil diffuser to maintain a pleasant and refreshing atmosphere.
•Use the right lighting and a sufficient amount of it. Don’t look onto a bright computer screen in a relatively dark room as it could hurt your eyesight.
•Personalize your space, like for example decorate your desk with a picture frame, a figure or art of your preference, and maybe some flowers. Get your own special mouse pad and a memo board for your colorful sticky notes.
•It might be a good idea if the office includes a cheery gathering space for its employees where they can have lunch together away from work space.
•A big motivation board for everyone to contribute to and leave their touch is always a good idea. When you are tired or discouraged, that board could be your savior.
Finally, stay healthy, safe, and passionate about your profession. Architecture may be demanding but remember, you’re shaping the world where everyone lives. You are creating the closest thing to magic.