This month is all about how you can make adjustments to your work environment, whether that’s at home or in an office, so that it better matches what you as a human being need to thrive. For week one, we’re going to be looking at natural lighting, and how to biohack your way to getting more of it in your working day.
Take a break
We know that natural lighting affects our mood and circadian rhythm. And we need access to a lot of it to get the full benefits. However, those of us who work inside won’t necessarily get that. Now, the obvious thing to do is take little breaks simply to look out the window. This is something that I do often, just let my eyes wander across the landscape before returning to my desk or the task at hand.
There is some useful technology that can simulate natural lighting; tools that have actually been around for quite a while. Like SAD lamps, for example, which sit on your desk or bedside table. And these help you to wake up in the morning or feel more energised. SAD stands for seasonal affective disorder, a condition that causes sadness or depression. This usually occurs during the winter months, when days are shorter, and has various symptoms from chronic fatigue to weight gain.
Another useful gadget is the Human Charger, which unfortunately is no longer available to purchase new, though you can still pick one up on various second-hand marketplaces, though. It has little earbuds and a handheld device, which gives a 12-minute dose of UV-free, blue-enriched white light. And this works because the company that made the Human Charger realised light can also enter the brain through our ear canals.
Control what you can
So, a few different methods for increasing your access to natural lighting straight away. Take little breaks, which we will talk about more in this series, and look out the window or towards – not directly at – the sun. Alternatively, there are a number of gadgets out there that simulate natural light, helping you to feel recharged.
Natural light is an essential part of daily life. If your workplace doesn’t have enough, campaign for things like Human Chargers or SAD lamps. You could also request to move your desk closer to a window, or encourage your employer to consider letting more natural light into the office. But ultimately, control what you can control. You will be able to get up and access natural light throughout the day, so focus on what you can achieve in the short term first.
Check out our free posture guide for desk workers. Many of us frequently sit or stand at a desk, our posture guide will show you how to set up your workstation, stretches to do to avoid getting tight, uncomfortable muscles, and how to correct your posture to stay relaxed and energised whilst at work.
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