Between meetings, emails, and deadlines, it’s hard to find time to focus on anything other than the work right in front of you. Often at the expense of your own health and wellbeing.
It’s all too easy to lose focus and ignore basic things like eating well, drinking frequently, and even sitting properly. How do you solve that? Technology.
Technology is often cited as the bane of the modern workplace and blamed for much of what ails the office. That’s simply because people aren’t using the right technology. The tools listed below (by Jamie Kavanagh of Broadband Genie) will have you sitting, thinking, and hydrating like the champion you are.
If ever you needed an excuse to play a game at work, Lumosity is it.
We know that taking a few minutes out every couple of hours helps our brain relax and help us maintain productivity over the long term.
By using Lumosity in that downtime, you’re stimulating different areas of the brain, while enjoying the various games.
It is one of the latest batch of brain training apps that help you boost memory, cognition, and problem solving. It is also backed up by science. You know, that ‘science’ thing people in labcoats do in the movies.
If you need a timeout but don’t want to waste time, this could be the app for you.
At the opposite end of the scale we have Headspace. This is an app that makes you take ten minutes a day to meditate and concentrate on the here and now.
This nifty app trains you to meditate, relax, and calm yourself through your desktop, mobile or tablet.
If you’re feeling stressed or under pressure, taking ten minutes out of your day to leave it all behind could make all the difference!
While the technology itself is nothing new, the latest range of devices certainly are. If you’re a data-driven type, activity trackers can tell you everything from sleeping patterns to heart rates, calories burned to miles walked and just about every other health metric there is.
You can go all in and analyse every piece of data, or stick to steps taken or calories burned.
The new Fitbit Blaze looks and works great while the Garmin Vivosmart HR monitors and notifies you of a huge array of data. The Jawbone UP2 is elegant in its simplicity while the Mondaine Helvetica No.1 Smart looks like a real watch.
All can help you remain aware of your health throughout the work day.
Smart Body Analyzer
The Withings Smart Body Analyzer is an American product that takes scales to a whole new level. Capable of measuring weight, body mass index, fat mass and heart rate, it works with your smartphone to deliver tons of information about your body composition and fitness.
More useful at work, the Smart Body Analyzer can also monitor air quality using temperature and CO2 measurements and the weather for some reason.
Air quality is a good measurement, especially if you have been shut in a poorly ventilated room with other people for hours on end.
There is finally an app to prove just how stuffy your office really is.
MyFitnessPal is about so much more than tracking activity.
It now includes a food diary, calorie counter, recipe database and so much more. What makes MyFitnessPal so useful for work is that if you use the food diary function correctly, you can quickly identify when you’re slipping into bad habits and eating junk food.
You can then adjust your intake accordingly, either by being more aware of what you’re eating or by utilising the recipe database to create more filling lunches.
The food diary can also help highlight problem times or areas. You do have to be honest with yourself and do it properly to get the best out of it though.
There is still an unnecessary taboo around mental health and nowhere more so than at work. Yet our mental health is vital to our own wellbeing as well as to our productivity.
It should be the business of both employee and employer to manage it well. Enter Remente, designed by David Brudö, an entrepreneur who hit the wall himself.
Remente is an app that provides goal-oriented mental training, motivation, stress management techniques and a lot more. A team of psychologists and mental experts have collaborated to make an accessible mental health app that everyone should be happy using.
While Fooducate counts calories, it does much more than just make you feel guilty when you eat an extra jammy dodger during a meeting. It describes itself as a ‘food coach’ providing lots of information on food, food composition, nutrition and ingredients of many popular foods.
As well as helping you control intake at work, Fooducate can also let you know what is contained in a typical canteen or café meal and offer support for specific diets such as paleo or those who need gluten free.
It doesn’t nag, it doesn’t give you the guilt trip. It’s just there to inform and let you make your own decisions.
You would think that in the 21st century we would be self-aware enough to remember to drink water during the day. Yet many of us know that with all the meetings, calls, emails and daily tasks we have to contend with, it’s easy to forget to drink, eat or even breathe properly sometimes.
Enter Waterlogged, an app for iOS (Android variants are available) that reminds you to drink throughout the work day. The app uses a digital bottle to show you how much you have consumed already and how much you still have to go to be healthy at work. We all know how vital water intake is to our health, now you have no excuse not to drink it!
That’s it from me, don’t forget that simply downloading the apps and having them sitting unused on your phone won’t do anything, go out there and use them!