Did you know marketing can be hazardous to your health? This industry is particularly prone to the negative health effects that come with working in a corporate office environment. We have some simple tips and tricks to help you live a healthier professional life to be the best you...you can be!
Pomodoro Technique Software
- MacOS - Time Out (Dejal Systems, Inc.)
- Windows - PomoDoneApp (Pomodonė UAB)
- Chrome OS - Tomato Timer (Bruno Freitas)
Jeff Lambert: 00:00 Did you know that marketing can be hazardous to your health? This industry is particularly prone to the negative health effects that come with working in a corporate office environment. But don't worry, we have some simple tips and tricks that can help you live a healthier professional life - so you can be your best.
Jeff Lambert: 00:28 Hello everyone and welcome to Inbound Academy brought to you by Rizen. I'm your host, Jeff Lambert. So on this week's episode we're going to jump into an important topic - and that's your wellbeing. Working in the marketing and sales world can be stressful and it can be time-sapping. And you know, when we're trying to fill our days and stay on top of our jobs, it's really easy for us to let our health go. And not just our physical health, but our emotional health as well. So we're in luck today because we have someone with us who has a background in both nutrition and in the marketing industry. So I invited her to share some tips that she has based on both her education and her experience in this area. Nichole's here, back in the studio, and she's the Creative Director at Rizen. So Nichole, thanks for coming by to talk about this topic.
Nichole Mena: 01:18 Oh, it's so great to be here. Thanks Jeff.
Jeff Lambert: 01:20 So before we jump into this, just real quick, could you tell us a little bit about your journey? I guess overall you started off in nutrition, correct?
Nichole Mena: 01:27 I did. I started off in nutrition but wasn't in the field very long. I obviously kept up with nutrition education and obviously it's something that I use in my daily life, well I try to at least, but making the switch to marketing, we still have to think about our physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and emotional wellbeing, especially when we're on the computer or in an office all day long. It's so important. So that's why I'm here to talk to you today.
Jeff Lambert: 02:02 Absolutely. And do you think that this industry overall needs to pay more attention to this topic, this issue I should say?
Nichole Mena: 02:10 O do, I really do think so. We get so focused when we're sitting in front of a computer and want to finish the task at hand and lose sight of time and lose sight of being healthy in the choices that we make. And I think it's a very important thing to to keep in mind for mental sharpness, clarity, and to really make sure that we're doing our best work.
Jeff Lambert: 02:33 Do you think that it's difficult to live a healthy life if you work in a corporate office environment?
Nichole Mena: 02:38 No, it's not. It just takes some preparation and planning, I think ahead of time so thatnyou can implement these things on a daily basis.
Jeff Lambert: 02:46 Well, why don't we jump right in and talk about some of those pieces of advice that you have for people that work in this type of environment. So I guess let's go with top tips and starting off with a simple one that people could implement into their daily life. What's one tip that you have for people to live that healthier life?
Nichole Mena: 03:04 So I think first and foremost, something that we really struggle with is screen time. And things like eye strain can be a really big problem for most of us, especially in the marketing and sales roles - even those in design and programming. We're sitting in front of the computer for such long hours and this can cause a host of things including headaches, difficulty focusing, and increased sensitivity to light amongst other things of course.
Jeff Lambert: 03:39 Sure. Absolutely. And this industry, like you said, we're really susceptible to that because 90% of the work we do, if not more, it's done digitally.
Nichole Mena: 03:47 Exactly. So a few things that we can do to kind of prevent some of this is, preventing eyestrain let's say, is distancing yourself from the screen, having the screen at arms length at least. And enlarging the letters on the screen so you're not straining to view certain things. You should also be able to comfortably read what's on your screens. That's why you increase the screen and the letter size.
Jeff Lambert: 04:19 So that's a good tactic to do because I've always been under the impression, and maybe it's just my pride, that I don't want to blow up the display because then I think, "well that my eyesight's hurting" or" my eyesight's failing." I don't want to admit that to myself. But that's actually a good thing to do. You're saying it is. And sometimes we decrease the screen size so we can see more of the screen, but it's obviously going to be detrimental down the road for eyestrain especially. So I really shouldn't be squinting when I'm reading on a screen. Okay. So the arms length away rule, basically you go put your arms straight in front of you and then that's the distance that you want. Right? And then increase the font size so you're not straining. And that really applies, no matter if you're working at a desk, if you're working, you know, say on a chair with your laptop in your lap, that's a pretty simple rule.
Nichole Mena: 05:13 Or even on your phone.
Jeff Lambert: 05:15 That's very true. Keep it an arm's length away. Okay. Very good. So that's, that's a simple thing that I can do. Perfect. My eyes are going to last much longer now. So what's another tip that you have that we could do to really achieve optimal health while we're working in this type of environment?
Nichole Mena: 05:36 Another thing that is really very important is your posture. We don't think about this, but straining the back and scrunching over it really causes a bunch of issues. So working at your desk or on a computer for long periods of time can really strain your neck and your back. A couple of things like tension neck syndrome can occur when your neck and your upper shoulders are in a flexed and kind of awkward position for long periods of time. It can happen to people in the workplace who talk on the phone for a long period of time, so certain things you want to use is a headset so you can get up and walk around and make sure that your shoulders are back and your neck is aligned to keep this type of thing from happening.
Jeff Lambert: 06:29 You know? That's true. Even even just thinking about, like you mentioned, people that are on the phone, you're keeping your arm in a raised position for very long periods of time that can't be good for your blood flow. That's true. And then so even with, like if you're using a shoulder cradle to be able to hold the phone against your shoulder or things like that, is it's still important even when you're doing all those things to just change positions every once in awhile.
Nichole Mena: 06:52 Absolutely. So make sure that you're not stuck in the same position because that's where the next strain will occur.
Jeff Lambert: 06:59 Gotcha. I can think of so many times where I've been sitting in a certain position and then finish and I just move and I'm like "oooh" because my body is just so used to being in that certain frame.
Nichole Mena: 07:08 So take a couple of minutes, stand up, and stretch and that'll help as well.
Jeff Lambert: 07:14 Yeah. Have you found that there's certain things that you can sit on that are better than others if you're working at a desk? Have you, have you ever tried any diversity in that at all?
Nichole Mena: 07:23 What I have tried is lumbar support. So you know, the small pillows that go, just at the bottom of your back that kind of helps to straighten your back out. Um, I haven't tried any others. Have you?
Jeff Lambert: 07:34 Well, for me, I worked in education for over a decade and so I was always used to, if I did work at a computer, I was up standing and walking around the classroom. So one thing that's worked for me is I like standing desks a lot because it's easy for me to change my position. And then I also just don't like sitting for too long. It bothers me because I'm not used to it. So I would think that standing desks would be an option as well. Maybe not for really long periods of time because the pressure on your legs at that point. But I've seen it Ikea and other stores, you can even get these adjustable desks.
Nichole Mena: 08:06 Now I do have an adjustable desk . So from time to time I stand up, but you know, my knees, I have weak knees, so I tend to sit within, you know, 20, 30 minutes or so. But it's nice to stand up and have that option. And I know people that love it and swear by standing desks.
Jeff Lambert: 08:22 So maybe that's an option for people in these corporate environments. You know, ask the boss, see if it's possible to get an adjustable desk. Best of both worlds. So let's go onto another tip that you have for our listeners. What's another way that maybe we could focus on our mental health?
Nichole Mena: 08:38 Yes. So a big one here is taking frequent breaks and I know it's so tough sometimes because like I said, when you sit in front of a computer and you're focused on the task at hand, it can be difficult to just pause for a moment and take a break. But it's really so important for your mental clarity and your mental health. You know, we always want to work through the day to get out of the office on time or early, but really sitting in front of a computer and a desk for hours can really be hazardous.
Jeff Lambert: 09:13 Sure. Both mentally and physically, because mentally it saps your creative energy and yeah, physically, I mean, it must have some physical effects on you too. Right?
Nichole Mena: 09:21 Right. So like we said before, eye strain from staring at the monitor for hours, lower back pain and neck tension. You see, you pretty much tend to feel it if you're sitting for hours on end. So there can be other complications as well.
Jeff Lambert: 09:38 I've seen a lot of different methods. Is there one that you recommend for trying to break up your day? So it's not just, you know, four hours here, four hours, there. Are there methods that you would recommend for this?
Nichole Mena: 09:51 There is a great method. It's actually called the pomodoro method and it's a technique that uses a timer basically to break down your work into intervals. Traditionally it's used for 20 minutes in length and then you take a 10 minute or five minute short break in between and after doing four 25 minute intervals, then you take a bit longer break, let's say 30 minutes. This is really helpful and it doesn't have to be 25 minutes. I personally have used it for 45 minute intervals and then taking a 10 minute break. So it depends on what your task is at hand. But each of these intervals is known as pomodoro, which is the Italian word for tomato. And that came about from this gentleman by the name of Francesco Cirillo. He had a tomato-shaped kitchen timer that he used as a university student that he used for 25 minutes on and then took a break.
Jeff Lambert: 10:49 So, does this mean I have to go out and buy a kitchen timer and carry it with me to the office?
Nichole Mena: 10:54 No. In the digitized world we have several options. So for Mac I know there is a timer called "Timeout" which is one that I use. For Chrome there's a timer called "Pomodoro Timer" and for Windows there's "Pomo Done" I believe it's called.
Jeff Lambert: 11:12 I'll make sure to include links to those in the show notes for our listeners. Okay. So the pomodoro method - you say it so much better than me though! I've got to work on my accent thing there. Okay, that's a great tip for mental health. We talked about some physical options. Is there anything else that you would recommend for, I guess, overall mental health in a corporate office space?
Nichole Mena: 11:32 Absolutely. Your space - decorate your space! Mental health is so important and it really shouldn't be neglected. And what we have in our immediate environment is really going to affect our mental state and emotional health as well. So sometimes the rigid corporate feel of an office can kind of make us feel depressed or anxious or feel like robots, you know.
Jeff Lambert: 11:57 It's very industrial, these offices. Everything's concrete and dark shades of black and white.
Nichole Mena: 12:05 Especially if you're in a cubicle it kind of feels off. So decorating your space and personalizing it really will do wonders for your mental health.
Jeff Lambert: 12:16 So help me understand what are good strategies for doing that. Cause I can imagine you can go overboard with this, right?
Speaker 3: 12:25 Yes. You don't want to overpack your, your desk, let's say. So you can do a few things. Just pick out let's say two or three or four things that are significant to you, like a family photo or an award that you're particularly proud of and make sure that those are in your view so you can see those but don't overdo it.
Jeff Lambert: 12:49 Gotcha. Why would it be a bad thing if I brought all of my action figures and put them on my desk or something like that? Like why is that a bad thing to over-decorate?
Nichole Mena: 12:59 Think messy desk equals messy brain. So you don't want to overcrowd because you know that can really cause mental exhaustion too. Your brain is constantly scanning your desk and trying to focus or can focus on other things except for your task at hand. So just make sure that your desk is clean and organized and has as few things as possible. But you know, those personal touches will have a significant effect on your mental health.
Jeff Lambert: 13:29 That makes perfect sense, Nichole. I agree. So it's about striking a balance between having like a spartan space and having something that's just like, like you said, like where did I put the folder? Beause there's just so much around. It's a good tip to have. So just to recap for our listeners, we talked about the importance of taking a break from screen time. We talked about proper posture, we talked about taking frequent breaks. And then of course like we said, decorating your space in a functional way. So with these four tips, hopefully this will help you as you navigate the corporate waters and try and find a better way to be able to keep your health as optimal as possible while working in these spaces. Nicole, thank you so much for coming by to talk about this with us more in depth.
Nichole Mena: 14:12 Great to be here Jeff.
Jeff Lambert: 14:13 And you know to our listeners, thank you so much. You know you're joining us for every episode that we put out and remember we're going to change things up a little bit. We're going to this month, focus on doing weekly episodes instead of daily episodes and we're hoping the longer conversations will be able to be of more benefit to you. So it's something new that we're trying and we'd appreciate your feedback if you have any, but one thing is not going to change and that's that these episodes are always going to be filled with advice that's going to help you grow your business. And remember, you know if you're looking for help to be able to grow your business and you want to find a company that's experienced and friendly and results driven, check out Rizen. You can follow them online by going to go rizen.com. That's risen with a "z." Or you can follow them on social media.
Jeff Lambert: 14:59 They're available on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and linkedin. Just search for them with the username Rizen_Inbound. That's one word, Rizen_Inbound. Again, you can help us reach new people by just taking the quick step of leaving a review on the podcast app of choice for you, whether it's the podcast app on your phone. Overcast, Anchor, Stitcher, there's so many out there and most of them have the ability for you to leave a review. If you could just really quickly do that for us - give us that five star rating. Leave us a nice little text review. It helps us get in front of new people. But overall, thank you for your support and remember, we'll see you on the next episode.
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