“Let’s talk about mind and body,” he said. The most important factor is sleep. Sleep is the only free physical and mental repair activity. Literally, sleep impacts the hormone system of the body, which regulates everything — our stress resilience, our appetite, our ability to recover and heal.
“We are basically recharging our iPhone batteries. When we miss charging, the results are obesity, depression and other physical conditions. If we don’t get enough sleep, our body is under stress. Many people believe you can miss out on sleep or make it up, and neither is true. Use it or lose it.
Then there’s exercise.
“We sit for 13.5 hours per day,” Breger said. “One recommendation is to stand up twice every hour, or be moving for five out of every 60 minutes. If we can start to peel ourselves away from the desk every 60 minutes, this is when attention starts to decrease anyway. Moving regularly keeps enzymes alive that burn fat — and it’s a natural way to energize yourself, because moving pumps the heart and gets more oxygen to the brain. Easy guideline: We need to move.”
What about ergonomics in the workplace? It all starts with your monitor, Breger said. Your computer monitor needs to be at eye level — even a small shift like this will improve your posture.
“Next is the way we sit,” he said. “When you sit in a chair, you lose the natural curve of the lower back. A lumbar support, towel or pillow, placed right in the lower back, will help to re-establish the natural curve in the lower back. We many times need more curve then is natural, even in chairs that include a lumbar support. Our body will morph into the unnatural chair position over time if we aren’t careful.”
This is a ton to think about, so how do we prevent from being overwhelmed?
“Choose one of the four categories,” Breger said. “Pick one that excites you the most, and work on it for 21 days in a row. Between Day 7 and Day 21, something called entrainment occurs, and you start to develop a habit. So pick one.
“Also, choose something that you can team up with co-workers or family and friends with, to stay accountable and motivated,” he said. “Law firms hold the secrets to long-term change. They just need to help get theses simple steps implemented.”