Why Does Sitting All Day At Work Make Us Tired? (Infographic)

Over the course of human evolution, we have had to look out for certain priorities like food, shelter, and safety simultaneously. We have gotten to a place in human history where those priorities are not as pressing, but sometimes our brains don’t quite get the message. That’s why after a hard day of work we may feel fatigued, despite having sat at a desk all day with nary a saber tooth tiger to fight off. Our brains want to constantly be on the lookout for our other needs, and it takes a great deal of focus to tune our natural instincts out all day to just sit at a computer. While it is great news that we don’t have to fight off predators on a daily basis, our work lives can leave us stressed out to the point that we can’t do much else in the way of living outside of work hours. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to combat this work fatigue and take back our lives.

Fatigue Goes Beyond Just Being Tired

Fatigue is characterized as tiredness that persists for a long period of time despite getting adequate sleep. It builds up over time as a response to stressful conditions. Symptoms include feelings of anxiety and depression, lack of concentration, persistent confusion, or decreased organization. If you can take a good long rest period and get adequate sleep and your fatigue clears up, you may just need better sleep. If you are getting plenty of sleep and still feeling fatigued, it may be time to take more serious action.

Though You Can Combat Fatigue With More Rest

Always first, ensure you are getting adequate sleep and plenty of water. Sleep deficits can build up quickly, and sleep deficits can even lead to dehydration, which can lead to greater feelings of fatigue.

Once you rule out lack of sleep as the cause of your fatigue, it’s important to take stock of your work day and figure out where you can make cuts. The average work week for Americans has grown by more than ten hours a week in the last few decades - from 37.5 hours a week in 1976 to 47.7 hours a week in 2017. That means less work/life balance and less time outside of work to recharge our batteries, which can add to our overall stress levels. Even stress in the workplace from not taking enough breaks, long commutes, or just too many overtime hours can zap our energy for other things.
Related: How to Start and End Your Work Day - infographic
Talk to your boss about making some changes if your fatigue is persistent. Can you work from home all or part of the time to cut down on commutes and free up some more time? Are you taking the minimum government-mandated breaks? Can you work fewer hours each week?

Certain Jobs Lend Themselves To Work Fatigue

People in low paying jobs or in high stress jobs tend to experience the most work fatigue. People who work the night shift or swing shifts can feel this perpetual fatigue too, often set off by imbalances in their circadian rhythms. For these folks meditation and yoga can be a great stress reliever, while for those working odd shifts getting into a routine and using blackout curtains and melatonin can help restore balance.

Don’t Let Fatigue Keep You Down

It may seem as though fatigue is just a part of daily adult life, but you can restore balance to your life with a few simple adjustments. Learn more about the psychology of work fatigue from this infographic, and start changing your life for the better.

Infographic: The psychology of work fatigue
Have you ever gotten home from a long day sitting at a desk and wondered why you were so tired? This infographic outlines the psychology behind work fatigue, as well as what you can do to combat it.
Why Does Sitting All Day At Work Make Us Tired? (Infographic)
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