If you think you have to do a physically demanding job to get fatigued, think again. The fact is, sitting at your desk all day long can leave you fatigued, with other symptoms to go along with it.
According to a new infographic from Psych Degrees, “The Psychology of Work Fatigue: Trying to figure out why sitting at a desk all day makes you so tired?” scientists don’t exactly have the answer.
Getting fatigued by sitting at your desk all day long is counterintuitive to what we believe causes physical exhaustion. But the report says the reason may have something to do with motivation.
Psych Degrees says fatigue could be an indicator to let us know we need to be doing something. It goes on to make the argument, evolutionarily we needed to focus on multiple factors such as safety, nutrition, etc.
By focusing on a single task, in one place, and for an extended amount of time, has resulted in workers who are feeling fatigued.
What is Fatigue?
Fatigue goes beyond being tired. It is a state of physical and mental exhaustion which results in low energy, lack of motivation, and more.
This is how the Mayo Clinic defines the different types of fatigue:
“Nearly everyone is overtired or overworked from time to time. Such instances of temporary fatigue usually have an identifiable cause and a likely remedy.”
It goes on to say, “Unrelenting exhaustion, on the other hand, lasts longer, is more profound and isn’t relieved by rest. It’s a nearly constant state of weariness that develops over time and reduces your energy, motivation and concentration. Fatigue at this level impacts your emotional and psychological well-being, too.”
So, are you Tired or Fatigued?
Tiredness is not prolonged and it can be caused by too much exercise or other physical activity. And best of all it can be resolved with some quality sleep.
If on the other hand, you are fatigued, the symptom can last for days or weeks even if you get some quality sleep. You can also experience difficulty in concentrating as well as confusion, disorganization, anxiety, and depression.
Why Are More Americans Feeling Workplace Fatigue?
The answer is they work more than ever. According to the data in the report, Americans averaged 47.7 hours of work every week. This is almost 10 hours more than in 1976.
The work schedule and environment are also responsible for the fatigue. Long hours, night and rotating shifts, and early morning start times are some of the reasons.
But no matter what is responsible, work fatigue can cause real problems by manifesting itself through stress. And stress is responsible for making workers feel physically and emotionally unwell. This can result in less sleep and people then use unhealthy coping mechanisms to solve the problem, which further exacerbates the issue.
The stress can lead to headaches, feeling nervous or anxious, restlessness, overeating and medicating, and more.
Getting your Energy UP
To get your energy upstart by getting a break throughout your workday. This can be every 4 to 8 hours depending on the labor laws in your state.
Additionally, look into a flexible work schedule. Work-life balance is an important issue now, and more companies are offering flexible schedules which allow employees to work from home a couple or more days per week.
Outside of the work environment, Psych Degree recommends getting enough sleep by aligning your natural body clock and maintaining a consistent schedule, even on your days off.
You can also take care of your mind, body, and spirit by meditating, doing yoga, exercising, and eating properly.