Beat the workplace energy slump

Research has shown that the most common time for energy slumps is 2.16pm, when workers feel drained and unable to concentrate in the afternoon.

Desk stretches

  • Link your hands, push your arms out in front of you and then raise them above your head.
  • Lift your shoulders up towards your ears and gently roll them backwards.
  • Extend your legs in front of you and point and flex your toes.
  • Hug your knees, one at a time, towards your chest.

Before you reach for the chocolate bar or packet of crisps, try these energy boosters instead.

Mid-afternoon snacks

The energy boost of a sugary snack wears off quickly. Instead, have fresh fruit, dried fruit or nuts, which are a healthy and long-lasting source of energy. If you must have chocolate, choose a few squares of good-quality plain chocolate. It contains less sugar and the richness means that you need less to feel satisfied.


Hunching over a computer all day can leave you tired and aching. Make sure you're sitting correctly at your desk. Take regular breaks, at least once an hour: get up, move around and stretch your legs. A few deep breaths and stretches will boost your circulation and help to wake you up.

Drink water

If you don’t drink enough water you'll feel sleepy, be less able to concentrate, and you may get headaches. When you feel hungry you're often actually thirsty. Don’t wait to feel thirsty to have a drink. Keep a filled bottle of water on your desk, so that you're more likely to drink regularly, and can see if you're drinking enough. For more information, read about diet and fluids.

Changing work focus

When your work pile seems endless, it can be easy to lose enthusiasm and slip into an energy slump. Breaking your "to do" list into small, manageable tasks and taking a short break after each one will help you stay focused. Leave the simple jobs for early afternoon so that you don’t have to concentrate too hard. 

Page last reviewed: 12/07/2014

Next review due: 12/07/2016


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