Home guest articles Winter Blues & Decreased Work Productivity: Is There a Connection?

Winter Blues & Decreased Work Productivity: Is There a Connection?

written by Guest Blogger January 17, 2012

Yesterday was Blue Monday, apparently the most depressing day of the year. I had a great day but I must admit, both my energy levels and mood have been a bit low since mid-December. Here’s a guest post from Alen Boone about why we all might be experiencing the winter blahs and a few tips to alleviate it! 

Have you noticed a slip in your productivity and efficiency levels while at work? The pattern is apparent: you may tend to be a little uninspired during the cold winter months.


The reason for this is probably more profound than the fact that you’d rather snuggle in bed with a nice warm comforter. Winter blues can affect you at work keeping your from performing up to employer expectations.

There is a scientific term for this condition: seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D or SAD). As the abbreviation suggests, SAD victims experience mood swings and negative emotions. A lack of exposure to sunlight (or sunshine) is the leading cause of SAD. During winter, the nights are longer than the mornings, upsetting the balance in our circadian rhythm. In addition, melatonin is released during the night, and with the extra hours of night time, the production goes into overdrive. All of these can cause depression.

As if this wasn’t severe enough, depression causes us to lose sleep. Without sleep, our brain is unable to produce a healthy amount of serotonin, which is a type of neurotransmitter that affects our ability to feel pleasure.

What you end up becoming is an unhappy, unfulfilled employee who does not perform at their peak.

Simple Cures for SAD

Exercise at Work

Most workers spend hours in front of a computer. If not for the purpose of getting lunch, chances are you may not even step out of the office. When you leave work for the day, many people are often too lethargic to even think about exercising. This kind of lifestyle is not healthy.

As a valuable employee, you want to perform at your best. You want to come to the office feeling invigorated and ready to go. Try to make small changes in your day and spruce things up by dedicating a few hours a week getting some exercise. Organize a simple walking session with a few co-workers during your lunch break. Any activity that will get the blood pumping and heart rate up is beneficial for everyone’s health and it will help you feel and perform better at work.

As alluded to, depressed feelings are associated with lower amounts of serotonin in your brain. Exercise elevates the level of serotonin, and generally will make you happier and a more productive employee. If you can incorporate even a small exercise routine in your daily schedule, you will see that you are sharper and more energetic throughout the entire day.

Breathe Fresh Air at Work

An office air purifier is one of the most important things you should consider. Working in an office environment is like communal living —when one person is sick, it is not long before an epidemic breaks out. All thanks to workaholics who insist on reporting to work even when they are ill, the air in offices is often contaminated with germs.

Air borne diseases thrive in office spaces because windows are often permanently sealed and fresh clean air is not let in. Unfortunately the result is breathing recycled impure air for often eight or more hours a day.

With a air purifier, you can greatly improve the quality of the air you breathe in at work. There is a multitude of air purifiers to choose from, so to find the most durable one be sure to Google best air purifiers review. Read the specifications as well as customer testimonials to make a smart purchase.

Say Good Bye to Winter Blues!

Often awareness is the first step in correcting a problem. Now that you know that seasonal affective disorder can be the cause of feeling lethargic at work, take the steps to remedy the situation. Incorporating some simple changes can really make a huge difference to improving your health and overall work productivity.

About the Author

Alen Boon enjoys writing, funny movies and staying fit. When he’s not researching and writing health related articles you can find him clearing his mind and soul through martial arts and high impact exercise.

In addition to exercise and pure air, vitamin D supplements have been hailed as necessary for those living in winter climates to help guard against SAD. Read Screw Apples. Sunlight Works Better! for more info. Do you have any tips to add for a happier and healthier winter?

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Gregory X January 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Isn’t Vitamin D supposed to be good for weight loss, too? From what I’ve read, it’s apparently about the the closest thing we’ve got to a miracle drug. I used to take it; your post has got me thinking I should start doing so again.

Head Health Nutter January 20, 2012 at 2:29 am

Hi Gregory X, thanks for your comment. Although I haven’t heard that vitamin D is good for weight loss, if it improves mood and gives you more energy, then it makes sense that losing weight would be a positive effect from it. I’m definitely promoting vitamin D!


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