11 effective ways to keep your hands and feet warm at work
There are all kinds of discomforts that plague us in the office space. And cold hands are a real pain for some of us. Sitting all day long doesn't do much for our circulation.
And when we get cold, we get that achy crunchy feeling of numb cold hands. It's even more frustrating when your job is to type on a keyboard or draw digital art.
By the way, cold hands are a perfect excuse to wear fingerless gloves. Well, maybe you should opt for fingertipless gloves because your fingers also get cold.
Or maybe you should check the other tips we have in store for you. The only downside to them is that they won't make you look like a 90s computer hacker.
Table of Contents
Why do our hands get cold in the office?
Your hands being cold is a sign that your entire body is cold. It’s simple, you are cold so your body’s natural response is to keep the most important parts of your body warm.
That would be your brain and vital organs.
Since the warmth and comfort of your hands (and feet) is not important at the moment, your body shuts down the blood circulation to your limbs in order to preserve the warmth around your vital parts.
When this happens, your tendons and muscles become stiff. And you get that unpleasant feeling when you try to move.
How to keep your hands warm in the office
To keep your hands warm, you have to keep your body warm. At least that's what works for me. So naturally, my first advice to you would be…
1. Wear something warm
As we established, cold hands are usually a sign that your entire body is cold. So simply put on an extra layer of clothing and see how you feel.
Personally, I like to keep a big oversized hoodie on my chair and put it on whenever I get the chills.
2. Keep your head warm
As it turns out, a big percentage of our body heat is directed toward our heads. And a lot of that heat escapes.
So putting a hat on is also a viable strategy. Hence why I like to have a hoodie at the ready, I just flip the hood on whenever I feel like it.
3. Drink something warm
Another wonderful way to raise your core temperature is through a warm healthy drink. In the morning you can go for a mug of coffee.
If you want to cut down on caffeine, reach for whatever tea you have available or plain cocoa powder.
4. Move to a warmer corner of the office
If possible, move toward where the heating is doing its job. Ask your boss to be moved or ask a colleague to swap places. Surely somebody will be able to help.
5. Walk when you take breaks
Movement is important when it comes to circulation. So make sure to walk around the office or go outside when you take breaks.
6. Make sure to stretch
Stretching and pandiculation also help circulation. So don’t skip on your daily office stretching. Besides, it has all sorts of benefits, especially if you are experiencing what I like to call stiff office body syndrome.
7. Get an electric heating seat
If none of the above seems to help, you can resort to the powers of technology. It might seem a bit excessive but what can you do about it?
Get yourself an electric heat seat and keep your bottom warm. This will also raise your core temperature and eventually warm up your hands.
And if you feel stupid for sitting on a stupid robot all day long, then…
8. Use a small heater
Get yourself one of those small electric heaters and situate it strategically near you. The best part is that you can turn it on and off whenever you feel like it. It is a wonderful way to make your office space more cozy.
How to keep your feet warm at work
Keeping your feet warm at work can also be challenging, especially if you have long legs.
Also, the task is made a tad more complicated because your feet stay in your shoes throughout the workday. Sweaty soggy socks can contribute to the discomfort of cold feet.
Still, all of the tips mentioned above apply to your feet as well. The most important thing is to maintain your body temperature. Your feet and hands will take care of themselves.
Still, if the problem persists, there are a few specific things that you can try. Warning, some of the tips are a bit extravagant.
1. Bring extra pairs of socks
If your socks get sweaty and soggy while you sit at your desk, then you can simply bring one or two extra pairs of socks. You can change your socks two or three hours into the workday.
This way your feet will feel all dry and cozy once again. Just don't forget to bring a spare bag for your sweaty socks.
2. Get new shoes
Maybe your current shoes are the problem. Either they don't keep your feet warm or they don't allow your feet to breathe.
Personally, my feet always sweat a lot so my socks get soggy no matter what shoes I wear.
3. Use warming gels
There are warming rubs and gels that you can resort to. Some of them react with moisture so the sweat from your feet will only increase the warming effect.
I used to have an insanely strong warming rub with chili pepper extract. I had to smear it on my body with gloves because the effect was too strong and it felt like my hands were on fire if I didn't have any protection.
Once I tested it on my feet. It was a cold winter day and it worked very well. It kept my feet warm all day long.
What about diet and exercise?
Hey, I am not saying that there is a specific anti-cold hands diet and a workout routine that you should follow.
All I am saying is that healthy eating and movement are important. And they make your body more robust. And improve circulation.
So if you are not following any exercise routine, I strongly urge you to consider your option. Joining a gym or an aerobics class would be great.
Zumba and dancing are also great. The point is to move and stay active. Don’t become a victim of the desk!
Should you see a doctor?
If you try most of the strategies outlined above and you are still experiencing chronologically cold hands and feet, then perhaps it would be best to speak to your physician.
Who knows, you might be experiencing some kind of nutrient deficiency. Or maybe you are a bit underweight?
How I keep my hands and feet warm at work
To keep my hands warm, I have a small USB-powered desk heater that I place near my keyboard.
It’s a game-changer, providing a gentle warmth that keeps my fingers from stiffening up.
For my feet, I’ve found that wool socks are a lifesaver. They’re thick enough to provide insulation but still fit comfortably in my shoes.
On especially cold days, I keep a pair of slippers under my desk to slip into. It’s a simple solution, but it makes a world of difference in my comfort throughout the day.
Frequently asked questions
Can consistently cold hands and feet be a sign of a medical condition?
Yes, consistently cold hands and feet can be a sign of conditions like poor circulation or hypothyroidism. It is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
What materials are best for socks and gloves intended to keep hands and feet warm?
Wool, especially merino wool, is highly recommended due to its insulating properties. Fleece and thermal materials are also effective for retaining warmth.
How can I approach my employer about the office being too cold?
Politely and professionally express your concern to your manager or HR department. Be specific about how the temperature affects your work and comfort, and propose possible solutions, such as adjusting the thermostat or allowing personal heaters.
Can certain foods or drinks help to improve body warmth and circulation?
Yes, foods like ginger, garlic, and cayenne pepper can boost circulation. Warm drinks, such as herbal teas or hot water with lemon, can also help to raise your body temperature.