A recent study published in Great Britain’s Daily Mail showed that British office workers spend nearly five years of their lives sitting at a desk.

It’s a fair guess that American workers may even rack up more desk time, since Britain and other European nations generally do encourage regular holidays, which is far different than the heavy work ethic often advocated in the U.S. This national focus on getting the job done generally encourages workers to keep chugging along through lunch, plus coming in early and leaving late.

However, an increasing number of studies have found that this push toward increased office time can ultimately backfire. That much time at work can ultimately affect home relationships, and a Mayo Clinic study found that prolonged seating can also cause physical injury, including an increased rate of death and higher rate of cardiac problems.

Fitness and lifestyle experts have created suggestions to keep healthy and active, which include physically leaving the office, even if it’s just for a short walk on a break. There are also other stretches that can be done in a cubicle or office.

But if the work is piling up and a worker can’t afford to get away, or even slow the pace, one suggestion is to learn some keyboard shortcuts.

While these won’t make the work go away, they can help workers improve their pace and get through their tasks sooner.

Most Microsoft programs, including Office, have similar keyboard shortcuts and many have become the standard for cutting down on time spent wielding a mouse.

For instance, users can type “Ctrl-C” to copy a certain amount of text to your clipboard. Or can select the same text with the mouse, right click and select ‘copy.’ Or, going the long way around, go up to the top menu in Word and click “home” and then “copy.” Previous versions of Word even included more cumbersome instructions like ‘file’ and ‘edit’ before getting to the copy command.

The amount of time saved by copying using the keyboard shortcuts vs. the longer commands or the mouse may not be huge, but it can certainly add up over time.

Keyboard shortcuts can also be handy for tablet owners, who may not have an external mouse, but do have a tablet keyboard case.

Download and enjoy this handy A to Z guide of our 26 favorite shortcuts.

Download & Print Shortcut Chart

A-Z of our favorite keyboard shortcuts

By Björn Barnard