18 Apr Get Moving! Staying Active At Work
On average, adults spend eight hours of their day in the office. Between commuting and family commitments, it can be hard to squeeze in time for that yoga class or make it to the pool for a swim.
Whether you’re looking to shake off the winter blues or train for that summer marathon, here are eight ways to stay in shape, burn some calories and stay happy while you’re at work.
1. One, two, three … stretch
Without even getting up from your desk chair, there are a few stretches you can do to tighten muscles and avoid repetitive work injuries. To help blood flow circulate better in your legs, remain seated and extend your legs in front of you. Then reach towards your toes.
Do a lot of typing? You might find your hand and wrist muscles get fatigued. Pick up a stress ball at the discount store and squeeze five times to strengthen the muscles in your hands.
2. Using the stairs
Did you know climbing stairs burns more calories than jogging? Studies show that taking two flights of stairs a day will lose six pounds of fat in a year. While that may not seem like much, you’re also avoiding that terrible elevator music. It’s win-win!
You may need a prescription from a doctor to get a standing desk installed, but simply standing for at least one minute every hour improves circulation and cardiovascular health, betters your posture and improves your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. You also get a whole different view of the office if you’re standing at your desk.
4. Investing in a tracker
Fancy trackers like Apple watches or FitBits will vibrate on your wrist to remind you to stand, move around or drink water. There are also many free apps to get for your phone, including a water-drinking app that gives you your own little garden to water. Don’t let those plants die!
Investing in a tracker can motivate especially those Type-A personalities who hate notification bubbles or not filling the circle goals entirely. For everyone else, trackers are handy reminders to move often.
5. Desk workouts
The best office workouts are buddy workouts. If your office uses Google or Slack chats, create a pushup or jog-in-place group. Whenever someone in the group feels motivated, put out a call – “Everyone jog in place for 30 seconds!” Your group will probably even motivate more to join in .. they’ll want to know why everyone else is suddenly running in place twice a day. Hamstring curls and knee lifts are some more subtle desk workouts you can do.
6. Bringing your own food
It’s not a secret that eating out is bad for you. Load up your desk drawers with healthy snacks like trail mix or granola bars. This helps reduce the desire to pop across the street for a donut … even if you do grab that burger for lunch. Every little bit helps! Invest in a chic water bottle that you actually like so you’ll feel more compelled to drink from it, and get GOOD leak-proof food containers with compartments to pack good lunches from home.
Share a snack, stretch or join someone for some pushups. Take a stroll to the fountain to fill up that water bottle, or just stop by someone else’s desk for a minute. You’ll be getting up to move, admire that hibiscus plant Susan grows so well when yours keeps dying, and taking a mental minute to chat with someone else. Working at a desk can be easy to not talk to another person (in person) for eight hours. Take the extra effort to engage with your colleagues for both physical and mental health benefits.
8. For goodness sake, take a break!
Taking breaks at work improves productivity and memory, reduces injury, and gives you a chance to refocus and reevaluate. It also gives you the chance to do all the other things recommended here for your overall work wellness. So take your hands off that keyboard, get out of your chair and take the stairs to the furthest washroom. Just because.