5 Easy Ways to Stay Active in the Office/at Work
The white collar workforce has become known for its sedentary desk jobs behind cubicle walls. Sitting all day isn’t good for your body or your mind. Get up and get moving to stay motivated at work and to stay physically fit. Small, healthy habits can lead you to making better decisions throughout your day.
Staring at the same four walls gets really old day in and day out, so change it up! We’re all familiar with the midday drag. Stretch your hamstrings, and get on your feet to stay energized.
- Have standing or walking meetings: Walk and talk. You don’t always have to have formal meetings in boardrooms. If it’s one or two people, it can be a nice change of pace to have a standing or walking meeting. When the blood gets pumping, ideas can flow a little better, too. Encouraging your entire staff to have standing meetings can also lead to a more productive meeting. When folks sit, it can be too comfortable and you’ll end up spending over an hour in a meeting. It’s easy to sit back and chat rather than get down to the issues. With a standing meeting, you need to have your ideas ready to fire because no one wants to stand longer than 20 minutes.
- Walk every hour: When we sit for long periods of time, it changes the way our muscles work. You may notice persistent lower back pain. It may not be the result of poor lumbar support on your chair; it could simply be the act of sitting too long! Sitting shortens our hip muscles, creates inactive glutes, and weakens our hamstrings. If you have a weak back-side, then your back muscles have to take on all of the work. The solution is simple–get up! Take a five to ten minute break every hour to walk around the building. Go to the watercooler, go say hi to a co-worker, or take a walk outside for some fresh air. By taking a few minutes to walk every hour, you’ll notice that back pain going away. Plus, science says that our minds need a rest just like our body does. By taking a little break, you’ll come back refreshed with all cylinders firing.
- Take the stairs: Go out of your way to get a few more steps in. Park the car further away from the door, or take the stairs. You could even try taking big steps to bound over 2 steps at a time. You won’t have inactive glutes anymore after climbing a good flight of stairs!
- Stretch: Walking is great, but it isn’t the only form of exercise. Stretching is also a way to energize the body and mind. You can stand at your desk and do a few simple movements to unlock your back. First, stand, and twist side to side for the middle and low back. Then, raise your arms overhead and over extend your belly to target the abs and shoulders. Another good stretch is to have the heel of one foot on the floor with a straight let, and have the other leg with a bent knee. Lean forward until you feel a slight pull in the back hamstrings. There are a number of good stretches that can easily be done at your desk.
- Desk exercises: Doing exercise at your desk can seem strange at first, but it doesn’t have to be. You can work your quads by extending your leg out underneath the desk. See how long your are able to hold your legs up. Stand up and do some calf raises. Try to increase the number by 5 every day. Face your desk and lean on your desktop. Hold this position as long as you can while keeping a flat back. For the last one, turn your back to your desk, and then place your hands on the desk. Lower your backside as far as possible, and then press out.
Staying active at the office doesn’t have to be boring! Encourage a buddy co-worker to exercise alongside you so that you both stay on track. By moving a little more in the day, you’ll notice that an increase in energy over the whole day.