The number of sedentary jobs has increased by 83% since 1950. That means that less than 20% of today’s workforce is getting the physical activity their body needs while at work to maintain good health. What does this mean? How does this affect you? Chances are you are part of that 83% and that after reading that statistic that you started going through your normal workday schedule in your head. If we stop and think about it, the majority of our time is spent doing just what we are both doing right now; looking at a computer screen. Is this healthy? Is this safe? It’s no secret that obesity is spreading through our country like a plague. Approximately 69% of adults are either overweight or obese. That’s an alarming amount! So what can we do?
Make a Health Change
If you’ve noticed that your midsection is growing, your clothes fit a little snugger, you are sluggish throughout your workday, or even sore and physically strained by the end of the day; then you’ve already realized that there is a health problem. The first step to a healthier day begins with deciding to make a change. On average about 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity is recommended at least five times a week. Making physical activity a priority in your life is a must. Studies have shown that just getting up and moving for two minutes an hour can significantly reduce the health risks that are caused by inactivity.
If you’ve not already; think about your day starting from the time you get out of bed. How many shortcuts do you take? Do you take the elevator instead of the stairs? Are you taking a cab instead of walking two blocks? Do you work through your breaks? Are you spending your lunch hour slumped down in the same position that you’ve spent most of your day already? Even making little changes to your daily routine can do wonders. Here are some tips to help get you moving.
Skip the elevator, take the stairs.
Walk instead of drive any time you can.
Get the tools to get yourself mobile. (a headset or earbuds for your mobile phone, a wireless headset for your desk phone, a small set of free weights to keep at your desk, a stepper or treadmill in your office, or a pedal exerciser for under your desk are just a few suggestions)
Listen to music. Upbeat music will get you moving! If music at your desk is a no-no, then put those earbuds in on your way to work and get yourself pumped before your workday begins. Just save Adele for your cool down exercises.
Keep track. There are numerous gadgets with a pretty wide price range available to help you keep track of how active you are throughout your day. Anything from a pedometer to a fitness band will do the trick. Knowing where you stand and challenging yourself and/or your friends will keep you motivated.
Lunch Break Tips
Spend at least half your lunch hour walking.
Walk over to your co-worker instead of sending an email or IM.
Take short breaks throughout your day whenever possible to walk around or stretch. Even if you can only spare two to three minutes; that two to three minutes can add up over the span of an entire day or week.
Make it a game! Three leg lifts for every ten emails or five squats for every call.
At Your Desk And In The Office Tips
Ten minutes before your next meeting starts? Take a brief walk or couple flights of stairs.
Need to have a one on one meeting? Do it on the go! Walk, talk, and get some fresh air.
Stretch! There are a number of stretches you can do at your desk. If you are not sure where to start, try these.
If your office space allows for even more privacy or room for physical activities; try these exercises that can be done close to your desk.
Get involved! Join your office 5k! If there isn’t one to join; organize one yourself!
Find your support system. Encourage your co-workers to be active with you. The more support you have, the more successful you’ll be.
Pacing isn’t just for the nervous! Stand up, move around, regardless of your space restrictions, find a way to stand and move even if that means pacing back and forth in your cubicle or office.
Have active meetings! Stand up, take the meeting outside, or toss a football or beach ball around for speaking rights. Not only will it get you moving, but it will also break up a monotonous meeting.
The truth is that the majority of just aren’t active enough. Changing our careers or hiring a personal trainer isn’t feasible for most of us. Start combatting your deskbound work day. Be aware of how active you are. Make an effort to be more active, to stretch, and to move around throughout your day. Your health and your body will appreciate you for it.
If you are looking for more great tips, check out our other blogs here!