If you’re at work right now, there’s a good chance you’re sitting down. If you’re not at work, well there’s still a pretty good chance much of that work time was still spent where? Yep, sitting down. In fact, I’d bet you’re probably sitting down right now as you read this, too.
By itself, there’s nothing wrong with sitting – sometimes, and especially while you work because in business that’s pretty much where the magic happens as far as productivity and value delivery for clients and customers. The problem is we tend to sit WAY too much. In fact, a recent Washington Post article suggests that the average office worker sits a whopping 10 hours per day while another report suggests 86% of us are doing it even though most of us don’t like it. If you’re a part of that percentage, you’ve probably already realized that all that sitting is NOT good. And, not just where it comes to your figure and how your clothes fit, but also for your health and how you feel every day.
Well, I know that with so much to do it can be tough to move your body as much as you’d like during the day even though you know you’d feel so much better, so I’ve put together 5 ways you can add more healthy movement to your work day starting TODAY!
STAND UP NOW
No really, stand up now! Look for opportunities – like this one, to get up out of your chair. Use regularly occurring activities like phone calls as triggers to stand periodically throughout the day. Pace and move around to add to your quest for that 150 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity recommended by the CDC, along with many other health organizations. Another option is to invest in a convertible standing desk or use a high table periodically, if possible.
COMMIT TO LOOKING FOR MORE
This involves changing your mindset. Fitness opportunities really are everywhere if you look for them. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a little further from the entrance and walk. Do heel raises at the copy machine or practice balancing on one leg. If available, use a restroom a bit further away from your work space. The possibilities are endless so seek out ways to add more healthy movement to your daily life.
STRETCH IT OUT
When you sit a long time your muscles shorten and get bunched up. This can lead to hip, low back and shoulder/neck pain over time. Set a timer on your phone or computer to remind you to take a couple of minutes to stretch out every hour or so. Raise your arms above your head. Do a side stretch. Bend to touch your toes. Pay attention and do what your body needs. Keeping your body lose as you work can mean less aches and pains at the end of the day.
Email certainly has its place when you’re trying to stay productive and get things done, but do take the time to go see colleagues or employees when possible. Not only can it help to build a good working rapport, it also offers another reason to leave your seat. Do be sure to avoid excessive chit-chat or unpleasant gossip, however, so your visit isn’t seen as an imposition.
TAKE A FIT BREAK
Your breaks don’t only have to be about getting coffee. Add some movement to your mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Walk for ten minutes. Change floors so you can use the stairs. Go outside for some fresh air. The increased blood flow can help to stimulate your brain along with your body so that you feel refreshed.
WALK AND TALK
Why sit when you need to talk to a colleague or employee when you can both get a little healthier while still being productive? Take your work meetings outside instead – as appropriate, of course. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes so you can focus on the meeting instead of your aching feet, too. Do give the other person a heads up by asking permission beforehand so they can be prepared as well.
Big sweaty workouts aren’t the only way you can benefit from moving your body each day. Every step, stretch and bit of activity counts towards your overall good health. Look for ways to stand up and to get more activity every day, too, so you can focus more on growing your business or your career instead of the distraction of poor health.
Make it a healthy week!