Many adults spend most of their waking hours at work. For millions of people, this means commuting to their office and sitting at their desks for hours on end. With their busy schedules, it can be challenging to squeeze in some exercise after work.
What if we told you it was possible to workout while at work? Not only is it possible, but it’s essential if you want to be your best, healthiest self.
Here are 4 great ways to stay active at work:
Why Staying Active During Your Workday is Important
There’s a reason why you feel antsy and restless after an extended period of sitting. Research has shown that sitting for long chunks of time is linked to many negative side effects. These include an increased risk of:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
Many organizations, including the American Cancer Society, offers information on the importance of exercise and gives tips on making exercise work for you! Along with this knowledge, here are a few of the best ways to burn calories while working a desk job:
- Go for a Walk on Your Lunch
Many people find themselves continuing the cycle of sitting during their lunch breaks. Sure, they may find a quieter, more pleasing location to spend it, but it still contributes to the sedentary solitude many of us are accustomed to.
An easy fix for this is to spend the extra time after finishinitg eating to walk around the block. See some of the local sights. When you get back to your desk, you will find yourself more refreshed and more ready to get back to work than ever before.
- Try a Stand-Up Desk
Adjustable, standing desks can be the perfect addition to your daily routine. A stand-up desk helps improve your circulation and posture. Overall, this can really reduce the negative side effects of sitting.
Whether you are sitting or standing at your office, you will come to find that footwear is important. Investing in a good pair of high quality, highly supportive standing shoes can minimize foot and back pain caused by poor shoe choices.
You may not be able to pull off a full day of standing at first, and that’s okay. When you feel yourself tiring out or feeling uncomfortable, adjust it back to normal desk height, and practice your sitting posture.
- Walking Meetings
Going for a walk on your break isn’t always doable for some people. An alternative way to still get your steps in is to take some of your tasks on the go. Instead of having a meeting in a stuffy conference room, take your team outside.
Even something as commonplace as answering your phone can be the perfect opportunity to get up and move. Clock in those steps while walking around the block and taking care of your phone call.
- Think of the Mental Benefits
Forget about the physical positives of adopting a more active office lifestyle for a moment and consider the psychological benefits. Both your energy and your mindset will be positively influenced by moving away from your desk at regular intervals. If you are stuck in a mental rut, you need to move to change the state your mind is in.
Employees have shown to significantly increase their productivity when able to perform some physical activity during their day. When you feel yourself coming to a slump, take a break to get a good stretch in at your desk.
Even a slight posture adjustment can make you feel refreshed enough to tackle your next task. Most importantly, all of this helps to alleviate your stress levels so that you aren’t taking your frustrations from work home with you.
Closing Tips for Success
It’s easy to disregard these options under the excuse of “that would never fly in my office!” You might surprise yourself. Before dismissing any of these activity options, consider these final tips to help you in your transition to a more active daily routine.
- Don’t short yourself on those comfortable shoes. Seriously. On this topic, wear comfortable clothing as well that is easy to move in.
- If you stand a lot at your desk, throw down a cushioned floor mat to further prevent leg fatigue.
- Try scheduling your physical activity breaks for specific time slots on your calendar. Put them on your to-do list next to that important conference call – so you can check it off once done.