By Andrew Lowcock
Many jobs offer very few opportunities to be active and can encourage bad habits, but by devoting a few minutes each day and using a bit of ‘outside the square’ thinking, you can keep a healthy mind and body with some of these tips.
Medical research has found that people who sit for long periods of the day are at a higher risk of serious diseases and a lower metabolism. Getting up and standing while making that important phone call or typing for long periods will burn up to twice as many calories as sitting – yes, it really can be that simple at times.
We’ve all been tempted to send an email to the co-worker across the other side of the office or located on the floor above. Walking to their desk (and repeating this a few times a day) will get the blood flowing. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a guaranteed circulation booster, if you work in a big building. The ‘walking meeting’ is also becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to the conventional office meeting.
A few simple stretches every hour or so will loosen your limbs and prevent fatigue later in the day. For some stretching suggestions, check out this slideshow from the Mayo Clinic. Stretching the back, shoulders, neck, arms and legs will all contribute to improved general wellbeing.
The methods above for workplace activity are fairly basic, but there are some more novel ways for mixing work with physical activity. For instance, some people have replaced their office chair with an exercise ball, to improve posture and increase their core strength (although your OHS representative may frown at this – best to check with them first!). If that’s too extreme a measure, try bringing some hand weights to the office, or use the trusty stress ball to strengthen your fingers and wrists.
Combine a few of these suggestions with some lunchtime activities with your colleagues, and you will feel invigorated all day long.
Do you have any other suggestions for staying active while working? Let us know!