10 Ways to Get Moving at Work
By Audrey Turner, EP
If you’re serious about exercising regularly to maintain good health, then your workout shouldn’t end when you arrive at work. That’s because our bodies require movement in order to function properly.
For instance, little movements like stretches done continuously throughout the day will reverse some of the ill effects of sitting—and you may be surprised to discover that sitting causes a number of health-related problems. Being sedentary puts you at risk for diseases such as diabetes, obesity, heart disease and anxiety. The good thing is that we can increase our activity level and hopefully improve our health! Every bit of activity will add up over time. Here are a few easy ways to get moving at work.
1. Keep a pair of sneakers at your desk. You need to be prepared for the opportunity to take a refreshing walk on your break. Not only will you get a boost of energy, but you will increase your metabolism for up to 2 hours after this short walk. You will also come back feeling recharged and thinking much clearer. This will most likely lead to enhanced productivity in the work place.
2. Stand up every hour. Simply standing will improve your circulation. If you are on a conference call, try standing during the call, swaying side to side or walking in place. A lot of businesses have recently added work stations where their employees can sit, stand or use a ball chair.
3. Every 4 hours do 4 minutes of light stretching. You don’t have to get on the floor and stretch for 30 minutes! Just stretching for a few minutes will energize you and improve your flexibility as well as posture from sitting all day.
Basic Stretch Reach for your toes for 30 seconds. Reach for the sky for 30 seconds.
Back Extension Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart and reach up and back to the point where you can feel the stretch (light discomfort but not pain). Hold for 30 seconds.
Forearm and Wrist Stretches Extend one arm straight out. Bend your wrist pointing toward the sky, and use your other hand to gently pull your fingers back pointing toward the floor. Release and bend the same wrist downward, gently pulling it down and toward you with the other hand. Hold for 30 seconds and do the same thing on the other side.
Hamstring Stretch Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart and gently bend forward at the hips and waist to the point of mild tension. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with your other leg.
4. Take the long way around the building to go to the bathroom. Offer to take the mail to the mail room. Instead of asking a question by email walk to the other person’s office. Just get moving more!
5. Wear a pedometer. The daily recommendation for steps is 10,000 steps per day. Everyone starts somewhere but goal to gradually build up to 10,000 steps.
6. Walk on your lunch break. Try walking 10-15 minutes or more, depending on how long your lunch break is or before you eat lunch.
7. Keep a resistance band at your desk to do exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extension and chest press.
8. Set up walking meetings if possible. If you have a meeting scheduled, ask if they would mind walking and talking.
9. Drink more water. Drinking more water equals more back and forth trips to the bathroom.
10. If you are not able to get up away from the computer, try sitting and doing range of motion with your legs. Point your toes and flex up and big circles 10 times each way.