Small changes can help to make you active during work hours
For many people, work means sitting and being sedentary in front of a computer at a desk all day. Recent studies have shown that this can be worse for your health than you might think, even if you are active outside of work. It can even cancel out daily exercise routines. However, little tweaks to your everyday routine at work can make a big difference to your wellbeing. Here are ideas to help keep you on the move during the working day:
* Take a Break- Getting up more from your desk during the day can be good for your health and your sanity. Research has shown that frequent small breaks can make most people more productive and they can help keep your waistline in check. Taking a walk at lunch is also a great way to sneak exercise into a busy schedule. It gets you outside and gives you a mental break from work.
* Squats- Even just doing 20 squats every few hours can get your blood pumping and increase your thought processes while working. Squats primarily work the muscles of the thighs, hips and buttocks, quads and hamstrings.
* Stretch it Out- If you can't get away, take a break at your desk. Get up and stretch your muscles. Reach for the sky, bounce a couple times on your tip toes and then bend over to touch your toes. This helps relieves the tension in your shoulders and back.
* Stand Up- If you can make adjustments at your desk or in your office, standing is better for you than sitting. Standing breaks at your desk can be better for your back, strengthen your leg muscles and improve your balance. It also burns more calories than sitting. Start by standing for 15-20 minutes every couple hours and gradually increase the frequency as you get more comfortable. You can even request a standing desk at your office.
* Climb Some Stairs- If there are stairs in your building, take a 5-minute break and climb a few flights. It'll get your blood flowing, warm up your muscles, and allow you to clear your mind. If you have a friend in the office it'll also give you a chance to catch up with them while increasing your heart rate.
* Standing meetings - Meetings are prime-time for long periods of sitting down. Research shows standing meetings shorten their length and are better for you. Lobby your boss to introduce them. And if you're the boss, there's no excuse not to start now.
* Take a non-smoking break - Everyone is allowed a break during the working day - not just smokers. Make your new health habit a non-smoking break by going outside for some fresh air twice a day.
* Lunch-time sport - this is the obvious one. It doesn't have to be sweaty visit to a gym: a walk, yoga or pilates are all alternatives which will keep you mobile rather than desk-bound - it's your time after all.
* Cycle or walk to work - The best option of all for most of us is to stop using cars, trains and buses and get to work under our own steam. Starting in the summer months, if it's feasible, think about cycling or walking to work.
There are lots of ideas here and not everyone will suit you but the critical point is to step back, question your habits and identify where you can choose activity over inertia. Take time to do this and you'll soon reap the benefits.