Adding Daily Movement for the Office Worker

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Having a hard time getting through the work day?

Why Move at Work?

We’ve all seen the reports lately that say a sedentary lifestyle is dangerous for your health, increases your waistline and your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.

Experts recommend 30 minutes of moderate exercise today, but increasingly, finding the time to go to the gym, get changed, do a warm up, work up a sweat for 30 minutes and do your cool down, then drive back home or back to work…is anyone else exhausted just reading this?

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I love to think up ways to add movement to your every day, taking a leaf out of┬áMireille Guiliano’s book, French Women Don’t Get Fat. She claims that French women don’t exercise, they instead find ways to move their bodies as part of their every day routine, such as walking to markets, to the Butcher shop, or while shopping for pleasure.

If you’re stuck in an office for 8+ hours of your day, what are your options for making this happen?

  1. Get up really early and go to the gym.
  2. Go to the gym on lunch.
  3. Go to the gym after work.
  4. Find some alternatives you can do while at work, and add in a short, intense movement session at home.

I’ll leave you to find your own exercise program for your hard gym time, but let’s discuss #4.

Ideas for In-Office Movement

Moving your body, even a little, throughout the day, is good for your health. It helps you to re-align your posture. It gets you out of your chair. Movement wakes up your brain, which is especially handy for those mid-afternoon slumps.

Here are some ideas to add a little more movement while at the office:

  • Get a standing desk. Switch from sitting and standing every 45 – 60 minutes. This helps improve your posture and lets you move your legs too.
  • Take a 5 minute break at the end of every hour (in between your meetings, of course). Walk for 250 steps. This really adds up over the course of the day, and it’s amazing how refreshing getting your eyes away from a screen is. That little break helps your brain refocus.
  • Get outside and go for a walk on your break. Take a coworker and talk through a problem outdoors. It will give you a different perspective AND exercise. Plus, if you’re working on a work problem, you can usually bill that time as a meeting. Some of my best ideas and strongest friendships have come out of outdoor meetings like this and break-time walks.
  • Do some light stretches. Just a google search for “desk stretches” should give you some ideas.
  • If your work has an on-site gym, why not take advantage of that? One of my friends started a “yoga hour” at her work and even recruited a yoga instructor to come at that time. She had 10-15 coworkers joining her!

How about Getting to the Office Movement?

What about getting to the office?

  • Walk, if you’re close enough. 30-60 minutes of walking a day┬ácan increase your health and decrease some of the risks mentioned at the top of this post.
  • If you’re driving, park farther away. Every little bit counts.
  • Taking public transportation? Get off one stop earlier and walk the difference.
  • If you’re close enough, bike to work.

Do you work in an office? How do you offset the sedentary nature of office work?

 

Sierra Smith

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