When your schedule is packed, it probably feels like you’re moving throughout the day. Think about it critically, though. You wake up, get ready, and commute to work, where you’re undoubtedly in your chair for the majority of the day. Then you drive or hop on a train home, eat dinner, and relax, because, obviously, you earned it.
So how much of your day actually involved moving around?
The average American spends seven to 10 hours per day sitting down, and, no, that does not include the amount of time we spend in bed.
This Can’t Be Good For Me
All that sedentary time is not good for your body. Those who sit all day long often suffer from higher blood pressure, an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, excess body fat and an increased risk of cancer.
Your mind will also benefit from a bit of movement. Think of it as the three E’s: energy, engagement and efficiency. With a bit of refreshing activity interspersed with your workplace assignments, you’ll be able to tackle them with gusto.
How Do I Fix It?
Fortunately, it’s easy to work a bit of movement into your everyday routine, no matter how swamped you are at the office. Here are five easy ways to do it.
1. Drink More Water
You already know water is very, very good for you. It combats fatigue, stimulates weight loss, aids in digestion, improves your complexion -- the list goes on.
In the workplace, water serves a dual purpose. Not only does it provide your body the above benefits, but it also requires you to get out of your seat for more bathroom breaks. If you’re really trying to get your steps in, choose the bathroom farthest from your desk and head there when nature calls.
2. Make Meetings Mobile
Most meetings don’t cover confidential material. Those that do should probably be held in a traditional, private, quiet setting.
But if you’re meeting up with a co-worker to catch up on the week’s happenings and plan ahead for the next, try making your meeting mobile. The two of you could walk the halls of the office or even head outside to reap the health benefits of the outdoors. Either way, chatting while strolling is an easy way to maintain productivity while making moves.
3. Get on Your Feet
If you’re tied to your desk, try to make your workplace standing-friendly so your computer screen and all of your other vital information is at eye-level even if you’re on your toes. Some companies offer standing or moveable desks that allow you to work on your feet or in a chair, but you may have to be a bit more creative in your creation of a standing desk. Try stacking books or finding a flat-topped printer and placing your computer screen on top.
A few hours a day spent on your feet allows you to stretch and work muscles that would otherwise be completely out of service.
4. Make Your Commute Count
Those who take public transportation probably don’t have a door-to-door bus or train service, so they get to start their mornings with a bit of cardiovascular exercise — a great way to get the mind in gear.
If you commute by car, you’ll need to be more creative about getting your heart rate up as you head into the office. You might start by parking at the back of the lot instead of battling for prime front-of-the-building spaces. Then, of course, you could skip the elevator and opt for the stairs. No matter what your commute entails, you can find ways to sneak steps in. Even walking your dog before work could be enough to get you revved up.
5. Swap Out Your Seat
You might’ve seen a co-worker foregoing a traditional office chair for a big blow-up stability ball, and there’s good reason behind that decision. The cushy spheres are not only comfortable, but they also require you to engage your core all day long instead of relying on the back of a chair to keep you upright. Plus, your legs will have to help you balance in place, too. This means your muscles will be engaged all day, even if you’re sitting.
Time to Get Moving
No matter how you work it into your routine it, you’ll find that a little bit of activity goes a long way in improving your workplace mentality -- and, it’ll go a long way for your health, too.
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