Everybody understands the importance of staying active throughout the week, but this can be a challenge when you work an office job which keeps you stationary for most of the day. Often, the last thing that you want to do after a long day at the office is to hit the gym or go for a run, but there are other ways that you can stay active if you are working 9 to 5 sat behind a computer. These are important for staying fit and healthy and particularly if you are struggling to find the time to get enough exercise during the week.
Taking regular breaks is important if you are sat down at a computer all day for a number of different reasons. Aim to take a break every hour even if it is getting up and visiting a co-worker, or even a short stroll and stretch can do wonders and could also help you to be more productive. If you are likely to forget, set a timer and go for a quick walk around the office each time it goes off.
Staying stationary for extended periods of time can cause a host of health problems, but regular stretching can negate many of these. Be sure to stretch when you take your hourly break, but there are also easy stretches that you can do while sitting at your desk which can help.
Walk or Cycle To and From Work
If possible, try to walk or cycle to and from work instead of driving or catching public transportation. Doing so is a superb way to get exercise into your day, and you could also make huge savings in the long run. You will not want to be hot and sweaty when you arrive in the office, so consider taking it slowly or bringing a change of clothes if it is a long distance. If driving is the only sensible option for commuting, you could park your car further from the office than usual to get a little bit more exercise in each day.
Walk on Lunch Break
Lunch is a vital part of the day, and it should always be used well. Instead of eating at your desk or sitting down in the staff room, consider taking a walk outside to a local park or nearby bench so that you can enjoy fresh air and sunshine. This can also be helpful to get some time away from the office so that you feel refreshed and ready to go after lunch. If there is a gym nearby, you could even squeeze in a quick workout – even if it is only 20 minutes, every little helps!
Take The Stairs
The lift may be more convenient, but opting to take the stairs instead could have an enormous impact on your health. The stairs can burn calories and get your heart pumping, so try to do this as often as possible, and you could reap the benefits. It is understandable if you want to avoid this if your office is at the top of a skyscraper, but you could always get off a few levels down and take the stairs for the last bit (you don’t have to tell your co-workers you got the lift!).
The main problem is that people have to spend such a large part of the day at their desk and this is unavoidable in most cases. There are changes which can be made to make this healthier, such as using a standing desk, as this can improve posture and circulation. Another option is an adjustable balance stool, which engages your core and encourages movement while sat down. There are also ergonomic products and other accessories to make it healthier to work while sitting at a desk.
Got a meeting lined up? Suggest taking a walk while you discuss important business matters to keep your body moving. In addition to allowing you to be active, this can encourage better discussions and help you to think outside the box. While you will not be able to have all meetings this way, they can be helpful for more informal meetings and phone conversations.
Eat Well And Drink Water
Being healthy is not just about being active – you must also eat well and drink lots of water. It is easy to forget about this when you are at your desk all day, so make a concerted effort to avoid the vending machine and instead make healthy lunches at home to bring in which is a great way to save money, too. Many professionals also constantly drink coffee throughout the day, but this is not great for your health. Instead, switch to water, and you could see a range of benefits (a cup or two of coffee is still ok though!).
It is important that everybody in the office stays active, so one of the best ways to do this is to do it together. The manager could encourage everyone to take a walk together at the end of the day, arrange a game of sport after hours, which is a great form of team building, or have an office exercise class. It is in their best interest that everyone remains fit and healthy, so it is certainly worth mentioning to whoever is in charge as it could have a big impact on employee well-being and morale.
So many people work desk jobs that see them sat down at a computer for long stretches of time. This is not good for your health and can lead to a host of issues, so it is vital that steps are taken to minimize these risks. It is, of course, essential that you are at your desk for most of the working day, but the above tips can help you to stay active and healthy. Implementing these changes can be difficult yourself, so try talking to your colleagues and superiors to see if you can change the approach of the entire office and get everybody thinking about being active, and it could have a huge impact on the entire company.