May 16, 2014
5 Ways to be More Active at Work
For more and more of us, these days working for a living translates into long hours sitting on our posteriors with our hands tethered to a mouse and keyboard. In recent years, wellness experts have been sounding the alarm about the negative toll extended sitting can have on your well-being. The bad news is this job-related health risk is not subject to change anytime soon – the good news is it’s easy to take a few proactive steps to insure you are not a victim to this tech-age sedentary syndrome.
Take a Stand
You don’t have to take this warning sitting down – if possible, switch out your old desk and chair for an adjustable model that allows you to stand during the day. Even if only for half a day, simply by standing while you work, you can reap the rewards of increased caloric burn and enhanced postural alignment. Standing also allows you the opportunity to get in a mini-workout – shift your weight from side to side while squeezing your glutes, bend your knees for a mini-squat, lift your heel to your hip for a hamstring curl or come up and down onto your toes for a quick calf workout. Don’t forget – time off your tush means your feet take all the heat, so wear comfortable, flexible shoes with ample arch support!
Have a Ball
Even with the most comfortable, high-end, ergonomically designed office chair beneath your bum, you can suffer the ill effects of sitting. However, swap it out for a stability exercise ball and shift the odds in your favor. With no armrests or high chair back, you are forced to use your core muscles to sit up straight. The ball design also enhances your postural awareness and allows you more freedom of movement while maintaining a seated position.
“De-Easify” Your Space
Rearrange your office so everything isn’t at your fingertips! For example, to increase your steps throughout the day, move things like your printer or copy machine as far away from your workstation as possible. Move frequently used files to higher shelves so you are forced to frequently stand and reach overhead.
Walk and Talk
Instead of emailing your office coworkers – why not use the opportunity to take a few steps and communicate face-to-face. Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Take a “Launch” Break
Lunch time is the perfect opportunity to move more. Whenever possible, get away from your desk during your lunch break. Take a walk to a nearby park or just park as far away as you can from your favorite mid-day haunt.
Don’t forget as you increase your activity throughout the day, your body’s demand for hydration increases. Always carry a bottle of water with you when you are on the go. Whether your job is “active friendly” or not, take charge of your own health and fitness with frequent “just move” breaks throughout the day.