One of the perks of having a desk job used to be reduced wear and tear on your body. While it’s true that working behind a desk is not as physically demanding as wrangling cattle, putting out fires, or hauling large equipment, all the sitting and computer time a desk job requires creates other health concerns. Recently, the World Health Organization named physical inactivity as the fourth biggest risk factor for adult mortality worldwide, noting that long periods of sitting can lead to increased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer.
That is why it’s important to find ways to stay on the move throughout the day—not just during the hour after work when you head to California Family Fitness for your favorite indoor cycling class. Here are some ideas to read and share with your co-workers for increasing physical activity at the office. After all, workouts with friends are more effective, fun, and reduce stress!
Track your steps. You may have heard the recommended amount of movement for good health is a minimum of 10,000 steps. Step trackers can be purchased at a variety of price points and offer a wide range of features and capabilities. Many can be set to lightly vibrate to keep you accountable, reminding you to stand up and move throughout the day. Some of our favorites are FitBit, Garmin, and the budget-friendly Lintelek.
Find opportunities to move. Making time for movement can be as simple as taking the steps instead of the elevator, selecting the printer on the other side of the office instead of the one right next to your door, stretching while your document downloads or getting up to speak with a co-worker instead of dialing the phone. At the California Family Fitness corporate office, some of our employees enjoy taking short meetings outside, where they can walk around the block while discussing and brainstorming different ideas. Fresh air and increased blood flow does wonders for creativity!
Stash portable fitness equipment under your desk or set up an office workout space. Instead of being tempted by yesterday’s leftover bagels in the break room, use your downtime to move. Resistance bands and kettlebells are easy to store and don’t require a lot of space to enjoy a quick workout. If there’s a room, supply closet, or even a cubicle to spare, set up a spot where anyone to go to burn a few calories. Co-workers may be willing to contribute old equipment or funds to purchase a few simple items that can be utilized for short workouts during the day—a pull up bar, yoga mats, some free weights, and a compact elliptical trainer are a good pieces of equipment to start with. Enjoy short workouts offered by California Family Fitness trainers here.
Invest in standing desks. Encourage your employer to consider replacing traditional desks with adjustable desks that allow employees the option of raising their workstation. A raised station allows them to stand for part of the day. Not only does this naturally increase activity, studies show it is possible that standing makes workers more productive!
Sponsor an office challenge. Make fitness fun at work by creating friendly competitions or special rewards for goals achieved. We love the story of Cal Fit member Jeanette, who trained to compete in an office planking challenge, and won with a time of seven minutes!
Movement throughout the day is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Let these tips guide you on your journey to becoming your best self.