Over the past 50 years, work environments have become less and less active. Many of us now spend most of our work hours sitting in front of a computer. You may have heard it called “Death By Sitting”, which sounds snarky and exaggerated, but prolonged periods of sitting does affect your health. This change in the way we work is now being considered a possible cause for rising levels of obesity, cancer, heart and kidney disease, and assorted other disorders.
So, while it is excellent to exercise before or after work, you should also try to move more during your workday! Here are some ideas for getting yourself up and moving while at work.
Pick the option that is the furthest away! If you have multiple printers, water fountains, or bathrooms, consider using one that’s further away. A printer down the hall, rather than under your desk, or a bathroom on another floor can help you pepper in additional movement during the day.
Use hands-free moments to move. If you have a conference call, switch to speakerphone or a headset and take breaks to move. Standing up, walking around your office, or stretching at your desk is all you need to do—no need for jumping jacks and heavy breathing. If you’re waiting for the copier to finish a job, try jogging in place, jumping jacks, squats, or walking around.
Squeeze movement into your breaks. If your office allows flexible breaks, consider using 5 or 10 minutes of that break for a walk. Some businesses are starting to create break time specifically for walking, so check and see if your work place has (or would allow) walking breaks!
Take the stairs. Many office buildings have nice elevators and hidden stairways. Find the stairs in your office and use them whenever you are moving between floors.
Set an alarm to remind yourself to move. For every 30 minutes of sitting, take 5 minutes to stand up, walk, or stretch. If you have a wearable device like a FitBit or Apple Watch, they can be set to remind you with a vibration or chime.
Some of these might feel a little weird at first—not everyone feels comfortable being the only person standing during a meeting. But, if you talk to your coworkers, you may find that they want to move more and get healthier as well! Don’t be afraid to be a trendsetter in your workplace and get moving!