Most jobs today do not allow the time for a luxury fitness run or jog. Many people have to sit at their desks the entire day and put in productive hours of work. While this seems ideal to many people, it is a grave health risk.
Sitting in the same place or position for prolonged periods of time can lead to lower back problems, posture issues, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and increase in fat percentage in the lower body. Excessive sitting may also lead to a slowing down of the metabolic rate of the body. This rate controls the ability to regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, and fat break-down.
You do not need to be a hyper bunny at the office and disrupt the flow of work. Adding some form of activity every few hours or at regular intervals can improve your overall health and avoid negative feelings like lethargy, mood swings, anxiety, and stress.
There are plenty of ways that you can improve your physical and mental health while at work and at the same time, increase your overall productivity.
Let us look at some tips to help you stay active in the office.
Walk or Bike:
We all have heard a story about someone who’s walking or riding a cycle to work. Riding a bicycle and walking to work are excellent methods to start your day with a little exercise. If you live too far and cannot help but take a train or a bus, try getting off one stop earlier than usual and walk the few blocks to your workplace. If you drive to work, then try parking your car at least 1 kilometer away from your office and work the few meters to your office building.
While this may seem strenuous at first, you will soon like the fresh air and will start looking forward to walking to work. If you’re unsure about the best way to put things into motion, try a few different modes of travel, and decide which options suit you the best. Remember, no matter what you do, you should try to reach office at least 5 minutes before your reporting time.
Standing or walking meetings:
If you are in a meeting with your boss, you could (politely) suggest that it would be best to walk and talk at the same time. However, if there is a presentation going on, this will not be possible. Encouraging people around you to walk or have standing meetings of 15 – 20 minutes will help you and others get off the chair. This will help get the blood circulation and metabolism up again.
Changes in pace and scenery during walking meetings can also help dissipate feelings of anxiety, stress, and tensions, and instead, increase productivity and efficiency at work. Moving around and involving everyone also opens pathways for informal sharing of ideas and solutions.
Wear comfortable clothing:
It is not too difficult to understand why wearing comfortable clothing and footwear is essential. If you were to walk to the office, you would prefer doing so in comfortable footwear rather than in heels and stiff-soled formal shoes. Comfortable clothing also plays an integral part in staying active all day long. If you wore pants or trousers that are too tight and have to sit in your office chair for long hours, you would not be able to concentrate on your work and would be uneasy the entire day.
Similarly, tight and form-fitting clothing should be avoided at work to be able to walk around freely, take coffee breaks, and maybe have a few standing meetings. For women, investing in comfortable, yet formal trousers and flat shoes with blouses would be a better than wearing tight dresses that cannot be worn without heels. Men should opt for easy-fit pants and shirts to walk around freely.
Walk to meet people:
In today’s day and age, it is effortless to avoid personally meeting people. One phone call is all it takes to get work done in lesser time. However, this is not good for health. Walking over to meet your colleague would help you get moving around the office and also improve your relations with your colleagues. Meeting face-to-face also encourages coworkers to meet you at your workplace or desk. This will also be a great way to increase health awareness while boosting teamwork and efficiency.
Most people forget that just moving around doesn’t help. Whether you’re sitting, walking, or standing, you must stretch your muscles to get them working again. Stretching every thirty to forty minutes helps get the circulation back into your muscles. Regularly stretching while at work help in reducing muscular strains, neck pains, lower back aches, and helps clear the head.
Since most of the time at the desk is spent in front of a laptop or desktop, it stands to reason that the eyes are getting weary. Regularly stretching helps to get away from the computer screen and give some rest to your eyes. Gently massage them as you rejuvenate them.
Move around for breaks:
Taking regular breaks at work is as important as doing your job efficiently. To move around a lot, you could send your files to the printer farthest away from your desk. Doing this ensures you have to walk to the printer to get your documents and safeguard them until use.
In case you have a coffee or tea break, offer to make a cup for your immediate neighbor. If you must leave the office and go down to the cafeteria or a coffee shop, offer to do it so that you can get some exercise while you are forced to move around.
Taking small breaks, moving around the office, walking or cycling to work, and setting an active office routine is essential to maintain your health.