How to move more during your work day
How to move more at work – with minimal equipment and space
Your job may require you to be in front of a computer for eight hours of the day, five days a week. Whilst you may not be able to change this, you can change your movement patterns throughout the day to increase your overall level of physical activity.
Try to break up the periods of time spent sitting. When you receive a phone call, use this as an opportunity to stand up and walk around. Perhaps this means you may need to look at changing the phones in your office or getting a set of headphones that allow you to move more freely around the office.
If you need to speak to a colleague, speak to them; get up from your desk, walk over and engage with them instead of sending them an email or using the intercom or phone. This will not take up more of your time, in fact it may save you time as face to face communication is generally more efficient so try to avoid using ‘time’ as an excuse. Similarly, if you use the printer regularly, try to position yourself further away from it, or move you bin away from your desk so you physically have to get up and walk to the bin to dispose of rubbish.
Standing desks are also becoming more and more popular, and assuming you actually use the standing function of your standing desk, this is a wonderful way to get you out of your seat for periods of time throughout your workday. Standing for periods throughout the day will help to improve the blood flow throughout your body and to the extremities. Standing will also encourage better posture and may relieve lower back pain associated with sitting for long periods.
When lunch time comes around, take a break. Go outside and get some fresh air and if possible, go for a little walk, even just around the building.
All these little tips may not sound like much, but combined, increasing your level of incidental exercise will get your body moving more frequently which is the goal.
PAUSE AND REFLECT
Sit down at the beginning of next week and plan out your week ahead. Write down the times you plan to wake up, have breakfast and get to work, have lunch, and when you plan to finish work day. Also write down any extra-curricular activities or commitments you may have, what time you get home and when you plan to go to bed. Looking at the week ahead, evaluate how much time you will be spending sitting versus how much time you will be up, moving around. You may be very surprised at how little you actually move every day. Don’t be dishoarded by this realisation, instead use it to get you motivate to get up and move more frequently.
Then look at the all the available time that you have within each day. There may be 10 minutes that you spend reading the paper in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch time either before or after you have eaten, 20 minutes before you have to start cooking dinner, or potentially hours when you get home that you may normally spend watching television. Set yourselves some realistic, achievable movement goals, based on the tips provided above, that you can factor into these chunks of time over the next week and record them. Add up the amount of addition incidental exercise or planned physical activity at the end of the week.
Now is a great time to update your wellness goals in manage my rainbow.