Let’s Get Physical at the Office…

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Chronic sitting is a plague to our country, and most Americans are falling victim. We sit in the morning, sit in our car, sit at the desk, sit at lunch, sit on the way home, sit at home, and repeat.

Aside from the chronic issues that come from sitting too much – see fixes HERE – we just aren’t moving enough throughout the day. On average, Americans get just over 5000 steps per day, which is almost 4000 less than pretty much every other developed country. Couple less movement with an overabundance of food, and you have a problem.

So how can we be more active at work without being the guy or gal doing jumping jacks in her cubicle? (not really a bad idea) – here are three ideas – but first, the mindset is always key.

Stop Thinking You Know What Others Might Think…

I’ve heard people say things like, “well that sounds silly” or “my coworkers might think I am weird…”. I guarantee you that no one is really thinking that you are weird because you want to take better care of your health. If anything, they are jealous that you are taking time and putting in the effort to be healthier, and that might come out in the form of jokes or judgement – but who cares?

You will need to get over that mental block of feeling embarrassed for not doing what most others are doing…in anything health related because truth is – most others are not doing so well anyway.

Alright, here are three options you can implement NOW.

1. Longer Routes

Take the scenic route to your desk, office, etc. We all have heard to use the stairs. But what about parking a little further out, using the stairs, and meeting new people along the way. We need to be more social anyways, make it a point to meet someone new every day – and you cannot go to your desk until you do, so get to work a little early.

2. Walking Meetings

Your brain works better with movement and blood flow. Next time you have a one on one meeting, or discussion, ask if they would like to walk and talk. It might not always be an option, but you may actually find it more enjoyable and may come up with better ideas.

If you have a lot of phone conversations, you can implement this as well with phone calls. Every time you take a call, get up and move around the office (if you can). Even just standing can make a difference.

3. Activity Breaks

I teach a workplace fitness class twice per week. Shout out to those ladies because they are awesome! They make exercise a priority during their workdays. But it also allows them to blow off some steam, take a mental break, and get their workout in without having to go to the gym before or after work, which means more family time for many of them.

Maybe you don’t have this option. If you are serious or in a position to make it happen, I would bring this idea up with HR, and reach out to a local trainer/gym and see what you can work out. If not, there are still many things you can do without actual exercise.

  • Set an hourly alarm to get up and walk to the furthest drinking fountain.
  • Don’t use email if you don’t have to – get up and talk to people.
  • Do 10 bodyweight squats to your chair – who cares what others think!
  • Take a lunchtime walk. If you are competitive, track how far you go, and try to beat your time next week.
  • Use waiting time to move – waiting for the copier? Pace. Waiting for the microwave? Walk for 2 minutes.

Get creative with it! But more importantly – just move more!

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Stay healthy my friends,