Published: 20 January 2017
How to make your office job part of your fitness regime
With the January blues now upon us and many of us having overindulged during the festive season, there is no wonder that we can often feel a little sluggish, demotivated and in need of a quick fix to get us back on track.
Well firstly, I have to be honest, there is no such thing as a quick fix. However, there are a few quick and easy ways to incorporate some healthy activities into your working day and best of all, they cost nothing and can be done on the job.
The stark reality is that UK office workers sit for about 80 per cent of the working day, which makes it difficult to stay fit and active. With busy schedules and high workloads, the idea of incorporating physical activity into your workplace routine may seem unrealistic. However, merging work tasks with movement can help you achieve it with relative ease. So, all is not lost for the millions of office workers that feel bound to their desks on a daily basis.
How to keep fit at work – it’s as easy as stand, walk and sit…
Just one hour of standing during a typical eight-hour work day can improve life expectancy by up to five per cent. Many workers have regular internal meetings and catch-ups planned on a daily and weekly basis, so why not try doing them standing up? Similarly, if you’re leading a meeting or have a role in a presentation then try to stand up for your section if you can. Not only will this give you increased gravitas when delivering your key messages but it can also focus the mind and keep you active at the same time.
For those of you who spend a large amount of time on your phone, invest in some headphones and use your mobile phone how it is meant to be used - while on the move. Plug your headphones in and stand at your desk or walk while having one of your regular calls. Not only will this get you standing, but it’ll increase your mobility; allowing you to, visit different areas of the office and chat with new people on your travels too.
For many office workers, a reliance on desktop computers could see them sitting at a desk for over eight hours a day with little to no exercise at all. However, it is possible to introduce more walking during the working day. For example, you could try introducing a walking meeting to help boost creative thinking and activity levels without deviating from workplace priorities. Instead of meeting in an office, the boardroom or a coffee shop, walking meetings are an active alternative to catching up with colleagues and clients with the aim of increasing heartrates and productivity.
The average walker takes around 4,000 steps in a 30 minute walk and taking such exercise can also provide a welcome opportunity for employees to remove themselves from the distractions and interruptions of their office environment; allowing them to focus solely on the task at hand. Just make sure you plan your route in advance!
Let’s keep things realistic though – having a ten-person walking meeting in a busy city centre wouldn’t be ideal, but a one-to-one or three-person set up is more likely to produce worthwhile results.
‘Deskercise’ is the latest trend to hit offices and we’ve produced our own series of exercises which can be done whilst you’re sitting at your desk or right next to it. To view the whole series visit here. From getting your posture right and toning your muscles, to tapping your toes, stepping on the spot and shoulder shrugging - there are many ways to keep active even in the confines of your office.
The key is to do as much as you can, as often as you can and stay as active as you can.
A business’ workforce is its most valuable asset, and a healthy mindset can help to drive productivity and promote employee wellbeing. It is no secret that physical and mental health is intrinsically linked and therefore it is vital that employers lead by example. Encouraging workplace activity will not only keep your workforce motivated, creative, spirited and healthy, it will build team cohesion, a culture of inclusion, boost productivity and maintain a fit and active group.
It’s not easy making wellbeing initiatives part of the company culture but by introducing small changes, employees will start to see the benefits to both their mind and body.
It really can be as easy as Stand, Walk and Sit.