I have a love/hate relationship with my Fitbit.
I love it on the days when I’m rocking out on my steps. I hate it on the days when I look at it at 3:00pm, and I barely have 2,000 steps.
Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? The Mayo Clinic associates prolonged sitting with a number of health concerns, such as increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
It’s hard to be active when you sit at a desk job five days a week. You get up a few times a day to go to meetings (where you then sit), lunch (where you then sit), and the restroom (where you then, well, maybe sit), but otherwise, you sit for most of the day.
Lately, I’m trying to be more active in general, so I started to think about what I can do at work that may not require a lot of effort or time away from my desk but will keep me refreshed and feeling good throughout the day.
Here are some things that helped me, and that I hope will help you too!
Activities to Do at Your Desk
There are tons of resources at your fingertips on easy “deskercises.” Of course, you don’t want to look like a crazy person, so get your neighbors in on the fun and do a mid-morning and afternoon break together. Check out this “12 Simple Tips” article by WebMD to get you started.
Stand up to read or talk on the phone
Since most of us use computers all day, it’s hard to stand up to work. However, when you’re reading or talking on the phone, it’s a great chance to rise out of that chair!
Dr. Verniko, author of Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, states that standing up 35 times a day or so will counteract the cardiovascular health risks associated with long-term sitting. Just that act of getting up is a huge benefit to yo’ body.
Ask for a standing desk
Standing desks are more popular these days than ever. Here at the ‘ville we have a few, but in a few short months, more than 80% of our desks will be motorized to go up and down! How cool is that? I know this may not be possible for your organization, but it never hurts to ask. You might even start a standing desk revolution!
Move office supplies out of arm’s reach
As I look around my desk, I notice that everything I need is at arm’s length. I don’t have to get up to get anything. An easy way to get in some movement throughout the day is to put your go-to files, phone, and other commonly used items a little bit farther away so you need to get up to get them.
Use an exercise ball instead of a chair
So, this one was hard. I tried to do this, and it reconfirmed that I’m so out of shape. A former colleague of mine has one, and she also purchased the ball chair that has a back on it. She got used to it and found it to be helpful. I’m still on the fence with this one, but I’m sure it would help improve core muscle strength. Time to get on the ball!
Get Up & Get Moving
Have a walking meeting
Who said you have to meet in a meeting room? If you have two or three people in your meeting, walk around the building and discuss the topic, if possible. The blood flow will help with your productivity!
Go to your co-worker’s desk to talk instead of sending an email
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before. We’ve all emailed instead of walking over. And while emailing provides a quicker way to work, it’s not helping the love handles. Pass out more love and go visit your peeps.
Take a lunch break
Oh, you caught me! I am a big culprit of skipping lunch and then realizing at the end of the day that I’ve spent nine (or more) hours sitting at my desk. No break = no good . . . even though you think it’s helping you get more work done. Instead, you’re just stripping away the re-energizing that your body and brain need to be effective in the afternoon. It also gives you a chance to walk around for a little bit and get your steps in!
Drink more water so take more restroom breaks
I've been trying to drink a gallon of water a day. I fail on most days, but I do try and drink as much as I can. Even as I write this, I’m not even close to today’s goal since I’ve only visited the restroom twice in seven hours. When I’m on target, I’m up every one and a half hours at least. It’s a pain in the butt, but it has such great health benefits!
Take the stairs, not the elevator
Ho hum . . . I hate the stairs. I can go down them like champ, but going up more than a couple of flights is rough. Do you feel me?! However, I love to hit my Fitbit goal, and this is one way to do it. It’s also another reason to drink more water, since the restroom is downstairs at Baudville. I must go up and down more stairs to get to the restroom. So, drink up and walk up!
Take the long way back to your desk
Ok party people, this is an easy one. With my Fitbit, I always look for ways to increase my daily step count. I take extra laps around our café or take a roundabout way to get where I need to go. It’s just a few extra minutes of your day, and you can use that time to brainstorm ideas or say hello to your co-workers and build those relationships.
So, now that you have some ideas to get you moving at the office, try one or two to get started and incorporate more as you can. You’ll be a lean, mean fighting machine in no time.
Don’t forget to share your active changes in the comments below! We’d love to hear how it went and any other ideas you’re trying in your office!