Oh the sedentary life-style—the thing that many professionals can’t avoid. We sit in office chairs from 9-5, sit in our cars during our commutes, and probably relax on the couch after a long day at the office. If you have a job that keeps you moving during work hours, consider yourself lucky. Multiple studies show that sitting for more than six hours a day can shave seven years off your life. That’s a lot of life!
Prolonged sitting has been linked to an increase in metabolic syndrome, heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, and overall risk of death. The statistics show that it’s killing people at the same rate as smoking!
Perhaps the most disturbing part? Regular trips to the gym won’t undo the possible effects of prolonged sitting. The trick is to incorporate more movement and activity throughout your daily routine. Here are some tips to help keep your toes tapping:
Walk or Bike to Work
It’s no longer out of the ordinary to roll up on two weeks to work. Over the past decade, biking to work has increased by 60 percent. Bicycle commuters are saving money and enjoying multiple health benefits—all while missing out on morning traffic. Brilliant.
Get Creative with your Work Space
Our bodies are meant to be in motion. Make it happen and consider one of these active workspace options on the market:
- Rebel Desk: get moving during the daily grind with a treadmill or standing desk. This brand has great product reviews and will increase your health as well as your productivity.
- Via Seating: one trend in workspace movement has been to swap out your office chair with a stability ball. This is to help you engage your core during long hours on the job. The Swopper at Via Seating is similar in that it is designed to help you move in all three dimensions. You’ll strengthen your back, breathe deeper, and stimulate circulation.
- VARIDESK: take a stand for your health and think about investing in a sit-stand desk. The price tag is a bit more manageable than other comparable brands and they offer an adjustable desk riser to sit on top of your already existing desk. The VARIDESK companion app allows you to set alerts to prompt you to stand throughout the day. You can also track your progress with the app’s calorie calculator.
Take Regular Breaks
Interrupt your couch potato work style by taking short breaks throughout the day for movement. Take a walk around the office, step outside for some fresh air, or simply stand and sit. If you have the space, it’s a great idea to keep exercise equipment in your office for blasts of resistance work and stretching throughout the day. Always keep dumbbells and a resistance band nearby.
Of course, this is easier said than done. For many busy professionals working against tight deadlines, remembering to take breaks is difficult. Here are a few awesome apps to help remind you to step away from the desk: Eyeleo, Workrave, and Big Stretch Reminder.
Host Walking Meetings
To stay healthy in an office environment, you have to get creative. Be “that guy/girl” who hosts a walk club during lunch or asks team members to take a stroll during certain brainstorming sessions and meetings. You could even join up with your co-workers to run/walk in support of a charitable cause.
Purchase an Activity Tracker
To be honest, sitting is just easier. We easily get wrapped up in an assignment or project and lose all sight of our health. By tracking the calories you burn each day, you can get a better idea of when you need to pick up the pace. The FitBit is a favorite as well as the The Nike FuelBand. An office worker burns an average of 68 calories an hour, so aim higher for better health benefits on the job.
How do you keep moving during work hours?
About the author:
Tobi North – Creativity rock star and marketing master
I enjoy being innovative and creating communications that customers can relate to. I am always looking for that “light bulb” moment, when I find an interesting topic which I know our customers will love to learn more about. In between creative brainstorming sessions, you can probably find me at a concert or searching for the best BBQ joint in town.