In our previous blog “Sitting is The New Smoking,” we talked about the health problems associated with working all day sitting down. One of the options we told you about was to work standing up. When publishing that article we fully understood that working standing up may not always be an option for you in your office space. However, you can still exercise at your desk! Here are some ways you can get exercise while working at your desk.
One of the best ways to take on the sedentary effects of sitting all day is to make a point of standing up every 20 to 30 minutes, even if is to just take a stretch or to read a memo – or try standing while on you are the phone. Keeping note of how long you have been sitting is also very important.
Another way to stay active while sitting is to fist pump both arms over your head for 30 seconds, all while rapidly tapping your feet on the floor. Just tap into your inner dancer by speedily tapping your toes on the floor under your desk. This does have its benefits. You can also consider the seated leg raise – or even straightening one or both legs while seated and holding that position for five or more seconds.
Just the practice of keeping good posture while sitting at your desk can bring benefits to your health. One way to do this is to use a posture/yoga ball to sit at your computer, rather than a traditional posture chair. A yoga ball will not only improve your posture, but it will also help to strengthen your core and remind you to breathe properly.
Forget the short cuts…..
When you have to send an email to a colleague down the hall or across the office, take a walk and deliver the information in person. This will not only get you some much needed leg stretching and exercise, but will also give your message a more personalized feel. If your office is like many others with a maze of cubicles or other office spaces, do not try to find the shortest route – deliberately take the longest route to get to the coffee room or photocopier.
Don’t feel like having that mundane elevator chat? Why not take the stairs? Even if your floor is too high up to take the stairs all the way, simply taking the stairs up or down for 4 or 5 floors will outweigh riding the elevator in terms of health benefits.
Work at home? There are things you can do there too!
Even if you do not work in a office space rental and work from home in a virtual office situation, there are things you can do that those restricted to an office cannot. Having your home office on another floor than your kitchen or bathroom will force you to take the stairs a few times a day. A great way to maximize the use of the stairs could be to take two steps up and one step down, this will slow down your trip but increase the benefits of taking that one or two flights.
Another idea for not being sedentary while working from home is to read your emails on a tablet or smartphone while walking around the house. Yes, you may want to wait until you are in front of your desktop or laptop to respond, but sometimes reading an email more than once before responding can have great effects on how you respond to more detailed or complicated emails. Reading your emails while standing and walking will not only have health benefits, but could also improve your clarity and judgement.