Diet is only half of the battle; achieving a healthier you involves staying active. Most of us spend the majority of our time at work, sitting at our desks. 8 to 9 hours of sitting each day translates to about 100 days of sitting a year!
Even if you are exercising 3 to 5 times a week, being active at work can boost your weight loss results, make you more productive, and even increase job satisfaction rates. Try these tips to stay active during your workday.
1. Take the Stairs
This tip may seem like a no-brainer, but taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator can increase your total step count for the day. If you aren't used to taking the stairs, it may be a challenge for you at first, but keep going and it will get easier! Stairs also work your calves, quads, and glutes, firing up some of your body's most powerful muscles and torching calories.
2. Skip the Email
Have to email your boss about a meeting today? Need to get some files from a coworker? Take a walk to their office. You'll be more active, and you can put in face time with your coworkers. This little break from your workday will give you a moment away from your work without taking up too much time.
3. Make Your Desk Work for You
Work places often have wellness departments that perform ergonomic evaluations. An ergonomic evaluation may reveal that you need a standing desk, modified chair, or a combination of the two. Many companies will provide desk modifications that support employee health. Standing desks allow for more flexibility, so you can stand or sit, depending on how you feel. Standing desks can relieve back pain, reduce the risk of weight gain, fight fatigue, and can even encourage more activity. Some companies offer fitness balls instead of chairs, which enhance core and back strength while sitting. Changing your desk setup is an easy fix to become more active during work.
4. Take Your Meeting on the Road
We all dread those long weekly meetings; why not take a walking meeting? You can modify the meeting schedule to fit the needs of your coworkers, but try traveling around the office for 15 to 20 minutes of the meeting. You'll likely find people are more alert and more participative than they would be sitting at
a conference table. If the weather permits, you can even go outside!
5. Try a Desk Workout
You may not always have time to get up and go for a walk or maybe you don't feel like standing much today. Try simple exercises like calf raises, to get your body moving. If you have more space, you can even try chair dips (just not on a rolling chair!) or desk push-ups.
6. Stretch It Out
At lunch, try stretching your legs, hips, and arms for a mid-day recharge. Quad stretches, ankle rolls, and arm stretches will give your muscles some attention and get you ready to finish the day strong.
7. Make an Effort Daily
Be aware of how much you are sitting during the day, and try to make daily efforts to get up and moving. Little changes or 10 to 15 minute walks after lunch can yield big results. You'll find that the more active you are, the more energy you have to crush your workweek.
Written by Caroline Wiswell, MS RD LDN