Get Moving at Work!!
How often are you moving during the day? It can be quite difficult if you have an office based business or a specific office based day where you’re working in front of the computer, seeing clients, in meetings or in a training course.
Over the past few years there has been plenty of research that identifies the negative health effects from a sedentary lifestyle. Martha Grogan, Cardiologist with the Mayo Clinic, reported “For people who sit most of the day, their risk of heart attack is about the same as smoking.”
Earlier this year an article by Lisa Fields on WebMD, explored the impact of “sitting disease”, which is a catchy phrase for a sedentary lifestyle that might be putting your health at risk. The article reported that there is a growing body of research that shows long periods of physical inactivity raise your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity. Additionally, Australian researchers reported that each hour spent watching TV is linked to an 18% increase in the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, perhaps because that time is spent sitting down.
Consider how much you sit in a day, travelling to & from your business while working and when you get home. We now also depend on email, mobile phone apps, online banking and shopping to accomplish tasks that in the past would have required us to get up and run errands.
So how can you get moving more every day?
As David Dunstan, PhD (who heads the physical activity laboratory in the metabolism and obesity division) from Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne says, think beyond a lunchtime workout. “Getting 1 hour of exercise in the middle of the day is better than not doing anything, but that still leaves 7 hours of sitting during the workday“. It’s the little bits of exercise that your blend into your day that research has shown that can benefit your physical and mental health greatly. Here are some tips to get you moving during the day…
- Get NEAT, NEAT stands for Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and includes stretching, turning, and bending. It’s recommended that you aim for 10 minutes of NEAT each hour. Exercise physiologist Fabio Comana, an instructor in San Diego State University’s School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, agrees with this approach to activity. “Get moving more often with small goals,” he says. “Stretch out your entire body, all the muscles that are cramped. If you do it five or six times a day, you’ll start to notice a difference.“
- Stand-up meetings – besides not sitting, you will find the meetings are more productive, more effective and focussed. Next time, take the chairs out of the meeting room and see what happens!
- Instead of having a sit down meeting with your team, clients or suppliers have a walking meeting. Take a little note pad with you to jot down any notes if you need to and get talking also about the benefits of moving.
- Walk more to work, if you can, park your car farther away from your building, or get off the train a stop earlier, even if it’s only an extra block, remember every little bit counts.
- Use stairs not elevators; if possible, this is a great way to get your body moving.
- Take a longer route to the restroom or the kitchen for those extra steps.
- Look to create a stand-up desk, so you can alternate between sitting and standing when computing. A 2011 study published by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention shows that when workers are equipped with sit-stand workstations, prolonged sitting is reduced and mood states improved.
- Whenever you answer the phone, make a rule that you stand up!
- If that person you’re sending that email to is nearby, forget the email and walk over and have a chat with them.
- When you get home and feel like sitting down and watching the TV to relax, do some stretches while you watch or get up and move about when the ads are on.
- Get a moving buddy, so you can hold each other accountable to keep moving during the day!
Lastly, check out this website www.juststand.org for more information and resources to help getting you and your team moving during the team. Your body will appreciate the preventative strategies to invest in your health now down the track. Imagine trying to run your business if your health has deteriorated severely.