3 Ways to Get More Active When You Work in an Office
There is a new disease cropping up in people that are desk-bound for much of their work day – the sitting disease. However, its effects can be minimized (or entirely prevented) by getting more physical activity throughout the day. This article explores three ways to keep active:
Before getting to your desk
If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot and then walk in the rest of the way to your office building. If you take public transportation to work, get off a stop or two before or after your closest stop and walk to your place of work. Once inside, take the stairs instead of the elevator up to your office (or at least walk a few flights up if working in a high-rise building).
While at your desk
Aim to get up for at least five minutes out of each hour. Another “trick” is to take phone calls standing up. If on a cordless phone or have a speaker on your phone, get up and walk around while talking.
Another way to get in more steps is instead of sending an email to a colleague in the same building, walk over to his/her desk and deliver the message in person.
More and more office professionals are either using stand-up desks or desks with an integrated treadmill. It is a great way to exercise while you work if you can get the boss to buy you either one. It is a great way to burn 400 calories or more per day.
While it can be beneficial to get up and go to the cafeteria at lunchtime, health-wise it is better to go outside and walk during your lunch break and leave just enough time to eat your healthy brown-bag lunch you brought from home. In addition to the extra steps you got while walking, you got even more by having to walk down to the ground floor and back up again after lunch (and you ate healthy in the process)!
On the way home
This is generally a reverse of getting to work. After the workday, walk back down to the ground floor and back out to your car or to the transportation stop.
Many office workers like to stop at their gym either on the way to or from work and get in a structured workout too. It makes a great way to get in some upper body exercising each day as most of the “office exercising” involves the lower body.
You don’t have to be a “victim” of the sitting disease. With some forethought, you can get your work done and get in some exercising all during the course of a workday.
How to Spread Exercise Through a Busy Daily Routine
Finding a 30-minute chunk of free time to exercise can be difficult if not impossible some days. However, there are things you can do to spread your exercise time over the duration of your day.
Around the house
Doing laundry, housework and shopping are common ways to naturally get in some exercise, but here are a few ways you might not have thought about.
Instead of just walking out to the end of the driveway to pick up the paper, walk a route for five minutes and pick up the paper on the way back in.
Try doing jumping jacks between commercials if watching TV. A 150-pound person can burn up to 90 calories over an accumulated 10-minute session.
Instead of waiting in the car when picking up your kid, get out and walk around it a few times or walk into the building and then back out with your kid.
If you drive to work, park at the far end of the parking lot instead of close to the building. You will get in more steps by walking in and back out at the end of the work day. If you take public transportation to work, take the long way to get to your office. Take the same way or a different long way after work.
Once inside your workplace, take the stairs instead of the elevator (even for just a few floors). Walking up stairs is one of the best ways of getting your heart rate up.
While walking to the cafeteria during your lunch break to eat is getting in more steps, a better way is to walk outside and leave just enough time to eat your healthy brown bag lunch you brought from home instead of some unhealthy cafeteria meal. This means you get another round of steps in going down to the ground floor and back up again too.
While at work, get up and move around at least five minutes each hour. Also make it a habit to get up when answering the phone and walk around while talking.
If your boss will spring for the cost, get a stand-up desk. Ergonomically, standing is better for your body than sitting. Better yet is get a desk with a built-in treadmill. Then you could walk while working which is better yet than just standing!
Exercise in chunks of time instead of all at once
Numerous studies have all shown that as much benefit (and in many cases more) is derived from three 10-minute exercise sessions as in one 30-minute session. The theory behind the results indicate that your metabolism stays up higher between three shorter sessions, then it does with one longer session. The longer you can keep your metabolism up, the more calories you’ll burn.
During the course of a busy day, it is not hard to get in 30 minutes of exercising in and you really did not have to invest much additional time at all.
Spreading out exercise throughout the day is not that hard once you think about ways you can do it. There are many opportunities out there, without adding time to an already busy schedule. Use the tips in this article to maximize your exercising efforts, along with thinking up your own ways.