Office jobs are sedentary by nature, we are spending more and more time sitting and staring at a screen and it’s effecting our well-being, posture and health.
Nothing should come before your health, if you become poorly because you are inactive for 8-9 hours a day then your work will suffer regardless! To help you get more active and mobile in what is normally a sedentary environment, try the following:
1.) Use smaller glasses/ bottles – Hydration is a given, if you’re serious about your health you won’t go more than 20mins without some form of liquid. Use smaller glasses when filling up at the water fountain, this way you will need to make more trips to the fountain to keep yourself hydrated. This requires a mindset shift though because you have to be disciplined with your hydration in order to increase your office activity.
2.) Drink more! See how this one follows on from number 1? Clever right? It’s simple really, the more you drink the more you’ll need to pee! So be sure to get in at least 35ml of fluid per kg bodyweight per day, which for an average 70kg individual is around 2.5 litres. THIS REALLY WORKS by the way, because guess what happens if you’re lazy and don’t go pee…things get messy REAL fast, that’s what!
3.) Go out for a walk at lunch – Don’t overlook the importance of raising the heartbeat, and I don’t mean the surge you get when the gorgeous marketing exec sits near you in the staff room! Raising your heart rate for as little as 30mins a day can induce a training effect, and this improves the contractility of heart tissue, increase the release of endorphins and aids bone mineral density. If it’s raining then take a brolly and coat!
4.) Use a standing desk – OK, so we don’t all work in Google where you have slides, table tennis tables and desks that move around with you. However, many offices are now offering adjustable desks that enable employees to raise and lower the height so that you can stand and work. The obvious benefit of this is that you aren’t hunched over, your muscles are having to work harder to maintain postural position and you’re able to walk around as you peruse a document. Should your company refuse to cater to standing desks then stand up and tilt your monitor whilst you peruse a document. The more you stand the greater your energy expenditure, the better your blood flow and the lower the risk of blood pooling etc.
5.) Stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down… As Dr. Verniko explains in his book, Sitting Kills, Moving Heals, the simple act of standing up and sitting down again can significantly improve your health, posture and wellbeing over the course of a day. Specifically, the book suggests standing up and sitting down at least 32 times a day. This doesn’t mean you can spend 5mins standing up, sitting down over and over, but instead you have to do this over an average 8 hour working day to see the benefit. That’s just 4 times every hour.
6.) Park further away in car park- A conscious effort to park further away from your place of work is great for increasing total physical activity levels. These may only be small differences, but the cumulative benefit to health is significant. Just like lots of small calories add up over the day making you fat, small frequent bouts of physical activity add up to burn fat.
7.) Go tell them in person- Forget technology for a minute. Sit back and think…scrap that, STAND UP and think if what you are about to email someone could just as easily be explained in person. If the answer is yes then take a minute to go walk over to their desk, say hi, and pass on your message yourself. Yes emails are quicker, and it’s just as well because generally the less active you are the lower your life expectancy will be. Harsh but true. GET ACTIVE!