It’s easy to spend all day at a desk, hunched over a computer, barely moving. But did you know that this is probably detrimental to both your physical and mental health?
Why is it important to move more?
It’s no secret that keeping your body active will make you fitter and healthier. This can be especially true the older we get; as we age, things like poor posture, high blood pressure and high stress levels can start to take a toll on our overall health, leading to long term and potentially life-shortening health problems.
Most of us are guilty of bad posture, whether we realize it or not. Those endless hours each week sitting in front of a computer builds tension in our shoulders, back and neck. Over weeks, months and years, this can lead to serious health problems. By taking time every day to move more and sit less, you’ll relieve stress, avoid injury and keep your body healthier for longer.
How can you make your day move more?
No matter where you work, there are certain measures you can take to increase your daily activity.
- Make your commute your workout
Many of us use the car, train or bus to get to work, even when we live within running or cycling distance of the office. With our hectic lives, it can be difficult to find the time to work out, so combining it with your morning commute really does get double bang for the buck. At Freeletics, we’re lucky enough to have shower facilities in the office, making it even easier to run or cycle to work, but even if you don’t have this setup, there’s nothing to stop you running home from work.
- Stand up regularly
When we spend the entire day sitting at a desk, our muscles and joints stiffen and we’re more prone to injury. Studies have proven that the negative effects of being sedentary start to take hold after around 20 minutes, so by standing up every 20 minutes or so, not only are you giving your mind a quick break, but you’re also helping to keep your body healthy.
- Take the stairs
The simplest way to make your working day more active is to consider all the opportunities you have to do something more… and to do them! Don’t think of taking the stairs to your sixth floor meeting as an inconvenience, think of it more as an opportunity to get your heartrate up and blood flowing. This not enough? A flight of stairs can also easily be changed into a mini workout. Sprint up them one day, focus on squeezing your glutes the whole way up the next, play a coordination game by split-lunging each step or simply miss out every second step and lunge your way to the top. No more elevators.
- Walking meetings
Meetings that don’t require a screen or presentation need not be confined to a meeting room. Particularly in the summer months, consider going outside and holding walking meetings instead. Making walking meetings part of your company culture doesn’t just keep employees active, but it also frees up much sought-after meeting rooms.
- Workout at lunch time
An hour lunch break is a long time, so make the most of it! Why not go for a short interval running session or do some HIIT? Then refuel straight after, knowing you’ve earned a hearty meal. Making lunch workouts a team event is also an effective way to keep employees active as they won’t have to come to work early or stay late - no excuses!
Not all companies are fortunate enough to have shower and changing facilities on hand, but this doesn’t mean you can’t work out during your lunch break. Consider low intensity exercise, like yoga, that won’t leave you dripping with sweat or simply use your lunch break as a chance to go for a longer walk around your city. Not every workout has to result in pools of sweat on your training mat.
A full time job doesn’t have to mean a life confined to a desk. By integrating more movement into your working life, not only will you break up the day, but you’ll keep yourself active and healthy for longer.