Just because you have to sit at a desk all day long at work, it doesn’t mean you can’t sneak in some exercise. Many employers have long been encouraging their staff to stay healthy. And some new office furniture may look like it is from the future - but this future, be sure, is coming very soon! Not only is it useful to get some exercise during your workday, it is a MUST! It is actually a surprise that for so long we have been wasting the longest part of our wakefulness (while working) sitting and expecting that when we return home after an exhaustive day of work and faced with home chores we will be spending an hour on treadmill! The “sitting disease” is bound to suffer a serious blow at the workplace.
So, now the entire world needs to respond aggressively and effectively to the obesity-diabetes epidemic. Creating opportunities for physical activity during our working daily schedule is one of the most untapped opportunities for increasing our daily physical activity. Replacing sitting at the workplace is becoming probably the most significant development in our fight against the health challenges of our time. We can no longer sit for 8 – 10 hours a day!
Let’s start with the easiest and most traditional way to get in some exercise at work...use your lunch break to get moving. Form a group of workers who want to walk during their lunch hour. Maybe you take 30 minutes to eat and the other 30 is spent walking outside. Not only will the fresh air and movement do you good, but it is a chance to catch up with friends. Furthermore, some offices offer gyms in their building which is a perk but only if you take advantage of it. Yet another idea is to take a 3 minute “exercise break” a few times during the day. If you have an area you can go to, take 3 minutes to get in jumping jacks, squats and jogging in place. What about, wall squats or calf raises while waiting at the copy machine, dips using your desk, leg lifts and even squeezing and tightening your buttocks while you sit. And if you have the choice of the elevator or stairs, take the stairs.
And then there is the “new kid in town” - Pieces of office furniture that allow you to work out while you are doing your job! Here are just a few examples:
A treadmill desk; it can briefly challenge your balance but have no worries; once you get used to it will run smooth and will not disrupt at all your job; you will be able to remain focus on the project and hand while shedding lots of calories
Standing desks, walking mats, and exercise balls in place of chairs are all new and available ways to use at work, a win-win situation for your employer who wants to promote the health of his employees and yourself who are desperately looking for those 40 minutes of exercise a day your doctor has been advising you for so long.
A bike desk is a unique way to work also. It looks like a stationary bike, with a desk attached. Elliptical work desks and ab-focused workout chairs are good choices too for sneaking in exercise at work.
As all this is new and there is, of course, resistance to change, it is possible that your employer has not incorporated any type of exercise equipment or furniture. Once they get over the unconventional, but great new workplace environment, they are likely to embrace it, some sooner than others. Rest assure, this new look and functionality in the workplace will soon become standard practice. After all, your employer knows all too well that a healthy employee is a happy and more productive employee!
To your health!