Do you have a job that requires you to work in an office? Is it a requirement of your job that you spend most of your time sitting? Many of us in the United States are sitting more and more, whether at work or at home, which is a bad trend. In fact, 25% of the population in the United States is not engaged in any form of physical activity (CDC, 2010). Modern life appears to continuously lure us to sit more and move lessÔÇöa terrible trend in environmental design and human behaviorÔÇöfrom work surroundings to the house to transportation.
Is there anything we can do (possibly unwittingly) to offset the ever-increasing sedentary lifestyle we are all adopting? Fortunately, whether you work in an office or have fallen victim to a sedentary lifestyle, there are many ways to encourage physical activity and exercise habits.
To begin, consider some simple ways you can exercise more and sit less at work:
1. Set up a stand-up or moveable workstation.
Adjustable standing desks, mobile standing laptop desks, treadmill desks, and stationary bicycle desks are just a few examples.
Build a standing desk addition for free by stacking a box and/or some books on top of each other on your desk to hold your laptop or desktop computer (for good posture, you need to stack them to an appropriate height).
2. Use a resistance ball in place of your typical office chair.
There are several sizes of low-cost resistance balls available. To encourage healthy posture, choose one that is the right height in relation to your workstation. Sitting on a resistance ball can help you improve your posture by engaging your core. Begin by sitting on the ball for small amounts of time throughout the day, gradually decreasing your time on a traditional office chair.
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3. Time spent on the phone equals time spent walking.
Get up and stroll around your workplace every time your phone calls. This will help you form a positive habit that is associative.
4. Meeting time is equal to time spent standing (or walking time)
Because movement boosts productivity, you might be able to persuade your coworkers and bosses to hold meetings while standing or walking. If no one seems to be interested in your suggestion, make a trend by standing or moving during meetings.
5. The 30-minute Office Challenge
Set your cell phone to vibrate every 30 minutes to remind you. Complete a two-minute physical activity challenge as soon as the alarm goes off, such as:
Pulling the knees higher near the belly button when walking in place.
During the two minutes, sit down and get up as many times as you can in your office chair.
Here are some simple workouts you can do in your office (even for the above-mentioned 30-minutes challenge). The number of sets and reps for each will vary depending on your current fitness and ability level.
- Push-ups at your desk. Push-ups can be done on one side of your desk (some may prefer to just do them on the floor)
- Dips in the office chair for triceps. Triceps dips can be done in a chair.
- Walking lunges in the office Complete walking lunges using the full office space (from one end to the other).
- The office wall is positioned. Use a little wall area in your office to rest on and squat so that your knees are at a 90-degree angle (hold as long as you can)
- Standing calf raises in the office. If balancing is difficult at first, do standing calf lifts while hanging on to your office chair.
OFFICE FITNESS IN THE AFTERNOON
Set aside 20 to 30 minutes of your lunch hour to complete a range of activities or go for a walk outside for a greater challenge. If you don’t have time for the 30-minute challenge, you can do the activities described above during your lunchtime workout. Find a staircase that you can use to perform up-and-down challenges to get more rigorous exercise.
Consider creating your own office mini-fitness facility for more diversity, enjoyment, and challenge. The following is a list of inexpensive basic fitness equipment:
- Jump rope
- BOSU ball
- Medicine ball
- Resistance ball
- Resistance bands
Don’t let sedentary ambient design and increased sitting behavior patterns get the best of you; start moving more now. Office fitness ideas can improve your quality of life, work productivity, and sense of well-being while also lowering your risk of disease. Making your office area a movement space will have a positive impact on not just your own life, but also the lives of your coworkers and superiors.