In 2015, you may have heard this phrase “Sitting Is The New Smoking” more that once. Recent studies have indicated that sitting for long periods of time does not have a positive impact on your health. However, with most job functions requiring extensive desk time, we hope there are other ways to increase activity at the workplace. Here are five simple tips to help you utilize your place of work as a benefit to your health.
1. Turn your office space into a mini workout zone
Taking advantage of your office space is a smart way to increase activity during the day. A recent Fitbie article outlined office friendly exercises to perform at your desk. The routines are simple yet impactful. The best part: You wouldn’t need more than 10 minutes!
2. Make sweat social
Encouragement among peers is one of the best ways to get moving. Companies such as ShapeUp work with employers to implement engaging healthy programs so that employees have the ability to motivate each other and improve their overall wellbeing. Grab a work friend for a quick walk, partake in the office friendly exercises, or to take the stairs with you at anytime! It will certainly make the “time” fly by.
3. Take a walk
In a study found through the Wiley Online Library, research demonstrated that lunchtime walks can drastically improve your workday. Not only does the activity contribute to an increase in productivity, mental relaxation and overall enthusiasm but it also counts as a way to get moving. Go ahead and treat yourself to a little break.
4. Stairs are not the enemy
If you can manage and have the access, try to take the stairs as often as possible at your workplace. When I was completing my residency at New York Presbyterian hospital, I used to take the stairs between the floors. This activity would keep my blood flowing and contribute positively towards my mental acuity. Simply taking the stairs multiple times throughout the day could easily be equivalent to using the step mill machine at the gym.
5. Invest in a treadmill desk
A study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine reviewed the impact of treadmill desks. While the use of such equipment did not contribute to weight loss or a decreased body mass index, it did however, allow for employees to get moving. An increased amount of steps per day is still better than a work lifestyle of sedentary activity. Findings from a study in the Journal of Obesity indicated that access to treadmill desks may improve the health of office workers without affecting work performance. Companies like LifeSpan offer treadmill desks and have noted, “Treadmill desk customers attribute better overall health, increased energy and improved productivity to their treadmill desks.”
[This article was previously posted in Huffington post on March 25, 2015]