6 Ways to Be Active at Work
You’ve probably heard it many times before but we’ll say it anyway: exercise is one of the best ways to help manage diabetes.
However, if you spend most of your day sitting, it may seem hard to get that exercise. Simply put: sitting for 8+ hours a day isn’t great for us. In fact, sitting that often could be as deadly as obesity and smoking, according to studies. Here are 5 ways you can get more movement into your work day!
1. Try a Pedometer
Another study found that the average American takes a little more than 5,000 steps each day. According to WebMD, however, we should be aiming for about twice that number. So how can you reach that magic number of 10,000 steps?
Investing in a pedometer (or a smart tracker) will help you visualize your goals! Pedometers and trackers also help you keep track of your progress. Try starting small by adding an additional 250 steps to your day and then gradually increasing over time. You’ll be surprised by how quickly those little changes add up.
2. Park Farther Away
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, most Americans spend around two hours sitting in a car each day. Whether your commute is five minutes or an hour, parking farther away (but still in a safe spot) gives you the opportunity to stretch your legs, get some fresh air, and sneak in a few more steps during the day.
3. Stand During Calls
If you feel tethered to your desk, one easy thing you can do is just stand up. An article on Livestrong.com says standing burns 50x more calories per hour than sitting. If you can’t invest in a standing desk, try transitioning to standing while you’re on the phone at least. You could also pace the halls to add some movement during that long afternoon conference call.
4. Use the Stairs
In addition to being a great cardio workout, taking the stairs also helps build muscle in your hips, knees, legs, and ankles. Instead of using the elevator, opt for the stairs when you can. For a break during the day, try using the bathroom on a different floor. Bonus points if you go up more than one flight!
5. Avoid Lunch at Your Desk
It has been shown that eating at your desk is bad for your health and productivity. Scientists found that the bodies of people who skip a regular lunch break have a harder time breaking down the food into glucose molecules needed for energy. Instead of working straight through the afternoon, pack a healthy, homemade lunch and head to the cafeteria with a friend. The added movement can provide your body and mind with a nice change of pace.
6. Suggest “Walking Meetings”
Well-known companies, such as Apple and Nike, have taken their meetings out of the conference room and into the hallway. Studies have shown that employees who engage in walking meetings are more creative and attentive. The next time an important staff meeting rolls around, find out if you can do it on your feet!