What did you do at today? Assuming you have a regular 9-5 workday, you likely spent the majority of your hours sitting at a desk with perhaps a few “breaks” when you sat in a conference room. Factor in commuting by car or public transportation, eating, watching TV (if only the news), and sleeping, the majority of your daily hours were probably spent in sedentary activities. Research indicates that this isn’t good.
Studies have shown that a lack of physical activity is linked to a host of major and minor health issues including heart disease, obesity, and hypertension. Even if you find yourself in good health despite it all, you are probably aware of feeling somewhat “tight” or “creaky” at the conclusion of each workday.
I’m not suggesting that you quit your job in search of more physically demanding pursuits. However, there are many things that you can do to help eliminate the effects of a less active lifestyle, and many of these can be done in your office right at your desk.
Here are a few suggestions that can be implemented immediately:
Have you ever been at your desk for extended periods and not realized it? One, two, three hours pass by before you get up to take a break? When you finally get up, you are tight, achy and out of sorts. This situation arises when you do not make a concerted effort to get up periodically throughout the workday. Take control by setting an alarm that reminds you to get up every hour and spend ten minutes out of your chair. A brisk walk outside would be ideal, but if that isn’t possible a walk around the office will do just fine. The key is to get up!
Don’t laugh! If you are desk-bound for most of the day, it is important to work in an exercise routine that you can do right at your desk. Consider these three simple exercises:
Squats: From your chair, stand up, sit back down and repeat 10 times.
Calf raises: Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, press up onto the top of your toes, pause, then lower back down. Repeat for three sets of 12-15 reps, or until the printing, faxing, or scanning is done.
Shoulder shrugs: Raise both shoulders up toward the ears, hold for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat for 15 reps. Do this as you are reading those 50 emails!
I know this might take some getting used to! This fitness-inducing action requires a change of mindset. Think about how many of your meetings can be conducted while walking instead of sitting at a conference room table or in an office. Unless there is a need for PowerPoint or some other sort of connectivity a walking meeting can offer a refreshing change of perspective and a boost to productivity as well.
Regardless of how you proceed it’s important to recognize how detrimental it is to sit all day. Start by modifying your behavior with the goal of improving your overall health and well-being.
Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.
John F. Kennedy
For further discussion or comments, please contact Gail L. Trugman Nikol, President Unique Business Solutions, firstname.lastname@example.org or call (516) 935-5641.