Employees spend an average of eight hours daily for five days at the office. Some put in longer hours because of overtime. This can be draining especially if your work requires multi-tasking. Yet, it doesn’t mean you should bear the discomfort of getting stuck in that position for hours. You can deal with these issues even while at the workplace. Check out these suggestions on how to stay active at work.
1. Stand up Regularly
You may have read about the dangers of sitting all day long. This happens to Americans who work and sit for long periods. What could happen when you remain in this stationary position? Your blood pressure goes up. Good cholesterol tends to decrease. You experience pain in the neck and shoulders. It may even lead to different ailments. Stand up frequently. Or, opt for the sit-stand desk instead of ordinary tables. It allows you to change position from time to time. This type of working table also encourages walking around the office. In fact, research says standing for some time can help increase your productivity by at least 10 percent. Nowadays, some companies use standing desks because of claims these offer the following health benefits:
• Reduced Back Aches
• Weight Loss
• Enhanced Mental Health
• Lower Cholesterol and Blood Sugar
• Longer Life
2. Drink Lots of Coffee
Drinking 3-10 cups of coffee per day will surely keep you awake and alert. Coffee with caffeine works well as a stimulant. It keeps people up and about. At the same time, the stimulant boosts the central nervous system for increased efficiency all day. Besides, a study by the National Institute for Health found out that drinking coffee reduces pain among desk workers. The study sample was quite small but results still showed caffeine can turn out as an effective pain reliever. Here’s a tip. Start consuming coffee at the start of your shift to increase attentiveness throughout the day.
3. Take the Stairs
Use the stairs rather than the elevator. It will keep you active in your place of work. Likewise, climbing is one way of fighting or dealing with a deskbound lifestyle. An inactive lifestyle mainly contributes to the problem of obesity. Take the stairways when possible to avoid that sedentary way of life. In addition, indulge in moderate physical exercise and movement to your daily life. Another benefit is climbing stairs will toughen your muscles and improve cardiovascular health. You may not know but taking the stairs burns more calories instead of slow-paced sprinting. You use up energy while going up and down the flight of steps. This option is equivalent to 30 minutes of physical activity every day with up to six pounds of weight loss yearly.
4. Engage in Standing or Walking Meetings
Prolonged cycles of inactivity can impair your digestion regardless of whether you eat healthy and regularly exercise. Walking and standing meetings have upsides not limited to the physical aspect. It takes 25% less time than conventional conferences while increasing attention and creativity. A walking meeting can keep an employee active and gives them exposure to sunlight and fresh air. This suits two to three persons while practicing safe distancing among colleagues during the pandemic. These meetings can overcome barriers and improve dynamics between employees and managers. Minus the hierarchy of standard interaction, workers and employers can connect on a unique level. Participants become more at ease and efficient in less time. Finally, it facilitates more communication allowing employees to be more candid with one another.
5. Constant Stretching
Majority of those with office jobs overlook physical activity and movement. Sitting for extended intervals can affect vital body parts. These include the shoulders, neck, back, arms, and even blood circulation. Light stretching promotes circulation and muscle function as well as hip mobility. It helps ease pain and soreness produced by lengthy sitting. To address these issues, do some stretching right at your work desk. Before stretching, stand up and walk in your place for several minutes. Then, slowly shake your hands, arms and legs. This step prepares your muscle prior to stretching. Just avoid straining your muscles while doing this activity. Some of your options are arm circles (forward and backward), neck rolls, hip circles with hands on your hips, and wrist bends or circles.
6. Eat Healthy Food
There’s no substitute for a healthy diet. Absolutely, you’ll long for appetizing or junk food amid the tedious responsibilities. You’ll be moving less which results in being inactive, sluggish and sleepy. To fight this feeling, try these foods while in the office to prevent drowsiness and become more productive.
• Whole grain or wheat bread filled with Vitamins E, B complex and fiber for sustained energy.
• Eggs rich in protein, minerals and vitamins.
• Grapefruit and Kiwi with Vitamin C, folate and phytonutrients that can reinforce your immunity and energy level.
• Protein bars to prevent sleepiness and supply you with immediate energy boost.
• Berries known for anti-oxidants and fiber that will keep you mentally and physically energetic all day.
7. Walk or Bike to Work
Why not walk or ride a bike to get to the office? You can do this than drive a car or take the public transport. Cycling or walking has been associated with reduced probability of death from various illnesses. These include cancer and cardiovascular diseases. Moreover, you can easily achieve lower body fat percentage and BMI or body mass index by choosing these options. By walking or cycling, you can focus more on your duties and benefit from enhanced wellbeing. For inactive and overweight employees, biking to work can be as good as taking part in calisthenics or working out at fitness hubs.
8. Wear Comfy Clothing and Shoes
According to studies, wearing comfortable clothes and footwear at work will make you more active. This is ideal particularly if you’re inclined to use the stairs. Office dress code may require formal attire but you can still feel relaxed by opting for flat shoes and breathable fabric. Your choices can be classic tailored work jeans and button-up shirts for women. Men, on the other hand, can go for wool pants and blazers.
9. Renovate the Work Environment
Employers can contribute towards this end. Refurbish the work environment by fixing up the entire office.
• Remove chairs and desk seating.
• Promote walking meetings.
• Use mobile instead of traditional phones.
• Create walking tracks.
• Introduce games during break time and after office hours in the workplace.
• Provide activity monitors.
• Give advice to employees on physical activities and nutrition.
• Add desks that have movement interventions like treadmills.
Incidentally, integrating physical activity into your ordinary working day has different health benefits, supports cognitive capabilities, improves your mood, reduces tardiness and absences, and foster efficiency. Some companies even offer stretch classes before start of work, lunchtime running groups and other exercise programs to help their staff improve productivity and look after each one’s health.
10. Call to Becoming Active
You can take the lead in getting your fellow employees to get involved and challenge them to become active. It’s less difficult to come up with healthy alternatives by doing it as one team. Look at ways to make exercise more encouraging and fun through friendly competition. Set the rules and rewards system to make the challenge more enticing.
11. Take a More Active Lunch Break
Avoid eating you lunch inside the office. Take a breather. Engage in something physical. This gives you the chance to return to work feeling rested and reinvigorated. Thus, you can focus more on your work for the rest of the afternoon. Take a quick walk, bike or exercise in the gym. It will keep you motivated for the remaining hours of the day. Employees who earmark time to participate in physical pursuits will less likely get burned out and experience depression or deterioration of mental health. But remember any kind of movement even for less than 20 minutes is better compared to not moving at all. You may begin with a brisk 10-minute stroll daily. Later on, try aiming for three 10-minute quick walks or controlled physical activity. Try to schedule this for five days every week.
12. Change your Routine
Look at changing your routine. Stay away from watching TV or home movies and playing games on your mobile phone. As an alternative, go swimming, exercise frequently in groups and walk a lot. Modify some of your habits like parking farther from the office entrance or taking the bus for a few days and leaving your car at home. Try joining your company’s wellness or fitness program for a change.
Your Bottom Line
What’s your ultimate goal? Be active or dynamic at work. It will make plenty of sense if you immediately set targets to attain your primary goal. Schedule your to-do lists and schedules. See to it that you waste no time. A few minutes for a start will definitely generate short and long-term benefits for you.