Walk, Breathe or Stretch – Just Move at the Office
Moving at the office is a great way to keep yourself more engaged in your work, destress, and stay healthier. There are many studies that show that being too sedentary has negative effects on your physical health. And where do many people spend hours of their day sedentary? At work, at their desks. If you have an active job where you are running around all day, you’re a step ahead of the rest – but you can still implement these tips to increase your wellbeing.
One of the easiest ways to get moving in the workplace is to ensure that you are taking regular breaks to walk around the office. Can’t justify just having a short walk? Utilize the time by walking to a coworker and having a face-to-face conversation instead of calling or instant messaging them. Alternatively, take a longer route to the bathroom or breakroom or use one that is located on a different floor for extra steps. These walks will break up your workday and can ease the monotony of staring at a computer screen, keeping you more engaged in your work. Bonus: if you are walking to a breakroom, grab a quick glass of water to help with sluggishness due to dehydration.
If leaving your office or cube isn’t an option, do some easy stretches at your desk or while you are on calls. Start with your neck and work your way down. Sit up straight and slowly turn your head from side-to-side while lowering your shoulders. Relax your shoulders and do a few shoulder and arm rotations – forwards and backwards. Hold your hands in front of you and rotate your wrists and hands to the left and right. Place the back of one hand on the small of your back and rotate your torso in that direction; switch hands and repeat. Place your tip toes on the ground and elevate your legs as high as you can from your chair, hold this for a few seconds before releasing. Finally, rotate your ankles, one at a time, under your desk. There are many, many more desk stretches and exercises out there that you can do without taking yourself away from your tasks. Plus, stretching and exercising has the added benefit of releasing stress and boosting you with endorphins to fuel you through your day.
A stretch you may not think of as a “stretch” is deep breathing – this will stretch your core, make you aware of your posture and destress you. Start by taking a deep breath in while counting to five, holding it for five seconds, and releasing it for a count of five. Repeat this a few times and you will see a noticeable drop in your stress levels and see a renewed sense of focus on the task at hand.
Another easy way of adding some movement to your day starts before you even arrive at the office. If you work a few floors up, take the stairs when you come in or head out for the day. If you are close enough to your workplace, consider biking or walking to work a few days a week. These small pieces of activity really add up and will aid in making you feel great every day.
All this simple movement at and leading up to work keeps you mobile, awake and focused on the job, aids circulation, gives you a boost of great brain chemicals and energy as well as generally keeping you healthier.
Now get out there and move at work!