Get Moving! 6 Tips to Help You Exercise at Work
Earlier this summer, CBS Sunday Morning did a story on a trend making a difference in offices across the country…instead of simply working at desks these days, employees are working out at their desks…on built-in treadmills. Since I’ve been doing my best to incorporate more exercise into my workday, and encouraging my coaching clients to do the same, this struck a chord.
According to the story, treadmill workstations are popping up more and more in an effort to get sedentary workers moving. This new type of desk allows users to make calls, conduct meetings, peruse quarterly sales figures, and answer email – all while getting daily exercise. While I’d been aware of these work/walk stations, it was great to actually see them in action.
Reporter Mo Rocca interviewed his colleague, CBS News Producer Mark Sturchio, at his treadmill desk, as well as Cosmopolitan Editor-In-Chief, Joanna Coles as she was logging steps in her office during an editorial meeting. Both were enthusiastic proponents of walking while they worked. Coles, in true Cosmo editor fashion, went so far as to call sitting at a desk all day “the new smoking.”
With serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease on the upswing, it’s more important than ever to keep moving during our workday. The National Institute of Health recommends making it a point to move every thirty to sixty minutes for better health, mood and overall productivity.
I encourage you to do some form of exercise at regular intervals throughout your workday. If a treadmill desk isn’t in the cards for you, check out these six tips to help get you moving at work.
1. Daily commute. It’s ideal if you can ride a bike or even walk to work, but if that’s not possible, exit the bus or train a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. If you drive to work, park at the back end of the parking lot to increase your opportunity to walk.
2. Talk in person. Go old school, and walk to a colleague’s cubicle to talk face-to-face instead of sending an email.
3. Take fitness breaks. Each time you finish a task, reward yourself by getting up to stretch or do specially designed desk stretches. You can use your lunch or coffee breaks as an opportunity to exercise as well.
4. Drink more water. Besides it being just plain good for you, drinking water at work ensures you’ll be getting up for bathroom breaks throughout the day – offering more stretching opportunities.
5. Team up for exercise. Find exercise buddies who are committed to finding ways to keep moving during the workday. Lunchtime stretch sessions or power walks are always more fun when there is companionship and support.
6. Go for walking meetings. Schedule a ‘moving’ meeting by inviting colleagues to walk stairs or laps around your workplace to burn calories and stretch. It can be an invigorating way to stimulate conversation and ideas.
We spend three-quarters of our lives at work, so finding ways to get exercise during the workday can make a big difference in health and total wellbeing. Get creative with ways you can exercise at work, and get moving!