Remember the good old days, when you had time to work out every day and you always looked and felt great and the world was yours for the taking?
Well, maybe it was never quite like that.
But the responsibilities of adult life have definitely cut down the opportunity to get in a regular work out. Meanwhile, a lack of physical activity can lead to significant long-term health problems, so it's important to find some opportunity each day to at least get your blood pumping.
With that in mind, here's a simple three-step process to add some physical activity to your work day.
For this, we’re sticking to two main rules:
- You don’t want to sweat.
- You don’t want to look ridiculous (because, like it says in The Godfather, "a [person] in my position can’t afford to look ridiculous!").
If you search online for at-work exercises, a surprising number of them advocate some strenuous exertions. Sites recommend running in place at your desk, dropping down for 20 push-ups or doing some variation of squatting, fake jump roping or jumping jacks. These authors’ workplaces must resemble something akin to The Hunger Games.
We’re not going to suggest you do anything that will leave you soaking in sweat for hours, or worse, flush and glistening just before your big pitch meeting. Similarly, we won’t advocate anything that will have your co-workers whispering about you in the break room. Instead, here are some simple tips to keep your lifestyle from getting too sedentary:
Stage 1: Stand up
Sitting around all day is bad for your health. Over the last several years, the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle have become well known. This has given rise to things like the standing desk and in extreme cases, to the treadmill desk. However, since these trendy executive extravagances start at about $600, it might become necessary to rely on a simpler solution.
Let’s start simple, by just standing up. Every hour or so, simply get up on your feet and do a few minutes of work while upright – type a few lines or input a data while standing. It might not seem like much, but it’s a start.
Stage 2: Stretch
Standing might not provide enough of an opportunity to get the blood pumping. So every now and then, stretch it out a little.
How much and how elaborate you want your stretching routine to be will depend on your willingness to test our earlier rules. However, you don't need to break out a full downward-facing dog to loosen up your muscles a bit. A simple routine of unobtrusive stretching should be enough to work out the kinks, without drawing too much attention.
Stage 3: Move Around
Walk as much as you can. You don't want to wander the halls aimlessly or go on walkabouts that become the things of water-cooler legends. Keeping things within reason, find appropriate times during the day to take a little stroll.
Go to the bathroom on another floor (taking the stairs to get there, of course). Don't park immediately next to the building. At lunch, get outside and take a walk. Replace that cigarette break with a walking break.
A good workplace encourages a healthy and happy life. Company culture is important, so many employers find ways to encourage in-office health initiatives.
Rev up your workday!
If that's important to you, a good source of information about these companies comes from staffing firms. Contact Qualified Staffing to talk to a placement expert about the importance of corporate culture and where to find employers in your area that fit your values.