The digitisation of work may be great for productivity but it means many of us are deskbound for the day. How do we balance the demands of work with the need to stay active and healthy?
Here are seven easy ways to stay fit and healthy in the workplace.
Be consciously active
The moment you set out for the office, be consciously active.
Consider cycling, walking or jogging to work. You’ll increase your heart rate, build and tone muscle, and avoid the stress of dealing with traffic congestion.
If you take public transport, get off the bus or train a stop early and walk the remainder of the journey. If you drive, park further from your office.
Make a conscious effort to take the stairs rather than the lift, get out of your chair to visit colleagues rather than sending emails and walk during breaks.
Shake up your workstation
Sitting for hours punishes the body and increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
A carefully constructed workstation, featuring the latest in flexible office furniture, promotes constant body movement and actively alleviates aches and pains.
Standing desks, exercise balls, adjustable work surfaces and ergonomic office chairs may be expensive but the support and relief they provide is worthwhile.
Exercise at your desk
You don’t have to leave your desk to work out. Exercise while you work.
Stretch and tone throughout the day by:
- flexing your stomach and butt muscles
- lifting your legs and pointing your toes
- leaning back and wrapping your arms around the back of your chair
- using your desk to do push-ups, tricep dips and lunges.
Cut back on coffee
Caffeine may feel like the perfect pick-me-up but too much coffee can be detrimental to your health.
More than two or three cups a day can cause headaches, fatigue and dehydration. It can also lead to muscle tension, irritability and increased anxiety levels.
Water is a much better option. Keep a chilled flask on your desk and sip it regularly. When properly hydrated, you are relaxed, comfortable and fully alert.
Perfect your posture
Make a point of sitting tall and straight in your chair, with your tummy pulled in and your spine elongated.
Correct posture improves blood flow, keeps nerves and blood vessels strong and healthy, and supports ligaments, tendons and muscles.
It also positively impacts the amount of pressure your lower back, and other joints and muscles, have to withstand.
Change your work routine
Try to change your normal work routine to prevent favouring one muscle set over another.
These simple habits can keep you more active:
- walk around while you’re talking on the phone
- move your mouse from one side of your computer to the other
- suggest “walk” meetings where you work as you walk.
Burn kilojoules during a gym workout
An hour is ample time for a full gym workout. A lunch-hour workout is a great way to get the exercise you need when you need it.
Now, members of The Workspace can get active at any Planet Fitness gym at a discounted rate. That means a healthier, more productive you for 20% less than what it would normally cost.
At The Workspace, we offer affordable, fully serviced offices and coworking, and all our members have access to meeting rooms, boardrooms and a range of business services.