Notice your body at your desk right now – sitting at your computer, shoulders hunched over. That is not the shape you were meant to be. When was the last time you moved? Chances are that it’s been too long.
The workplace has many benefits, but fitness is not usually one of them. According to the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the average office worker sits for 10 hours a day. Meanwhile, the Mayo Clinic attributes increased risks of heart disease, high blood pressure, excess body fat and high cholesterol levels to long periods of sitting.
Luckily, with technology and innovation of the 21st century, there are ways to combat our lack of movement, even at work. And you can get plenty of ideas just by looking around the office. Here are some of the ways your coworkers are improving their health:
The easiest option to combat idleness, but perhaps most pricey, is to invest in a standing desk for work. The device makes it easy to raise and lower your workspace and keep you on your toes. Travel Consultant Jacky B. received a standing desk for her birthday in July and has already seen significant results.
“I have noticed a huge difference – especially with my back,” she said. “I used to have a lot of back and neck problems, but since I started standing most of the day, I haven’t had any problems at all. Also, I’m not sure why, but I seem to be more productive. Maybe because I don’t feel as sluggish all day from sitting. I would highly recommend it to everyone – it’s really been a life saver for me!”
Fellow Travel Consultant Kelli B. also jumped on the standing desk bandwagon in August:
“I have more energy when I get home,” she said. “My legs don’t ache. I’m sleeping better, though that could be because my 19-year-old son moved out!”
If you want to increase blood flow and burn some calories, these effective little devices will do the trick. Condo Program Manager Julie D. had an under-desk elliptical for a while before taking it home, but it’s something she wants to have both at home and work.
“It helped with circulation and, depending on how hard you pedaled, it would get your heart rate up. I ended up using it more at home for aerobic, heart-pumping action. I’m looking at getting a second one for the office again.”
Doing something is always better than doing nothing. Getting out of your chair for a quick squat, push up or plank session can go a long way if you do it consistently. Travel Receptionist Marla D. and Travel Consultant Mariela V. have been doing just that.
“I’ve been working out continuously since the original fitness program was introduced to us back in January,” Marla said. “I have kept up with the outline that was sent and have lost over 15 pounds and also have gone down almost two pant sizes. I also took my first steps towards a 5k outside of the office, which I have never done before. I have more energy, drink less soda and eat healthier.”
The fitness initiative has inspired Mariela and it’s spreading through the whole department.
“We called it ‘Girl Power Fitness.’ After we finished our first 12 weeks, I think that we had a huge sense of accomplishment and, overall, we just felt good,” she said. “I think what everyone is doing is great! The agents are trying to do something to keep up with their health that makes them not only feel good, but they also seem to look forward to exercising.”
Other ways to “deskercise”:
- Sitting on an exercise ball (without the chair support).
- Installing a treadmill desk.
- Taking a walk at lunch or during breaks.
- Just moving around!
We’re still a couple months from making New Year’s resolutions, redbut these Global Connections employees have sustained motivation over the course of the year. It will go a long way to helping prevent the ailments that come with prolonged sitting. Now stop reading this article and get moving!
Note: If you want one of these exercise items for your desk, you must purchase one yourself. Global Connections Inc. supports but is not responsible for them.