There’s no escaping it: as a nation, we’re just not moving enough. Sitting down all day is one of the worst things you can do for your health - increasing the risk of heart disease, causing weight gain and leading to weaker muscles and bones. Yet, it’s easy for those with active jobs to preach the perils of inactivity. But what about anyone who is stuck at their computers from early morning till late at night? Luckily we're here to help with some great ideas to add a little bit more activity into your day:
Stand as Much as You Can
Standing is better than sitting, as it engages more muscles, burns more calories, and is kinder to your back. You might not be able to demand that your boss pays for a standing desk just yet, but you can choose to stand whenever possible – whether that’s during a brainstorming session or just during your commute.
Focus on Activity Outside of Work
Being sedentary during your working day means prioritising movement outside of office hours. Try to squeeze in a gym session before work and avoid heading straight home to the sofa on an evening. Even just a 15-20 minute walk could do you wonders. Our top tip? Schedule in your fitness sessions for the week on a Sunday. Writing them down and having a plan will make it so much easier to commit!
Take Hourly Breaks
It’s easier said than done but aim to get up at least every 30 minutes – 1 hour, even if that's just a quick trip to the toilet, kitchen, or printer. Set a reminder on your phone to get up and move - whether that's heading out into the fresh air or just getting in your colleague’s good books by offering to make the tea.
Stretch or Move in Place
Sometimes, getting up every 30 minutes just doesn’t seem realistic, and we don’t want to be to blame for ruining your workflow. When this happens, settle for a quick stretch instead. Stretch up, elongate your back and circle your neck to relieve any tension and prevent mid-afternoon stiffness creeping in.
Make the Most out of Your Lunch Break
Ideally, use half your lunch break to eat and half to walk. The fresh air and movement will give your brain a proper break and will boost your productivity in the afternoon. Even if you’ve remembered to bring your lunch box (high-five for you!), walk out with your colleagues when they grab lunch to make sure you've stretched your legs.
Change up Your Commute
If possible, walking, biking or running to work is a great way to add more movement to your day whilst still being efficient with your time. If you have to drive or take the tube, try to park a little further away or just get off the train one stop early. It sounds silly, but that extra 20 minutes of walking can really make all the difference.
Hit the Water & Herbal Teas
Grab yourself a reusable water bottle and keep it on your desk at all times. Not only will this keep you well-hydrated, focused and less likely to snack, but it will also mean you need to get up and go to the toilet more often – win, win!
Take the Stairs
It’s a clichéd hack, but taking the stairs is an active option that’s available to just about everyone! It’s all about creating a habit, so try to push yourself to avoid the lift for three weeks straight. Soon, it’ll be like second nature.