Nothing makes me as miserable as being stuck in a chair all day. Sixteen million Canadians spend half of their waking hours at work, the majority in sedentary jobs. Knowing that our sedentary lives are making us sick – even taking years off our lives say some experts, doesn’t help much either, does it?
An active lifestyle reduces our risk of heart disease, some cancers, osteoporosis, stroke, diabetes, and more. It can also help us maintain a healthy blood pressure, sleep better and manage stress. Research also suggests a commitment to exercise can add years to our lives, and the best part? There are proven health benefits to even short periods (yes, even just 10 minutes can enhance your health).
It’s time to take a stand against inactivity, and I’ve got 10 simple ways you can do this at work.
- Use active transportation like walking or cycling to get to work.
- Using public transportation? Hop off a few stops early and walk as briskly as you can (pack the heels and wear runners or flats… you’ll be glad you did!).
- Use coffee breaks to get moving: walk up and down the stairs; stretch at your desk; grab some water.
- Take walking meetings with colleagues instead of sitting around a table.
- Do you drive to work? Park as far from your workplace as possible and walk the rest of the way.
- Start a walking group with colleagues and commit to meeting several days a week at lunch.
- Run errands at lunch (I do this!). It feels great to get some exercise as you get stuff done!
- Deliver messages in person instead of by email… and take the opportunity to get to know your colleagues better and to share a smile or two.
- Swap your chair for a stability ball…and maybe even your traditional desk for a standing desk.
- Get out of your chair and move every half hour, even for just a minute or two. Small changes like this can add up to big gains in our health.