10 Ways to Integrate Movement into Your Work Life
At the beginning of each year, many of us set new goals for ourselves in hopes of making the year ahead the best year yet. We often think first of our wellness, and resolve to live a more active, healthy lifestyle. But, how do we do this, exactly?
The turn of a new year does not mean that our lives change significantly. When we return to work after the holidays, empowered with good intentions, we still work at the same desk, in the same building, with the same work expectations set upon us.
Well, in order to stick to our resolutions, we need to make a few changes to our daily lives. Here is a list of 10 simple things that you can do to easily integrate movement into your workday.
If you have resolved to be healthier in 2017, this list is for you.
If you have heard about the benefits of a more active work day, and want to do something about it, this list is for you.
If you simply find yourself sitting for too long every day, this list is for you.
Sit on the floorThis one might sound unusual, but give it a try. Sit on the floor to put on your socks and shoes before you leave the house. The process of getting down onto the floor, and back up again, causes you to move in ways that many adults don't on a regular basis.
Park at the far end of the parking lotThis will allow you to get a few extra steps in on your way to work. This is particularly important if your drive to work was a long one and you've been sitting in your car. If you take public transit, get off a stop or two early and walk the few extra blocks to your destination.
Take the StairsTake the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator. This piece of advice has become quite cliché, but what if you work on the 17th floor? Get off the elevator on the 16th floor and walk even one flight of stairs.
Get a sit-stand desk for your workspaceThis will ensure that moving from sitting to standing does not interrupt your productivity. In fact, working at a sit-stand desk can actually improve your productivity, as well as your focus, creativity, mental capacity.
Always take phone calls standing upGet into the habit of standing up when you hear the phone ring. It may sound Pavlovian, but it will become the reminder you need to get out of your chair.
Start using an activity trackerThis will allow you to become aware of your current activity level, and then set new goals for yourself so that you can work towards them!
Schedule time in your calendar to get movingTake advantage of breaks and the lunch hour to go for a walk or do some simple stretching. Put it into your calendar, just like any other meeting or commitment, and set an alarm to ensure that you make it happen.
Visit, Don't call or message your colleaguesIf you need input or an answer from someone in the office, walk over to speak with them in person. Of course, try to be conscious of interrupting others who may be focused on an important task.
Choose a Movement PartnerIf you make a commitment with someone else, not only are you more likely to stick to it, it will be much more fun. Find a friend in the office and get moving together.
Invest in EquipmentTo ensure that movement is always possible, even while working, it is important to invest in a few key items. Some examples include:
- A Headset – this will allow free movement of your arms and hands, and will prevent you from holding the receiver on your shoulder.
- A Chair that promotes "active sitting" – this may be an exercise ball or a Core Chair that allows movement while sitting, and engages your core.
- 5lb weights, a weighted ball or a stress ball – keeping these in your desk will allow you to use them at any time when your hands are free, such as when on a phone call, or speaking to a colleague.
- Calf Stretch – this allows you to engage your feet, ankles and calves, and activate a variety of muscles through simple motions, even while sitting.
Do what you can to integrate these ideas into your daily life, and let us know how these ideas are working for you! Even better, please share any ideas we haven't captured in this checklist. We'd love to hear how you are integrating movement into your daily life.