Keeping Fit At Work
With mounds of research proving the dangerous effects of sedentary working life, you may be wondering whether your office career is worth the physical risks which accompany it. The good news: it’s entirely possible to maintain your health and fitness as a full-time worker. The bad: it’s no longer enough to do a couple hours of exercise outside of work. You need to be incorporating activity into your 9-5 days, too, and the following tips will help you to do just that.
Play with different furniture options
Your average office chair enables and endorses inactivity, so why not check out some of the other options on the market? A swiss ball will allow you to keep working your leg and glute muscles all day long, while a standing desk will eliminate the risk of sitting down all day altogether.
Find your favourite stationary exercise
Many of us scoff at the in-seat exercise manual given to us on aeroplanes, but for stationary office workers, they’re a genuine guide. Exercise doesn’t have to constitute leg swings and audible grunts: you can work out subtly and yet still effectively simply by targeting a specific muscle group while you work. Start with calf raises or glute squeezes, or take a larger water bottle to work and do some inconspicuous arm curls behind your computer screen.
Even if your employer enforces a strict dress code, you can still invest in comfortable and movable options. You’ll never feel like exercising if you’re restricted by tight trousers or a starchy blazer, so do what you can to buy pieces which look good and have a good amount of stretch and breathability. Alternatively, bring a gym bag full of appropriate fitness clothes to keep at the office so that you never have an excuse not to go to that lunch-time yoga class.
Take the lead in workplace activity schemes
If the business you work for doesn’t seem to value health and fitness, why not take it upon yourself to get the ball rolling? Talk to your boss and see whether you can repurpose an unused office as a lunchtime exercise room, or consider organising a bi-weekly running group to get your colleagues up and out of their chairs.
Do it the old-fashioned way
These days, we tend to think of professional communication as a digital phenomenon. Calling and emailing, though, require you to be sitting at your desk for interminable amounts of time while you edit and re-edit what is likely much easier to say in person anyway. So - say it in person! If the contact you need to talk to is within walking distance (and especially if they’re in your same building), make it a rule to walk before you type.
Stretch at the end of the day
Whatever you do, don’t go straight from your office chair to your couch at home. Combine your exercise with your stress relief by booking in a yoga or pilates class, or let all of the stress of your workday go with a jump on your trampoline. You won’t regret it.