How to Move More in an Office Job – 5 Easy Tips
Posted January 9, 2019, by Emily Garbutt
With summer in full swing, we all want to look and feel at our best. However, plum office jobs often come with the downside of being stuck sitting indoors. Inactivity has a negative effect on our health (it’s official), and if you aren’t quite ready to quit the corporate world to become an eco-powered-bicycle delivery person, then you might wonder how you can have the best of both worlds and get moving more in the office? Spicing up your office job with some activities and movement isn’t difficult. Sometimes though, the first step is the biggest obstacle. Why not try some of our top tips to get started? Before you blink, you’ll be bouncing up the office stairwell like Rocky (but not quite so sweaty).
#1 – Don't skip the stairs
I know, I know, this is the obvious one. Nevertheless, if you give yourself a kick up the butt and use the stairs every time, you’ll quickly add activity to your otherwise sedentary office lifestyle. Start small by aiming to use the stairs once a day. Then, as you get into the habit, build up your stair use until you use them every time. Follow this habit up by trying to increase your speed over time. Using the stairs is a great, easy, and free way to build exercise into your daily life.
#2 – Try to stand more
Try to build more standing into your day. For example, you could take some of your calls standing up. Or why not offer to be the one to bring the coffees for the office. Try to stand up once an hour (set a reminder if you need to), have a stretch and shake out your legs. If the whole office wants to get in on the picture and improve the health of the whole team, why not try standing meetings? Standing meetings have many benefits and have been shown to improve productivity and reduce meeting times.
#3 – Increase the amount of walking you do each day
Instead of sending an IM to your colleague in another part of the building (or even on the other side of the room). Why not get up, walk over, and have a real-life conversation instead? You’ll reduce your inactivity and increase the social interactions you have over the day as well (win, win). Try to include walking or physical exercise in your day in other ways. You could park further away from the building so you have a short walk to the office each day. Or if practicality allows, you could use a bicycle to get to work, or a mix of bicycle/ walking and public transport. Doing this is better for your health and for the planet too!
You can use an app such as Fitbit to keep track of how far you’re walking (or running). Another fun app to try is World walking, which tracks your steps and helps to motivate you. As you keep going you work towards walking the equivalent of various long-distance world trails like Machu Picchu. Who knows you might feel so encouraged as you progress, you could go on to tackle one of them for real! Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can do. And the best thing about it? Walking’s easy to do, and doesn’t require a huge amount of determination to achieve a lot (like going to the gym and running).
#4 – Involve the whole office
If you involve the whole office then everyone can benefit from a healthier lifestyle, and as a bonus, spend time bonding as a team. You could set up a challenge for everyone to complete, with activities to tick off like deskercises (see #5) or stair-taking competitions.
You could hire a trainer to come to the office over lunchtime and exercise together outside in a park or even somewhere in the office grounds (make sure you get all the appropriate permissions first). Or look for health/ fitness studios near the office, join as a group and go after work or during lunch breaks together. You can all then keep each other motivated and build exercising and bonding into the office culture. Not to mention, when you do these things as a group you can negotiate much better rates than you could if you tried to hire a trainer or join a class alone.
#5 – Deskercises
Doing some deskercises while you work can help you to improve your productivity. As you allow yourself to stop for a minute to do something physical, then you will find you can refocus on your work better. Deskercises are free, easy to do. And if you’ve put #4 into action then you don’t have to feel too embarrassed in front of your colleagues when you do the more obvious exercises. Check out our top 10 deskercises and get started right away!
Now is the moment. Don’t procrastinate and say tomorrow, tomorrow. Today is the day to get moving and to start the new year the way you mean to go on.