How to Become More Active at Work
Article revised on 13 June 2017
It cannot be overemphasized: Physical activity is good for your health! An increasing number of studies demonstrate the risks of sitting too often and for too long at a time.
In fact, too much sitting can lead to increased risks of heart disease, certain cancers and insulin-related problems such as diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle may even be more dangerous than smoking!
You may have already experienced some stiffness in your neck and back after a long day at the office. Careful: The risks may be greater than you think!
Fortunately, the solution is simple! The adoption of a few good habits will enable you to rectify the situation!
A few important reminders
It’s been said over and over: All the little things we do can benefit our health.
At work, you should take advantage of all opportunities to get up and move around rather than staying in your seat.
Think you don’t have time to integrate a little exercise into your routine? Here are a few simple, effective suggestions:
- Park your car farther away from the entrance of your destination. Every minute you spend walking during the day adds up!
- Get off the elevator, and take the stairs for the last 2 or 3 floors. Over time, you’ll be less winded when you get there. You may be able to take the stairs for another floor!
- Go to the drinking fountain rather than filling your drinking bottle. Take advantage of the opportunity to stretch your legs.
- Need to ask a co-worker a question? Go to his or her workstation rather than picking up the phone.
- At break time, go outside to get some fresh air.
- Need to call someone? Stand during your conversation. Your thoughts will be clearer, and you will feel more engaged.
Short breaks to relieve tension
A simple, effective way of relieving tension due to long periods in a seated position consists of integrating short breaks into your work day.
Feel free to set up notifications in your calendar to jog your memory.
Here are a few exercises that all employees can do at their desk:
1) Neck extension
2) Neck extension
3) Pectoral extension
4) Hamstring extension
5) Forearm extension
Alternate the different extensions during the day, every 20 – 30 minutes, and hold each position for 20 – 30 seconds.
In closing, remember that the people who are the most active at work are also the ones who are the most effective. They have a higher attention span, and they’re more alert and on top of things.
The Viva Workplace health and wellness program is a turnkey program that’s specially designed to meet employers’ needs with regard to health and wellness promotion and prevention.