7 Simple Ways to Add More Movement to Your Working Day
Why Add Physical Activity to Your Working Day?
Working long and tiring days can often cause individuals to feel sluggish, and lethargic, and stiffen up their muscles.
Sitting at a computer for long periods of time is contributing to increased sedentary behaviour.
Sedentary lifestyles are becoming an increasing concern, and health conditions like diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, are becoming more and more present.
Adding physical activity to your working day helps to reduce some of the negative side effects sedentary lifestyles contribute to.
Physical activity can offer a range of benefits that will not only help individuals improve their working day, but also improve their health and wellbeing
Why Is Physical Activity Important in The Workplace?
Having ways to incorporate physical activity in the workplace can contribute positively to employee health and performance.
Things like on-site gyms and on-site fitness classes can help to make physical activity in the workplace more achievable for employees.
Not all employees have the time or willpower to incorporate physical activity outside of work and having it in the workplace makes it convenient.
According to Public Health England, 42% of employees feel their health condition affects their work a “great deal”.
Employees who are not encouraged to look after their health are more likely to contribute less to any working environment.
Does Physical Activity Make You More Productive at Work?
Being more productive at work can be because of a range of things, however, physical activity can be a contributing factor to increased productivity levels.
When we feel physically fit and healthy this can have a positive impact on our work.
When we fit exercise into our working lifestyle it can help to make us feel stronger, fitter, healthier and happier, all of which contribute to increased productivity levels.
How Can I Promote Physical Activity at Work?
Promoting physical activity at work is great but first, employees need to understand why physical activity is so important for their health and wellbeing.
Employee wellbeing webinars such as “Improve Your Physical Wellbeing” can help to educate employees on the importance of physical activity and motivate them to get started.
Most employees struggle to stay consistent with their goals and habits.
Informative webinars such as “Create Life-Changing Habits” can help staff to stick with their physical wellbeing goals and act as a great way to promote health and wellbeing.
Promoting physical activity in the workplace can also be achieved through gym partnerships, exercise incentive programmes, setting up challenges and competitions, and a range of other unique ways.
What Are the Benefits of Adding Physical Activity to Your Working Day?
Adding physical activity to your working day can have a range of benefits.
Some of these include:
Reduces Pain and Prevents Muscles Stiffness
Physical activity can actually help us to reduce physical pain and muscle stiffness by getting our blood flowing and loosening up our limbs.
Sitting down for long periods can lead to pain and stiffness and fitting physical activity into your working day can help to reduce this.
However, it’s important to remember that physical activity can increase stiffness if we overdo it, or haven’t done it for a long time.
So, ensure any physical activity you do is carried out safely and sensibly.
Boost Energy Levels and Improves Mood
After physical activity we get a boost of endorphins.
Endorphins are a natural chemical produced by the body that can act as a pain killer and mood booster.
When the body release endorphins, individuals get feelings of pleasure and “feel-good” vibes.
The increase in blood flow and circulation that physical activity brings helps to increase energy levels and leave individuals feeling sprightly.
Reduce Stress Levels and Improve Mental Health
In the UK, 17 million working days are lost due to stress, depression or anxiety.
Physical activity is a great way to help reduce statistics like these.
Some studies show that there is up to a 30% lower risk of depression and dementia for those who exercise regularly.
The Mental Health Foundation also report that physical wellbeing can boost self esteem and help individuals concentrate which leaves them feeling better overall.
Reduce The Risk of Chronic Diseases
Chronic diseases such as diabetes and obesity are vastly helped by physical activity.
Regular exercise has been shown to delay and prevent the development of type two diabetes as well as obesity.
Of course, there are other things to take into account, such as diet and lifestyle, but physical activity is a fantastic addition to reduce these growing health issues.
Provides an Opportunity for Social Interaction
Exercise and fitness classes can often be very welcoming and sociable environments.
Going to the local gym or fitness park on your lunch break could be a great way to make new friends, meet new people, and build new connections.
Due to the heightened emotions of exercise, people are often likely to be more friendly and approachable so why not take advantage of it and make some new friends?
7 Simple Ways to Add Physical Activity to Your Working Day
Make Exercise a Part of Your Commute
Instead of navigating your way on the train, bus or driving through traffic, why not make your commute to work more enjoyable?
Whether it’s using a bike to cycle all or part of your journey, or running all or some of your journey, or taking a nice stroll if you live close enough.
These are all great ways to start your day and get physical activity into your working day.
Take The Stairs Instead of The Elevator
Taking the stairs is an easy way to get a little movement into your day.
The elevator may be convenient, quicker and easier, but they’re not doing much for our health.
Taking the stairs gets the blood flowing in your legs and gives you a mini workout.
Take a Lunchtime Walk
Going for a lunchtime stroll is a fantastic way to break up the day as well as get some movement.
Getting outside and getting your legs moving helps to reduce the stiffness in your legs that can be caused by sitting for long periods of time.
Plus, it’s a great way to get some natural daylight on your skin which can boost overall feelings of wellbeing.
Schedule Walking Meetings
Why not make some of your meetings take place as a walk around the office or at the local park?
Of course, this may not be possible for all types of meetings but I’m sure there are some that could benefit from this.
Walking meetings not only increase physical activity but also allow the additional blood flowing through your body which can inspire creativity.
Use a Fitness Tracker to Count Activity Levels
In today’s world there are a variety of ways you can track your fitness.
Whether it’s a smart watch or an app on your phone, tracking your fitness can help to encourage and motivate individuals to stay physically active.
Tracking your fitness allows individuals to set realistic targets and improve daily based on their individual results.
This helps people to stop comparing with others and focus on their own data.
Schedule Stretch Breaks
Dedicated stretching breaks can provide a range of benefits for your physical wellbeing.
Stretching helps to loosen muscles, reduce tightness, and alleviate muscular pain.
Scheduling designated time to stretch within your working day is another great way to incorporate movement and physical activity.
Just make sure you schedule the breaks into your diary to ensure you don’t forget.
Use a Standing Desk
Using a standing desk can be a great way to encourage movement throughout a working day.
When you’re standing, you’re more likely to walk about a little and you’re in an easier position to perform full-body movements to prevent stiffening up.
Although standing desks can help to encourage movement, it’s important to remember that being in any position for too long is not good for the human body. Whether it’s standing or sitting.
To incorporate movement into your day with a standing desk it’s best to alternate between standing and seating. Try to alternate every hour if possible.
This acts as another great way to encourage you to keep moving and prevent your body from being in one position for too long.
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At Loving Life we deliver employee wellbeing services to help companies support the health and wellbeing of their staff.
If you’d like to learn more, get in touch!
Tyler Lowe – Health & Wellbeing Speaker
BSc Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation