Finding ways to stay active can be difficult regardless of your weekly schedule, but when your nine-to-five grind means sitting at a desk for 40+ hours every week, the idea of developing an active lifestyle can seem almost laughably unachievable. Finding the time to fit in 30 – 60 minutes of activity into your daily schedule may seem challenging on its own, but when you break down what that amount of activity does for your overall lifestyle, you have to start to ask if that is even enough. Physical therapy can help you learn a few basic activities that you can try at home, but why not also start incorporating these healthy activities into your work day?
Spending eight hours a day at a desk, two-three hours a day stuck in the car, somewhere between six to eight hours each evening in bed, and most likely a few hours a day on the couch or sitting at the table for a meal, how much of your day is actually spent engaging in physical activity? Spending one hour at the gym every day could still mean spending 23 hours every day in a sedentary position! Finding ways to be more active during your workday could help you to add significantly more activity to your day, thereby helping you to live a more active lifestyle.
Here are a few simple ways that you can start incorporating more activity into your workday:
- Take a 5 minute break every hour to walk a lap around the office. This could be a great time to go and make copies, to take a quick lap to talk with a co-worker rather than send an email, or to stretch your legs for a few minutes so that you can clear your mind before heading to a meeting.
- Try doing basic stretches at your desk. Without having to take your mind off your work, you can easily try breaking down a problem while standing up and stretching for a few minutes. This is a great way to get your blood flowing, which could get those creative juices flowing, thereby actually helping you to solve issues that may leave you feeling stressed or stumped while crouched at your desk.
- Bring in a bit of small workout equipment to keep at your desk. This can include a lightweight dumbbell, which you can use to do some minor lifting while sitting at your desk, or even something like a resistance band. There are some fun gripping devices that work similarly to stress balls, helping you to work on developing a stronger grip without even standing up.
- Swap out your traditional desk and desk chair for healthier alternatives, such as a standing desk, or an exercise / stability ball instead of a desk chair.
Being active throughout the workday is a great way to get started with living a more active lifestyle. Once you start incorporating activity throughout your day, you may find you have more energy to incorporate it into your non-working hours, as well. As you become more active, remember to stay hydrated! Keeping a large water bottle on your work desk and taking regular sips throughout the day can help you to stay hydrated and energized.
Staying active throughout the workday can help with improving muscle strength, supporting weight loss efforts, and even with overcoming pain from stiffness that often comes along with a sedentary lifestyle. For more advice on how to stay more active throughout the day, consult with a Reneu Sport + Health physical therapist.