Millions of physical workplaces, formal and informal, require workers to sit behind a desk or remain at a workstation for hours. Medical professionals have identified many health risks linked to prolonged sitting and long hours of inactivity. The good news is there are multiple ways to stay active while working behind a desk, over the counter, or at a cash register.
Here are five proven ways you can stay active at work to prevent health complications and increase your productivity.
If you live within a reasonable distance from your place of work, try walking to work on some days.
You can use a map to see how long it takes to walk from home to your office, so you leave for work earlier to make up for it. You can also ride a bike to work. If you do not own a bike and cannot afford to get one, consider renting a bicycle. You can rent a bicycle to use as often as you please. And if you drive to work, park a little further from your workplace or at the extreme ends of the office parking lot. This way, you can get some exercise walking to your car after working hours.
Also, try to use the stairs at least once during working hours. Hopping into the elevator is very convenient and stress-free. But if you’re not in a hurry, a trip up and down the stairs can be the perfect warm-up or booster.
Add a reminder in your calendar or set the alarm to take active breaks. Taking a break from work gives you time to stretch sore and cramped muscles. You can also walk around and have a quick chat with colleagues and share ideas about something you’re on. It can help you work through a challenge you’re experiencing in your tasks.
Taking a break to get tea or coffee can help you clear your head. A cup of coffee keeps you alert and active and reduces fatigue. Do not skip lunch breaks. Lunch break is a great time to refuel your body. You can take a brief walk before or after having your meal or snack. Invite a colleague to come along with you for lunch. This social interaction can improve your mood. You can also offer to get tea or coffee for your colleagues as an excuse to take a break from work.
Write to your boss or superior about the benefits of having standing meetings in the workplace. Standing meetings and presentations are shorter and keep employees alert and active. It is easy to fall asleep and zone out when you’re seated.
Walking meetings help employees get sunlight exposure. It also makes them comfortable sharing ideas and contributing to meetings.
Try to get a standing desk in your office. Standing rather than sitting in a position for hours helps you avoid inactivity-related health conditions. Standing desks significantly reduce shoulder back pain and correct posture. It can improve your energy levels and boost productivity. It helps you burn calories and facilitates blood circulation.
You can also move around the office more by passing information in person instead of emailing. Organizing brief group discussions about projects with your co-workers also keeps you active and eases your workload. You can stand at random times to check your mail or pick up a phone call.
If you work in retail, offer to help customers find products, show them new products and help them ring up their purchases. Assist colleagues in organizing their sections and bringing in new stock. If your workplace permits, you can help customers push their trolleys and load up their vehicles. Being physically active increases your energy level. When you choose to be physically active at work, please wear comfortable clothing and shoes. Standing may be uncomfortable if your shoes are hard or tight.
The setup of your workspace can significantly affect your mood and productivity. Arrange your desk in a way that everything is within reach. If you go through a pile of rubble or clutter to find important things, it may slow you down and make you tired quickly. Before you begin the day’s work, ensure your desk is in order.
Additionally, create daily to-do lists or a list of goals you want to achieve and stick it to your deal. Keeping your goals in sight will encourage you to complete them. If the colors in your office are drab, take permission to bring in a plant or an art piece to improve the space. You can also suggest adding DIY designs. Redesigning your workspace can be a fun, creative, and bonding activity for you and your colleagues.
The features of a physical working environment directly affect the morale, focus, activity, and productivity of employees. Quality office design positively impacts employee wellness and engagement. Moreover, employees with a say in their workspace design are happier and healthier.
Jonas Østergaard Pedersen, International SEM Manager of Eco Online noted, “As technology evolves, people need to find ways to make their work more comfortable. If you spend most of your day at a computer, it’s important to choose high-quality ergonomic furniture and ergonomic peripherals like chairs, mice, keyboards, and monitors.”
Your brain and body require many nutrients to fully function and carry you through a day of work. Your meal choice can affect your mood and activity levels. Certain foods increase your energy level, strength, and concentration and promote proper rest and sleep. Eating healthy and balanced diets replenishes the mental and physical energy you spend at work. A calorie calculator is also helpful to track the right amount of calories for you personally. You must prioritize your rest and sleep. Try to go to bed at a good time, so you wake up refreshed for work.
Increasing your water consumption is equally important. You should drink water at intervals. It is refreshing and enhances mental clarity. Medical experts recommend nine to thirteen cups of water daily for people older than eighteen.
If your office has a gym or a gym membership for its employees, take advantage of it. Develop a habit of exercising; it is good for your mind and body. You can stop by the office gym for a light workout during your break or after the close of the day. Exercising makes you alert and active and improves your sleep quality.
Engaging in physical activity at work helps eliminate fatigue and builds healthy workplace relationships. It helps avoid inactivity-related concerns like cramping, mental exhaustion, weight gain, and back and shoulder aches. It also reduces the risk of health concerns that make moving and sitting difficult. Staying active in the workplace keeps you alert, improves your work performance, and aids better blood circulation. Moving around during work hours prevents you from experiencing burnout.