Studies show that physical activity can reduce your risk for depression, anxiety, obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, and high cholesterol – but finding time to exercise while working can be challenging. Here are 9 creative ways to add movement into your day.
Rethink your commute
The best exercise is the one we repeat regularly and often, so why not turn your regular daily commute into an opportunity for physical activity? Instead of driving or taking the train, consider walking or biking to work. You can improve your health, fitness, and mental outlook while you are commuting (something you are already doing anyway!)
Walk the rest of the way
If your commute is too far to walk the entire way, build in some extra time and park blocks away from your office. Or if you take the bus or the train, get off early and finish the commute on foot. This will allow you some fresh air, and an opportunity to get some extra steps in before you start your workday.
Start a walking group
Find other like-minded people in the office who also want to add some physical activity into their day and start a walking group. Before or after work or during your lunch break is a great time to get out and get moving. Another benefit: walking with others who are counting on you to show up can be a great motivator!
Organize an office fitness challenge
Encourage employees to exercise for better health by organizing a voluntary office fitness challenge. There’s nothing like a group challenge to improve employee morale and help create healthy behaviors. Make it even more fun by incorporating an activity challenge platform or app to help people connect and track each other’s progress.
Work standing up
Invest in a standing desk that allows you to stand up while you work. Sitting all day puts your spine in unnatural positions which can increase pain and therefore decrease our productivity. Standing is a more natural position for our bodies and burns more calories – the average person burns 88 calories standing per hour versus 80 calories sitting. It all adds up!
Achy back, creaky neck, tight hips… does this sound familiar? Stretching can significantly reduce the pain that many of us feel due to sitting all day by increasing the flow of blood and nutrients to our muscles. Take regular stretching breaks and be sure to incorporate chin tucks, spinal twists, and toe touches – these simple exercises can make a huge difference in easing your pain and increasing your mobility.
Scheduling walking meetings can be a great way to help employees who work desk jobs stay fit and break up their workday. One-on-one walking meetings can encourage healthy office relationships, creative thinking, and energize employees. You might even get some candid conversation and a better free flow of ideas, so why not take your meetings on the road when the weather allows.
Join a nearby gym
If you are someone who enjoys working out in a gym environment, try out the gym down the street from your office. This can allow you to avoid rush hour and fit 30-60 minutes of exercise into the time you would normally be sitting in traffic. So do your body and mind a favor: pack your sneakers and stop in the gym before you head home.