An estimated 81% of the UK’s work force is office based, spending somewhere between 4 and 9 hours a day desk-bound. It’s really easy to fall into the sedentary slump when you’re spending most of your day sat down, so here are 5 easy ways to stay active whilst at work.
Switch Up Your Commute
If you find it impossible to get away from your desk throughout the day, consider changing your commute up a bit. Running or cycling to work and back is a fantastic way to get your exercise in for the day and can also help you both mentally prepare for the day ahead, and wind down from the trials of the day you’ve just had.
This is obviously dependent on how far away from the office you live, so if running or cycling isn’t feasible, try getting off the train or bus a stop earlier, or even parking further away from the office. Every step counts, so switch things up!
Take the Stairs
Before heading to the lift and taking the easy way up to your desk, think about how much better you’ll feel for taking the stairs. OK, so the quad-burning process of walking up a few flights of stairs may not feel amazing at the time, but as soon as those endorphins kick in you’ll be set to take on the day ahead.
Think of it this way too – walking up one flight of stairs burns between 2-5 calories. But there’s rarely ever just one set of stairs, right? If you multiply your stair walking journeys throughout the week (not forgetting trips to the post room, other offices in the building, staff room, etc) you could easily be looking at burning an extra 100 calories over the course of a few days without even realising.
Meetings on the Move
It’s 2020, and we’re here to tell you that the era of stuffy boardroom meetings is a thing of the past! Grab the opportunity to take your colleagues on a walk to catch up with the latest plans and project developments. This isn’t only a great way to sneak in some extra steps, but getting outside also helps to clear your mind and may even result in some new and exciting ideas!
To make things easier, plan a route so that you can focus on the meeting more than on where you’re walking, and keep your visual aids to a minimum – walking meetings aren’t ideal for PowerPoint presentations. You’ll also want to make sure that your meeting is with a maximum of two other people, otherwise it can be easy to lose pace.
Set a Timer
We’ve all been there. Taken a seat at 9am to crack on with a project and, before you know it, it’s midday and you’ve not moved. Try setting a timer for every hour, and then get up and take a quick lap of the office, or step outside and take a quick walk. This will activate muscles, promote blood flow and help to clear your head.
Cut Back on Snacking
It’s all too easy for boredom to set in when you’re sat a desk all day and, oftentimes, boredom manifests itself as hunger. Cue the trip to the vending machine! But how you can you conquer this mindless snacking?
First and foremost, keep all temptations out of sight. If you’ve got a massive pile of crisps sat on your desk, you’re almost guaranteed to start making your way through them without even thinking. Keep any snacks you’ve collected in the staff room fridge, or in your desk drawers. Out of sight, out of mind! Also, think about whether you’re really hungry, or if you’re actually thirsty. Take a drink of water and leave it 20 minutes before tucking in straight away.