Is your day consumed by hours of sitting at a desk? Join the thousands of others in the same boat. We now have the ability to communicate from our desks, without even picking up the phone in many cases. This may make us a little more efficient at work, but it comes at the expense of less physical activity.
So how can we ensure we continue to get some physical activity and movement to help counter these sedentary lifestyles? The truth is that even a little bit of physical activity is better than none at all. And what better place to do this than at work? Activity can make for nice breaks throughout the day and for most of us, a majority of our day is spent in the office.
Incorporating more fitness into your lifestyle, especially if you’re sedentary, can have profound positive effects on your health. Taking the stairs or increasing the amount you walk each day for example, can significantly lower your risk for premature death. This small bit of physical activity over the course of a week, month, or year can add up! Not only will you burn more calories than you would just sitting at your desk, but you’re also staying limber.
I’ve trained numerous individuals and what I see most often are movement deficiencies. Before fitness goals such as weight loss and strength gains can be addressed, we must address incorrect movement patterns. If there are issues with movement, your body will compensate. This leads to muscular imbalances and possible injury when you least expect it. Many of these movement deficiencies are simply caused by lack of movement on a regular basis.
Here are some things you can do:
- Opt for the stairs over the elevator or escalator.
- If you drive to work, park your car farther away. If you take public transportation, exit the train/bus prior to your stop and walk the rest of the way.
- Get out for lunch. Take a walk to a local eatery or take your bagged lunch to the park.
- Enlist the help of a buddy. Workout partners can help with motivation and accountability.
- Stay hydrated. Your body needs water, even if you’re sitting at your desk all day. Water also helps to fill the stomach and can reduce your appetite.
- Stretch throughout the day. Try incorporating a different stretch every hour. This will break up the hours spent at your desk and make you feel better as you focus on the areas that tend to stay tight from sitting over a keyboard. These areas include the chest, neck and shoulders, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors.
Movement deficiencies can be improved by increasing overall movement and improving flexibility. So in addition to eating smartly, you should also move more and stretch daily. You’ll find that your muscles will become more limber and you’ll feel better knowing that you didn’t just sit at your desk all day!