This is a guest post by Ryan Avila. If you'd like to guest post on this blog, click here.
How to stay healthy at work is an age-old question. The sedentary lifestyle of the American workforce, which keeps workers planted in one place behind their desks for most of the day, can be detrimental to physical health and well-being.
Employers don’t always make it easy for employees to get up and away from their desk throughout a workday but corporate wellness is a high priority for most companies these days. So even if the highest level of efficiency requires keeping employees at their stations and on task whenever they are clocked in, companies may be a bit more lenient today than yesteryear when it comes to staying healthy.
Since it’s not conducive to your employer’s bottom line to provide you opportunities to keep moving throughout the day, if you want to know how to stay fit and active at the office, you must get creative and make your own fitness opportunities. Exercise at work can be accomplished if you get creative. Here are 10 different, creative ways to stay healthy at work.
1. Park Further Away
Before you even get inside the office, you can start your workplace workout routine. Get to work in enough time to park in one of the furthest spaces from the door, creating a longer walk to your building. You’ll increase your daily movement just by increasing the numbers of steps you take into work, out of work, and each time you leave the office on lunch or a break.
2. Get Active During Breaks
While we're on the subject of breaks, they provide another good opportunity to get out of the office, get fresh air, and get some exercise. Remember that, in most states, ten or fifteen minute breaks in the morning and afternoon are your right as an employee, so don’t be dissuaded by employers who look unfavorably on employees who actually take the breaks allotted to them.
3. Pack Your Lunch
For even more activity time throughout a workday, start packing your lunch. Not only does a homemade meal provide better nutrition than a meal from a restaurant, but bringing your lunch to work prevents the need to go out on your lunch break which can eat up most of your break time. Instead, eat in the first 20 minutes of your break and use the last 10 to 40 minutes to take a walk.
4. Use Your Workplace Fitness Center
If your workplace offers an on-site fitness center, your lunch break provides an opportunity to use it. Though you probably don’t want to get sweaty before you go back to work, lifting a few weights or taking a slow walk on the treadmill won’t do much damage to your workplace hygiene. If you want to use the gym for a full workout and the gym has shower rooms, get to work early enough for a morning exercise routine or stay after work and get in a full workout before heading home.
5. Take a Midday Class at a Local Gym
Additionally, if your gym is near your workplace, you can pop over for a short routine or a half-hour yoga class during your lunch break. Also, consider looking around your local area for short midday dance classes. With the popularity of “Dancing with the Stars”, there has been a burgeoning growth in dance-related workout classes. Depending on traffic around the office, you may be able to take a half-hour to forty-five minute dance class and still get back to work within an hour lunch break.
6. Take the Stairs
Not all opportunities for staying active at work take place outside of the office environment. You might not be taking advantage of the exercise opportunities that arise during a regular work day. If your office has more than one floor, take the stairs between floors. If each floor has a bathroom, use the bathroom one floor up or one floor down to get a few extra steps in.
7. Ditch the Phone and Email
When you need to ask someone in another department a question, walk to your coworker’s desk instead of using the phone or email to communicate. On your way back to your desk, take the long way around.
8. Sit on a Pilates Ball
Though a workday and an office does provide some opportunity to get active, most of a workday must still be spent working, and traditionally, most of that work time doesn’t allow for much movement. That’s why numerous companies manufacture products that help get employees out of traditional office chairs and into more physically-engaging positions.
Try using a Pilates ball, generally used in exercise routines, as opposed to sitting on a regular office chair. Sitting on a Pilates ball requires balance, which uses your leg and core muscles, providing you with low-impact conditioning as you work.
9. Try a Standing Desk
If you have room in your workspace, a standing desk provides another good option for workplace fitness, and is also a good choice for those who may have difficulty sitting for long periods. Standing desks keep your legs physically active throughout the day, striking a happy compromise between your desire to be more active at the office and your employer’s desire to get the work done.
10. Do Exercises at Your Desk
Whenever you have a quick break, do some exercises at your desk. Keep weights in your desk and do a couple of reps between phone calls or try doing legs lifts while on the phone. And don't worry about looking silly—your co-workers will soon follow suit when they see you losing weight.
If you're oftentimes wondering how to stay healthy at work, I hope you use some of these creative ideas on how to stay fit during the 9 to 5 grind. Utilize the fact that corporate wellness is something that companies are definitely paying attention to. Staying healthy at the office is not always easy, but it is possible if you make it a priority to exercise at work throughout the day and use your lunch and other breaks to get in as much exercise as possible.
This guest article was written by Ryan Avila who is a content writer for US Alarm.