One easy tip for living a healthy lifestyle is to simply be active. But oftentimes, this is easier said than done, especially if you work at a desk job eight hours a day, five days a week. And for many of us, getting up at six in the morning or dragging yourself to the gym after a long day at work can be equally exhausting.
The point is, fitting exercise into your schedule is a commitment, and it can be difficult. And having to exercise at work can be difficult. The good news is, we’ve got some tips to help alleviate the sedentary lifestyle by making your workplace more active and exercise-friendly.
1. Use a stability ball.
Replacing your chair with a stability ball is a great first step. This is because a stability ball forces you to keep your abdominal muscles engaged in order to stay balanced. Over time, your core strength will build, thus improving your posture, spinal health, and reducing possible back pains or body aches.
2. Get a standing desk.
Alternatively, you could ditch the chair and the stability ball altogether. There have been studies that actually suggested that sitting for long periods of time is deleterious for your health regardless of physical activity[i]. Another study revealed that 43000 cases of colon cancer and 49 000 cases of breast cancer are caused by extensive amounts of sitting[ii].
3. Stretch periodically.
If you don’t have a standing desk, make sure you’re getting up periodically to stretch and walk around. Set a timer to go off every thirty minutes to remind yourself. According to the University of Waterloo’s kinesiology department, it’s most beneficial to stand and sit at a 1:1 ratio, but it’s still crucial to ease in into standing more otherwise you could also develop lower back pains[iii].
4. Make your commute a workout.
If you’re already walking to work or biking to work, why not turn that into a workout? Speed up your walk into a jog, and ramp up the RPM when you’re cycling to clock in some exercise time. If the distance is a little too intimidating to get right into a full-on race first thing in the morning, try getting off the bus a few steps before the destination, or park your car a little farther than you usually would.
5. Have handbells handy.
There’s no need to haul in your weights the size of dump trucks, but just have light dumbbells under your desk. Make it accessible for you to do a few reps anytime you get a quick break. Those add up at the end of the day, and who doesn’t want toned arms?
Do you exercise at work? Share with us your tips on how you’re staying healthy by being active at work!