Posted on December 13 2016
The seven dwarves whistled while they worked, and no doubt that’s still a good strategy to liven up a monotonous shift at the office. But these days, blowing air between your teeth to make a tune isn’t nearly as compelling or beneficial as another recent phenomenon: exercising while you work. Although it might seem odd and even downright revolutionary to forego that squeaky office chair for a standing desk or one that is equipped with an elliptical or stationary bike, you will be amazed at the benefits. So why not jump up, touch your toes 10 times, do 20 jumping jacks and then learn how this dynamic practice can transform your daily toil into a gentle workout you actually forget you’re doing.
Keep Obesity At Bay
Putting in a full shift each day at the office can not only drain you mentally but also can lead to poor eating habits and eventual weight gain. How often have you reached for something sugary just to wake yourself up from your mid-afternoon daze? One of the best ways to combat the fatigue that is induced by long hours of sitting still is to actually get up. Whether it’s stretching and light calisthenics in your cubicle, a stroll around your workplace or a session on your exercise desk’s elliptical or bike, you will find yourself invigorated and much less likely to crave sweet and salty foods that have no nutritional value whatsoever. Mayo Clinic studies concur; people who move around during the workday are much less likely to gain weight than their sedentary counterparts.
Get Your Metabolism Into Gear
Even standing still burns more calories than sitting or lying down. Once you’re on your feet, you tend to move more – even if it is just shifting from one foot to the other or rocking. What’s more, you are more likely to walk to someone’s cubicle to discuss an issue than you would be if you are slouched in your chair. Instead of emailing your colleague at the other end of the floor, why not stretch your legs and back and burn a calorie or two by visiting her in person? Actual human contact is often preferable to emails or instant messaging pings.
Make Your Chiropractor Happy
Any doctor, chiropractor or otherwise, will be glad to list for you the benefits of moving around. Doing so aligns your back and neck; it helps to keep your hips flexible and strengthens your glutes as well. Standing also encourages good posture and gets your blood circulating better to all your extremities.
Lessen Your Chances of Type-2 Diabetes
At a recent physical examination, has your doctor hinted that you are borderline diabetic? Have you been encouraged to watch your weight and your diet to prevent becoming dependent on taking daily insulin shots or prescription pills? In addition to modifying your eating habits, increasing your mobility during the workday might just keep you from becoming a diabetic. Recent research has suggested that moving around throughout the day is even more important than vigorous exercise in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Boost Coworkers' Morale
If your job site often seems eerily like a funeral home, with employees conducting their duties in sluggish silence and only leaving their cubicles to visit the bathroom or break for lunch, think how your new mobile work-style could shake up the place. Enthusiasm and energy are contagious. If people begin to notice that you literally have more pep in your step now that you are standing and walking throughout your shift – particularly if you needed to lose weight and have dropped a few pounds – you might just be the leader of an on-the-job activity revolution. As long as you don’t distract others, stay on task and meet your deadlines as consistently as you always have, there is virtually no supervisor who would begrudge you your newfound energy. You might even get some well-deserved accolades for setting a healthy trend.
Simple Ways To Begin
Are you convinced that ramping up your activity level at work is a good idea? If your answer is “yes,” you don’t need to wait until your boss has purchased a fancy desk equipped with a treadmill or an elliptical. Start today by trying the following:
- Work your core and arms by sitting in your chair with your legs crossed on the seat. With your hands on the arm rests, suck in your tummy and raise yourself a few inches off the seat just by using your stomach muscles and your hands. Hold for 15 seconds, rest for 30 seconds and repeat five times.
- Sit in your chair with one leg held out straight in front of you. Raise it as high as you can and hold it for two seconds. Repeat 15 times and then switch legs. This will improve your lower body strength.
- Wall sits are a great way to boost strength and endurance. Stand with your back against a wall. While bending your knees, slide your back down the wall. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, stop and hold for 30 seconds.
- For another strength enhancer, sit on the very edge of your desk chair. Put your hands on each side of your thighs and scoot forward until your rear end is off the chair. Then bend your arms and lower yourself about six inches below the seat. Straighten your arms to rise up again. Repeat 10 times.
When you finally make it home after a long day on the job, there are times when all you want to do is chill out on the sofa and catch a sporting event or your favorite TV show. If you have spent your day in motion, being a couch potato at night is a reward you don’t even need to feel guilty about. So take a stand against sitting on the job, and your life, both at work and at home, can be transformed.