If you are a worker who sits in front of your computer for a long time every day, then incorporating movements into your daily work routines is a must. You have to constantly remind yourself of how important moving at work is.
Note that while sitting can’t kill you, doing so for prolonged periods and in poor postures with only minimal movements and breaks can greatly affect your health. It can also lessen your productivity.
You need to move every now and then to prevent your body from stiffening up. Without movements, your body will most likely stop working optimally. It might even lead to discomfort, brain fog, and other health issues and injuries.
By staying active at work, you can promote proper blood flow and circulation. Your movements can also keep your muscles active.
What Your Body Goes Through at Work?
The advancement in technology lessens the opportunities of workers to do some physical activities while at work. In the past, most people, particularly workers, were physically active. You can find plenty of manual labor jobs and only minimal labor-saving devices.
Most people in the past were also into cycling and walking as their forms of transport. These physical activities are quite scarce for workers nowadays. You will notice a lot of workers working in offices, driving instead of walking, and turning to passive forms of entertainment during leisure and recreation.
The problem is that being sedentary can bring a lot of harm to the body. If you are working in an office, then most of your work hours are most likely spent sitting in front of your computer.
It might lead to what is referred to as the sitting disease, a term that covers all risk factors linked to prolonged periods of following a sedentary lifestyle. Note that your body goes through a lot at work due to prolonged sitting or inactivity.
One thing that it might experience is blood clotting. It is because prolonged sitting in just a single position can negatively affect your blood flow and circulation. It might also lead to deep vein thrombosis.
The improper blood circulation experienced by your body at work might even result in heart attacks and stroke. Aside from that, your metabolism may also slow down, causing you to gain excess weight.
If your work requires you to be inactive and just sit for a long time, then it might also cause other health issues. Among the issues that your body might encounter are Type 2 diabetes due to an increase in insulin resistance and fat mass, sluggish digestion, and poor posture.
Why Movement During Work Day is Important?
To understand the importance of movement during the workday, here are just some of the many advantages you can get from it:
Promotes better cognitive function
Keep in mind that prolonged sitting results in poor and improper blood flow. By moving more throughout your workday, you can maintain proper blood circulation. It also ensures that your brain maintains optimal circulation.
With that, expect your brain to be healthier. Your regular movements can even help improve brain and cognitive function. Aside from that, it can also make you have a better motor function.
It can improve your focus and attention as well as cognitive speed. All these things can positively influence your performance in the workplace and your overall productivity.
Strengthens your muscles
You also need to move at work to strengthen your muscles. Note that your body has over 600 muscles, contributing to around 40 percent of your entire body weight. You have to move every once in a while to keep these muscles strong.
By doing that, you can also improve your balance, coordination, and stability. You may also want to do some stretching during your workday to retain the good health of your muscles.
Lessens workplace stress
Another reason why you should stay active even if you are at work is that it can help you avoid the harmful effects of workplace stress. Your physical activities can enhance your mood and fight stress.
With that, you can prevent the negative effects of extremely high levels of stress, like depression, high blood pressure, and impaired mental function. Note that all these negative effects can also impair your work, leading to absences, so try fighting them through constant movements.
Maintains good metabolism
Regular movements at work can also prevent your metabolism from slowing down. It helps your metabolic rate maintain its healthy level. Note that excessive sitting might hamper your metabolism.
If that happens, then it is greatly possible for your body to have a hard time regulating your blood sugar and blood pressure. Your body will also find it challenging to break down excess body fats. By deciding to move during workdays, you can prevent those issues regarding your metabolism from happening.
Other Health Issues that Moving at Work can Prevent
Apart from the mentioned reasons and benefits, your constant movement in the workplace also prevents you from dealing with health problems linked to prolonged sitting.
Among the issues you can avoid are heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, osteoporosis, musculoskeletal problems, and muscle weakness. With that, it is no longer questionable why staying active even when at work is essential.
Tips on Moving More During Work
Working in an office does not necessarily mean you just have to sit the entire day. Here are some tips that will let you move at work.
- Use a standing desk – Also called an adjustable desk and a stand-up desk, a standing desk can be a great solution if you want to move constantly at work. With this desk around, you can work even when you are standing.
It can, therefore, lessen your risk of experiencing poor circulation and posture because of prolonged sitting. You can use it to alternate from sitting and standing every now and then. Just ensure to go for an adjustable desk so you can alter its height as you deem fit.
- Use the stairs, instead of the elevator – Your body can also benefit from more movements if you take a few flights of stairs, instead of having a lift through the elevator. Climbing the stairs is a great form of exercise, so give it a try every time you are in the workplace.
- Do some casual stretches every now and then – Do not forget to do some stretching exercises while you are at your desk. Note that even simple exercises will already let you stay active at work.
You can do some simple stretching and exercises like leg raises, neck stretches, and shoulder raises. You may also want to integrate some aerobic movements while at your desk.
- Invest in a mini-exercise bike – It is something that can fit beneath your work desk. With this mini-exercise bike under your desk, you will have no excuse not to get a bit of exercise from time to time.
You can keep on pedaling the bikes to give your legs some workout. Doing this can greatly benefit your calves and improve your circulation.
- Participate in standing or walking meetings – Note that some meetings can be completed in as little as fifteen minutes. In that case, you can organize a standing meeting for it.
The good thing about this form of meeting is that it can boost everyone’s efficiency as it does not drag things unnecessarily. It is also a great way to get out of your chair.
If you need to set up a meeting for small groups, then you can organize it in the walking meeting setup. It allows your group to complete some tasks and talk about important matters while also having a few physical activities.
- Use an exercise ball as your work chair – You may also want to invest in a high-quality exercise ball that you can use as your work chair in the office. A great advantage of sitting on this ball is that it can engage your core, particularly your back and abdominal muscles.
It allows you to practice active sitting, which gives your body the chance to move even when you are working. Sitting on an exercise ball also helps you maintain good posture.
Tips for Success
If you are not used to moving while in the workplace, then here are some additional tips that will gear you towards success. With these tips, transitioning to staying physically active at work will be a lot easier:
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes – With a comfy pair of shoes and clothes, increasing your physical activities in the workplace is highly likely. Everything you wear should be comfortable so you can move conveniently and easily.
The good news is that even with the dress code in your office, you can still find ways to increase your comfort. Among these are using high-quality flats, wearing a dress or suit made of movable and breathable fabric, or putting on a pair of heels that still promotes ease when walking around.
- Interrupt sitting time – You can do that by reorganizing your workstation in a way that you will need to stand up to get some of your most frequently used items. Your goal should be to stand every ten minutes or so.
You can also achieve this tip by alternating between a desk chair or exercise ball and using a standing workstation. It can help you stand up more often, thereby promoting more balance and strengthening your legs.
- Use a timer – You also have a higher chance of attaining success when trying to incorporate movements into your workday with the help of a timer. You can use some apps with a timer that will remind you to move.
Once your timer goes off, you can do some movements, like stretching to work out your back muscles. You may also work around for a bit. Consider it as your break.
- Monitor your calorie burn and steps – You need to have something, which you can use in tracking your calorie burn and your number of steps the entire day. One useful tracking device is a pedometer.
It is useful in monitoring the level of your activity as well as letting you know whether you already have enough movements. You will also feel more motivated, especially if you accomplished a goal of around 10,000 to 20,000 steps. This accomplishment will inspire you to move more.
- Have a workout partner – You can have your colleague act as your workout partner. With a partner around, you will constantly be reminded to stay active.
Make sure that you offer each other the support and encouragement needed to move at work. You can use calendar reminders or emails as a means of communication. By having a partner, you have a higher chance of staying motivated plus you will feel more accountable and responsible.
Apart from the things already mentioned, it is also advisable to make sure that you already have things you need to make moving at work a lot easier. For instance, you may want to use a cushioned floor mat to prevent leg and foot fatigue every time you stand up.
It is also advisable to include time for physical activity in your work calendar. By doing something to increase your physical activities in the workplace, you will surely be doing your body and health a great favor.
Aside from that, you can boost your mood, energy, and productivity. It can also help solve problems linked to workplace stress since your regular physical activities can boost your mental and emotional health.