Want to perform better at work? Then get up and move! That’s right, stepping away from your desk can actually make you a better employee! Research shows that taking mini breaks to move and stretch throughout the day, not only increases health but also reduces stress and increases productivity (which should make for some happy bosses and coworkers!).
For those of us sitting in front of a computer most of the day, the conveniences of email and instant messaging reduce our calorie burn and increase our risk of health problems (even if we are physically active outside of work). Luckily, getting up to move for just a few minutes each hour can make a difference. Incorporate some of these ways to move more throughout the workday; your body and mind (and those around you) will thank you!
- Rethink sending that email. Instead walk over to the person to talk, when possible.
- While on the phone or when a coworker stops by to talk, stand up. Standing burns more calories than sitting. Burn even more by pacing while on the phone.
- Drink more water throughout the day (eight glasses a day is a good goal). More water = more restroom breaks = more walking! Walk to the restroom furthest away.
- Does your office have more than one level? Take a five minute break and climb several flights of stairs. Walk up a flight or two to use the restroom.
- Planning a brainstorming meeting? Suggest a walking meeting. The activity will increase oxygen flow to your brain and creativity.
- Change body positions throughout the day to decrease stiffness.
- Do leg lifts while you work. While seated, extend leg, point toes toward the ceiling, flex and lift slightly.
- Set a reminder on your calendar or phone to stand up at least once each hour to stretch or take a short walk around your office.
- Try these seated stretches from Spark People while at your desk.
- Park your car at the far end of the parking lot to increase your steps each day.
- Keep an extra pair of tennis shoes at your desk or in your car for walk breaks at lunch or before your commute home.
Do you try to be active during the workday? Share your ideas in the comments section.