Recent research in the UK showed our sedentary lifestyles may be as dangerous for us as smoking. One of the leading culprits is the majority of us spend up to 40 hours a week sitting in front of a computer while we are at work. The good news is, an hour of activity over a day has been shown to ease the harm done by sitting still. There are lots of easy things we can incorporated into our day to be more active even in an office based job:
Get off public transport early
If you commute to work jump off the bus or train a stop or two early and get a walk in before work. After work, walk to the next stop or station if you can, you may even beat a bus in traffic! I often do!
Take the stairs
Is your office on the third or fourth floor? Don’t hit that lift button…take the stairs and add more activity to your life!
Make the most of lunchtime
Get out at lunchtime for a brisk walk or even better again do a High Intensity Interval Training class (or similar…Spin anyone?) at a nearby gym or leisure centre.
Stand up as much as possible
One of the most challenging things about the office lifestyle is what to do when you actually need to get work done? Since the 1950’s standing has been shown to be more beneficial to our health than sitting. The ideal situation would be to have a sitting or standing desk and alternate over the day. If this isn’t possible try to stand as much as you can when you are away from your desk. Have a stand up meeting with colleagues. Not only is it healthier but they often take less time!
Stretch at your desk
There are lots of easy stretches you can do while sitting at your desk that give you a break from the task at hand and help you stay healthy and well at work.
Use portable exercise equipment
If stretches aren’t enough, bring in some portable equipment like dumbbells and a suspension trainer, book a meeting room over lunchtime and have a short workout.
Drink more water
Key to our fitness is staying hydrated. It’s an easy one to forget when sitting still but we should all be aiming to drink 1.5 litres of water over a day. The easiest way to do this is using a .5 litre bottle and aim to refill it twice!
Don’t ruin your good work by reaching for the treats and pastry’s that are often present in Irish offices! Instead bring your own stash of fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts and seeds to nibble on. You will feel better for it!
John O Neill, personal trainer at Club Vitae gym, Clayton Hotel Limerick, says, “Don’t snack during your work hours just because you need some energy. A good breakfast, Lunch and dinner if planned appropriately by taking in the demands of your job can allow your work hours to be snack free. If you do need a snack make sure it is a healthy and natural snack like fruit, nuts or grains”.