Modern working practices can encourage sedentary lifestyles, which can lead to physical and mental health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, stress and depression. Here are four simple ways to make changes as part of your daily routine:
1.Build more activity into your commute.
This could mean walking, cycling or running all or part of the way to work. If you take public transport, you could get off your bus or train early and walk the rest of the way. It’s a simple way to build up fitness, strength and stamina.
2. Build more activity into your working day.
Take regular screen breaks. It’s easier said than done but aim to get away from your chair and screen once in a while. For instance, you can stand up to do stretching exercises, take phone calls while standing, or get up to talk to people rather than emailing them. A sticky note in the corner of your computer screen or a regular alarm on your phone can be a useful reminder to take a break.
Use the stairs, rather than the elevator. Often, the time difference will be minimal. But the activity will build up your aerobic capacity, raise your heart rate, and increase your muscle strength.
Hold stand-up or hold walking meetings. This is an effective way to get you and your team out of your seats, and to think about your activity levels.
3. Go outside (or just be more active) at lunchtime.
Fewer workers are taking lunch breaks, often preferring to grab a snack or sandwich at their workstations. Breaking this cycle can be tough when you’re busy. But making an effort to leave your desk at lunchtime, even for a short walk around the block, can be beneficial. It can flex your joints, boost blood circulation, and allow for mental recharging and reflection.
4. Remember your diet.
Healthy behaviour change has to combine exercise and diet to be effective. Choose the healthy options from the staff restaurant and the vending machine or better still take your own nutritious food to work.