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Staying Active at the Office

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Staying Active at the Office

Computers sure do make our lives easier, especially at work. However, working at a computer does have one major downfall: sitting all day. Many health risks are associated with sitting for prolonged periods – obesity, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and overwhelming stress. Guess what I do for eight or more hours a day? That’s right, sit at my desk and I’m sure many of you do the same. Here’s how I’m going to change that. I encourage you to join me!

Make lunch mobile. Put in your headphones and take a stroll while eating. Research has shown that even 30 minutes of exercise a day significantly improves your health and decreases some risk factors, including LDL cholesterol and high blood pressure. When the weather’s nice, I’ll walk 15 minutes from my office to eat lunch on a park bench and walk back following my meal. I also have a pair of tennis shoes in my desk drawer in case I’m wearing uncomfortable shoes. If you can’t take a walk during lunch, try to fit in at least an hour of physical activity after work to improve your health. 

 

Set your phone to remind you. Use the alarm or reminders app to regularly remind you to get up and move – even if it’s just for a quick 10 or 15-minute walk. Even though most workdays are driven by computers, change things up. Check-in personally to answer questions, gauge progress and spread a little goodwill with your coworkers instead of sending emails in the morning and during the day.

 

Fidget. Small movements help to counteract the unhealthy aspect of sitting in the office for prolonged periods of time. Swing your legs, rotate your ankles and get up out of your seat to visit coworkers. Hold meetings face-to-face to discuss work topics- take any chance you have to move throughout the day. 

Cycle or walk to work. If you can, these options offer stress-relief and are a way to get your calorie burn going for the day. Even if you have to drive to work, going for a walk or a bike ride once you get home is a great activity that you can do with your whole family. That’s more my speed since I drop the kids off at school before work. Unless anyone knows of a great 4 person tandem-bike store?


Stand. But not for prolonged periods, because that can be harmful, too. (Nothing is easy, is it?) Alternating between sitting and standing for a couple of hours is much better than sitting all day long. Research is still out on whether or not it helps you burn calories. Regardless, we know that there are benefits to standing intermittently throughout the day.

 

Let me know in the comments if you have any tips or tricks for staying active at work, or if any of these ideas made a difference for you!

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Thanks for reading my blog, A Bushel and A Plate.

As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.

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