It’s well known that exercise helps to relieve stress and improve our overall well-being. But when you have a demanding office job, it can seem impossible to maintain a regular fitness routine. We’ve all made the excuse that we are too busy to go to the gym or just too tired to exercise.
The fact is, there are lots of simple ways to incorporate physical activity into your everyday work schedule. You don’t need to do intense workouts to reap the benefits of exercise – all it takes are a few lifestyle changes. If you want to feel your best in the office and maximise productivity, it’s essential to make these changes. Here are a few creative ways to exercise regularly when you work in an office.
Get a standing desk
Sitting in one position all day long can take a real toll on your physical health. At the least, sitting down for too long can make you irritable, stressed, and affect your ability to focus. An easy solution to this problem is to invest in a standing desk for your office. Using a standing desk while working can help to reduce back pain, reduce weight gain and improve your overall energy levels. The good thing is that most standing desks are adjustable, giving you the option to sit when you need a rest.
Schedule walking meetings
Instead of holding your next meeting inside your office, a coffee shop or boardroom, suggest to your meeting partner to bring your next discussion onto a outdoor walk. Walking meetings are a fantastic way to stay active on the job. They also remove the corporate feel from traditional meetings, which can help to significantly ease the stress of meetings from all parties involved.
Go the long way
There are always ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Making an effort to “take the long way” whenever possible can have a positive impact on your physical health and overall wellbeing. This could mean taking the stairs instead of the elevator, getting off the tunnelbana a station early, or going to a restroom that’s on a different floor.
Keep this up over time, and all of those extra steps will really pay off. Regular low-intensity exercises such as walking has been shown to be extremely beneficial for reducing overall fatigue and lowering your stress levels.
Take active lunch breaks
Instead of spending your lunch break stuck inside the office, use this time to get up and moving outdoors. Take a brisk walk to the park, walk around your office building or even take a quick jog around your block. If you own a bike or scooter, bring this to work with you so that you can ride it during your break. The fresh air, exercise, and change of scenery and exercise will help you refocus and de-stress.
Do mini workouts at your desk
You can work out subtly yet effectively by targeting a specific muscle group as you work. Try doing some calf raises or glute exercises. Or, why not keep a small pair of dumbbells under your desk? You can use your brief intervals to do some simple and inconspicuous arm-curls. This will help keep you energised and alert at work.
Change up your commute
You can make time for exercise before and after work by changing up your commute a little. If you live close by to your office, try jogging or speed walking to work instead of driving or taking public transport. If the distance is too far by foot, make it a point to get off the bus a few stops earlier than you usually would. Making these simple lifestyle changes will make a positive difference to your wellbeing over time.
Cloe Matheson is a writer based in Dunedin, New Zealand. As her work entails long hours in front of the computer, she appreciates her daily mini breaks – whether a quick fika break or an invigorating stroll around the neighbourhood to boost her creativity and inspiration.