Posted on Jan 25th 2019.
Now that we’re a couple of weeks into January and most of us are settled back into our work routines, it’s time to look forward to the year ahead and focus on our goals.
A common goal among many people’s New Year’s Resolutions tends to be getting into shape and adopting a healthier, fitter lifestyle after the Christmas period. Trying to find time to hit the gym or work out when you’ve got a busy schedule can be tough, but there are actually a few different ways of staying healthy at work.
For this month’s article, we’ve decided to take a look at some different methods for staying fit in the workplace for 2019.
Standing desks are becoming a very popular option for employees and have been cropping up in offices all across the UK.
Being static in the same chair for the length of a working day can be very uncomfortable and could lead to serious effects on your neck and back after a long period of time. With a large amount of people working from 9 to 5, spending 8+ hours a day in the same position is going to come with some negative effects.
A standing desk is an effective way of stretching your legs and relieving some of the stress from your lower back. With the ability to change the height at any point, you have the option to switch between sitting and standing throughout the day.
This kind of regular movement is good for the body, not allowing it to stay static in any one position for too long and ensuring a healthier lifestyle in the process.
Posture can actually play an important role in how much work gets done and can be the difference between a productive and unproductive day. We’ve all experienced days that have been filled with back pain, distracting us and keeping us from doing our work.
By sitting up straighter and adjusting your chair to the correct setting, you’ll see a noticeable change in productivity.
We recently produced an article that deals with the effects of back pain in the workplace and lists some ways of avoiding it. If you’d like to read more, please click here.
Walking is an incredibly effective form of exercise and has a multitude of benefits.
It can be easy enough to spend your whole lunch break sat in front of a computer, scrolling through your emails with a sandwich in hand. But you’d be surprised by the effects of going for a lunch time walk outside can have.
Fresh air and the chance to stretch your legs will break up the working day for a bit and removing yourself from the office will result in a more positive, productive mood after lunch.
Walking meetings are another effective way of introducing more activity into your day and are perfect for managers who struggle to find the time to go out for lunch. Having these meetings on the go can even make operations more efficient, with the change of scenery keeping things moving at a quicker pace.
If you’re really serious about staying fit in the workplace, there are a number of different desk exercises and methods you can do to work on your fitness.
Some examples of simple exercises that can be done from the comfort of your desk include leg planks, back twists and shoulder raises. These are all very easy things to do that can keep your body moving without disrupting your work.
Earlier in this article, we spoke about exchanging your normal desk for a standing desk, but a yoga ball could be an alternative solution. It might sound like a strange idea, but yoga balls are very effective for keeping fit as it forces your body, more specifically your ab muscles to help keep you upright on the ball.
It might not feel like much of a workout, but it will definitely help you feel the burn over an extended period.
We don’t recommend throwing out your comfy office chair just yet, but it might be a good idea to try using a yoga ball for certain periods of the day.
For those who are looking to achieve better results, increasing the amount of exercise you do on a daily basis is crucial.
Finding the time to exercise when you live a busy schedule can be tough, so trying to look for ways to stay active during the day is essential. An answer to this is to implement exercise into your daily commute to and from work (where possible).
If you live nearby to your workplace, then consider walking to work instead of driving or taking the bus. Walking to the office will not only improve your general health but will reduce your carbon footprint in the process.
If you find that walking to and from work is not a feasible option, have you considered riding a bike instead? This option is only for the committed but riding a bike to and from the workplace is a very effective way of getting into shape. You may want to check that your office has facilities for you to freshen up and securely store your bike.
Other small but helpful ways to stay active include taking the stairs instead of the lift where possible and parking further away from the building so you have to walk for longer. Every little helps after all.
We’ve all been guilty of having more than a few biscuits with our cups of tea or raising our hands whenever someone asks if anyone wants to order food in.
Trying to reduce your intake of food that isn’t particularly good for you is essential for leading a healthier lifestyle, and something that is going to make you feel better as a whole.
By now, everyone knows that consuming bad food will not only cause us to gain weight but can also have side effects such as fatigue and laziness. In a working environment, this can have a very negative impact on productivity.
A simple solution to vastly improving your diet is to consume water, and lots of it. Drinking lots of water is always a good idea (coffee doesn’t count, sorry), and will result in a more refreshed, revitalised worker. We also recommend investing in a re-usable water bottle, allowing you to re-fill it multiple times a day and saving the environment in the process.
If you’re looking for other simple ways to improve your workplace eating, we recommend packing your own lunch (filled with healthy snacks), reducing your coffee intake, eating more fruit and making sure you don’t miss out on breakfast.
Missing out on breakfast leads to a mid-morning feeling of hunger, which often leads to snacking. Planning ahead and enjoying an early meal will keep you satisfied until lunch time and prevent the need to snack.
You will often find that it is a struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle when working all the time, but there are lots of small things you can do to balance this as we’ve seen. Something as simple as drinking more water or sitting up straighter can have a positive effect on our bodies, improving your quality of life and the amount of work you’re able to get done.
Have you got any other ideas for staying fit in the workplace? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you’d like to learn more about maintaining a healthy workplace environment, feel free to get in touch with one of our professionals today.
An experienced member of Wurkplace’s Health and Safety department who helps SME’s grow and keep within current legislation requirements.
Tyler holds a CIM Level 3 in Marketing, and has most recently attained a NEBOSH General certificate (Health and Safety).
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