By Reem Abdulrahman /Jassim al-Muftah
A lot of us have full-time jobs that require us to be in our offices for a range of 6-9 hours per day. Now, are you active during those hours? Let’s see how you can be more active during your working hours, especially for those who have desk jobs with limited movement. Initially, you have to acknowledge that there definitely are opportunities for incorporating an active lifestyle while at work, but you just have to find them and start taking advantage of them.
1- When the weather is bearable, park further away from the building and encourage yourself to walk further while entering and exiting the office.
2- Flex your abs to and from the toilet or for a minute or two every hour or so.
3- Flex your abs as you drive yourself to the office and actively practice proper posture.
4- Use the stairs more than the elevators.
5- Walk to your colleague’s office instead of calling or e-mailing.
6- Circulate your documents yourself instead of using office assistants.
7- Offer to pick up documents instead of having them sent to you.
8- Conduct a “walking meeting,” talk with your colleagues as you walk.
9- Conduct a “standing meeting,” stand as you meet and see how much time you save in meetings.
10. Stretch at your desk, take the time to stretch your neck, shoulders, back, arms, legs, or calves and relax your body for a few minutes.
11- Stop and breathe, focus on your breathing while closing your eyes and make time to de-stress.
12- Every 1-2 hours, take a walking break and move around for a few minutes giving yourself a mental and physical break.
13- Start a fitness challenge with your colleague and track steps or flights of stairs.
14- Start a pre-lunch and/or post-lunch group walk to assist your digestive system.
15- Offer to help lost visitors and walk them to their destination when applicable.
1- Try to wear comfortable shoes and clothes that support your active office lifestyle.
2- Use your heels as you walk and use the stairs, not your toes.
3- Monitor your posture and fix your back alignment by also flexing your abs as you move around or sit.
4- Do not use these opportunities as time to distract yourself from your job or goal, utilise them for fitness and wellness. Do not abuse these small chances for change and mistake them for an excuse to not work or to look unprofessional.
5- If there is a gym near your office, maybe look into joining it and hitting the gym before or after work. Going directly from the gym to the office or vice versa is a very popular strategy to keep yourself on track and have no excuse to not be active.
6- Being physically active, stretching and relaxing are all critical in adapting an active lifestyle in the office and crucial for self-love, care for your physical and mental health. Physical activity is firmly linked to more energy and a better mood, so why not be a role model and show your colleagues how easy it is to integrate fitness and overall wellness into their work routine; especially if you are a manager or supervisor, take these opportunities to inspire your staff to be active like you and see how the office environment and staff morale improve.
7- There are always ways to increase your physical activity and if your job is too demanding or if you are unable to apply my suggestions above, send me a message via my Instagram account and let’s find other solutions to help you get active at work. Wishing you all a physically successful day at the office!
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