The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that engaging in physical exercise during the workday can reduce the amount of sick time taken by employees by up to 30 percent, and increase productivity by up to 50 percent. But if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that your days involve spending seven or eight hours seated at a desk in front of a computer, handling your tasks. The reality is that finding time to do a physical activity at work is easier said than done.
Knowing this, here are five simple ways that you can increase your physical activity during your workday.
Use your commute as an opportunity to exercise
If you live a reasonable distance from where you work, why not take your bike or walk to work – especially if the weather is nice!
If you have to use public transport or drive to work, however, there are still ways to include a little bit of exercise in your commute: simply get off the bus or subway a few stops early, or park your car a few blocks from work.
Get off the elevator at a different floor
Once you arrive at work, you could take the stairs instead of the elevator. Of course, if you work on the ninth floor, this may be a little more exercise than you would like. In this case, try taking the elevator to the sixth or seventh floor, and then the stairs the rest of the way. With practice, you’ll get used to the climb and eventually you may want to add more floors to boost your workout.
When appropriate, speak to colleagues face-to-face instead of by email
According to professional training services firm Arobase, the average office worker receives 88 emails every day and sends another 34 emails every day. Many of these emails are sent between colleagues who work in the same building, raising the question: how many of these emails are really necessary?
If you have a simple question to ask, or need a document signed by a colleague, walk over to their desk to take care of it. Not only do you get to take a few needed steps, but you also get to strengthen your ties with co-workers.
Walk and talk
The handy telephone remains the primary means of communication at many companies, says Arobase, with some workplaces reporting an average of 41 employee phone calls per day. These calls provide an opportunity for physical activity: if you have to make or receive a call, stand up during the call and take a short walk if you can.
Take advantage of your lunch break
In recent years, it’s arguably become more and more common for employees to spend their lunch hour eating alone at their desk, staring at a screen. For your own lunch break, why not take the opportunity to go for a walk, invigorate your body and give your eyes a rest? If you’re feeling ambitious you could even head to a local gym for a quick, 30-minute workout.
Staying active is often a question of being mindful: it’s up to you to take advantage of every moment to stay fit. You’ll feel better and likely be more productive at work, too!