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9 to 5 fitness

9 to 5 fitness

Hallie Criste

Health & Wellbeing

Jun 20, 2019

If you work any type of office job that requires extended periods of time sitting down, then you’ve probably experienced the headaches, fatigue and overall stiffness your body undergoes whilst remaining static. We tend to see time dedicated to exercise happening outside of work hours, but this is dangerous territory when you consider the fact that most of our lives are spent at the office. While there will always be those times when you’re rushing from meeting to meeting or have a mountainous amount of paperwork to get through, squeezing in a bit of extra time for your health will make a world of difference – you’ll feel better, you’ll have more energy and you’ll be more productive. Try these tips to easily integrate healthy habits into your stale work routine!

Change your sit-down desk to a standing desk or replace your chair with a fitness ball. These are starting to pop up everywhere as new health initiatives within the office – and for good reason! However, standing up all day isn’t a much better solution to sitting down; you’re still stuck in the same position for an extended period of time. Our suggestion is to continuously switch up your positioning and rather than just standing, try to simultaneously engage in stretching or light exercise, such as calf raises.

Park further away. A morning walk is great way to wake the body up before settling into the office for the day. Walking back to your car in the evening helps you unwind and switch out of work-mode and into home-mode. Both help up your steps and burn more calories!

Indulge in a fitness tracker. Fitness trackers provide you with tangible results that show your level of activity for the day. Seeing your results and how little you’ve moved can be strong motivation. Plus, most fitness trackers contain a feature that notifies you when you’ve been inactive for too long. You should be aiming for 10,000 steps a day!

Walk whenever possible. Try scheduling a walking meeting when possible or walk whilst on the phone. Studies show that walking leads to increased creative thinking, more honest exchanges, more productivity [1]… and more steps!

Exercise during your lunch break. Sometimes getting up that extra hour earlier or mustering up the energy after work is seriously challenging. Fitting in a workout at lunch can be a great option if you’re neither an early bird nor a night owl. If you’re interested in trying it but are worried it will take up too much time we suggest going in with a plan, bringing in your lunch that day and leaving your phone switched off.

Keep hydrated. Staying hydrated allows your body to maintain its strength and energy. Bringing in your own water bottle is an easy way to ensure you’re continuously drinking. For an additional health hack, fill up your bottle half way so that you’re forced to get up, walk around and re-fill more frequently.

Change up your commute method. If you’re looking for ways to fit in more exercise but can’t seem to find the time, try running or biking to work. It doesn’t have to be an every day change but if you live nearby and it’s a feasible option then it’s a great way to slot in an extra 30-60-minute workout.

Bring in your own food. Sitting stationary all-day, every day is not ideal but pairing that with junk foods filled with fat and sugar is even worse. Eating right has a huge impact on weight loss, fitness and energy levels. Try to avoid carb-heavy lunches and bring in healthy snacks so you aren’t tempted by chips or lollies in the break room.

Take much-needed breaks. Do your mind (and eyes) a favour and take a break from the screen. If you’re experiencing writers block or the common afternoon slump try going for a walk, grabbing a tea or water or engaging in some light stretching. It will give your brain an active rest and make your dedicated work time more productive.

Avoid eating lunch at your desk. It’s really important you have time away from your desk to give yourself a mental break. Eating in the lunch room allows you to engage with your colleagues and makes you associate your desk with productivity rather than relaxation.

In summary, work and health don’t need to exist separate from each other. Incorporating wellness practices into your work routine will not only boost your fitness levels but will also increase productivity. Give these tips a try and transform your office space into a place of healthy habits.

[1] https://hbr.org/2015/08/how-to-do-walking-meetings-right