What do you think is one of the biggest public health issues of our time?
Depending on who you talk to, you can point the finger at sugar, meat, carbs and alcohol as the culprits for why we continue to get fatter and unhealthier.
But are we just not moving our bodies enough?
The World Health Organisation has cited an “increase in sedentary behaviour during occupational and domestic activities” (basically too much sitting at home and at work) as a global public health problem.
Even if you regularly get those workouts in, what you do with your body for the other 23 hours of the day is just as important.
I get it: you’re stuck at a desk and that’s the way it is. But if you have an office job, and don’t deliberately seek out opportunities to move your body, chances are you’re growing a significant bumprint.
And all this sitting isn’t just making us fat, it’s also terrible for our general mobility and causing chronic aches and pains.
I’m lucky enough to work in a gym where I spend most of my day active and on my feet, but I still get what it’s like to be stuck to your desk and wedged in your car for a long commute.
If you want to feel instantly less crappy after a long seated day in the office and reduce that growing bumprint, follow my tips for getting out of that chair with minimal disruption to your work flow.
- Stand up and move when you’re on the phone
Every time you call someone or your phone rings, develop a habit of standing up and moving.
One of the great outcomes of talking on the phone while standing up is that you sound clear, happier and more positive (especially if you’re smiling). Incidentally, you’ve increased your heart rate by engaging more muscles.
If you take work calls on your mobile, there are no excuses for sitting still while you’re on the phone. Walk forward, backwards, sideways and even throw in a few squats and lunges (if your work wear allows it)!
- Squat on your chair
How often do we get out of our chair every day? Whenever you need to stand up or sit down, complete a few squats on your chair.
It goes like this: sit, stand, sit, stand, sit, stand, sit.
That’s three squats every time you sit down.
If you’re stuck at your desk and don’t want to move away from an important task, set a reminder/alarm on your phone to ensure you complete three sit-stands (squats) every 30 minutes. If you work eight hours, that’s 48 squats per day!
- Go on an office walking tour
Whether you need to speak with a colleague, visit the printer, reception has a message for you or you’re just sick and tired of staring at a screen, get up and spend as much time as possible walking through the office but with intention.
- Eat away from your desk
How easy is it to eat at your desk? Yes, it’s efficient to make use of lunchtime while working at the same time, but take a break man!
Get your lunch that you prepared or buy something and walk to a nice spot, preferably outside in the sun, to eat your lunch.
It’s been proven that eating while working is a very inefficient way to metabolise food. When you eat, food goes into the saliva and the parasympathetic nerves system is activated but if you keep working, you’re still activating the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight mode) and digestion STOPS! So get away from your desk or office to eat. You’ll also rack up some steps.