Would you be embarrassed if you got caught doing jumping jacks in your office? We hope not—and we think many successful companies would likely applaud the effort!
It’s becoming more well known that staying physically active throughout the workday isn’t just better for your health. It can also boost productivity, job satisfaction, and psychological well-being, too. Even if you work at a desk, there are plenty of simple things you can do to get moving more often. Check out these five tips from our physical therapy team at Optimus Health Center—tips we actually use ourselves!
5 Simple Strategies to Stay Active at Work
- Hydrate. Drinking more water throughout the day can improve mental clarity and support healthy joints and connective tissues. Plus, if you keep a glass or stainless steel bottle of water on hand, you’ll find yourself having to get up more often simply to refill the bottle or relieve yourself.
- Schedule “movement breaks.” Getting into the flow at work is a great feeling—but you don’t want to look up from your desk and see that one, two, three or more hours have gone by since you’ve gotten up from your desk! So, set a timer on your watch or phone to go off once per hour (or at least be more mindful of the clock) and use these breaks to stand up, go for a short walk, or do some simple stretches and exercises.
- Modify your desk set up. Is there a way for you to install an adjustable sit to stand desk in your office? You may not even have to replace the whole desk—these days it’s easy to find high quality and affordable portable options online or in retail stores. You can also consult with a physical therapist to ensure the ergonomic set-up is ideal, so you can minimize any strain on your neck, back, shoulders, hands, and hips during the time you do spend sitting.
- Make moves on the move. Instead of sending an email or text to your colleague down the hall, why not walk down and deliver the message in person? You can also take business calls while walking outside.
- Lastly, do you love your lunch breaks? Sit down and enjoy your meal, but when you’re done eating use the remaining time to go for a walk around the building or even climb a few flights of stairs. We know it’s tempting to just work through lunch. But if you take even just five minutes to get up and move mid-day, you’ll be staving off health risks associated with excessive sitting and you may very well find yourself with way more energy.
How a Physical Therapist Can Help You Get Moving—At Work and in Life
There’s a good reason why the phrase “sitting is the new smoking” was coined. Excessive sedentary behavior and sitting for too long (e.g., 7 or more hours per day) has been scientifically linked to an increased risk to potentially life-altering conditions like heart disease, obesity, and chronic back pain. This is why we’d love for you to come meet with a physical therapist at our clinic. We can help you stay more active at work by:
- Teaching you specific exercises and stretches that are individually tailored to your body’s needs
- Address underlying health conditions, like degenerative disc disease or sciatica, which can make both moving and sitting difficult
- Help you optimize your ergonomic environment
- Recommend specialized tools, like kinesio tape and customized orthotics, to improve your posture and enhance our other healing modalities