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Stationary and sedentary jobs, the majority of us have them, and unless you have been living under a rock we all know the health risks associated with them. It seems like there are more and more diseases both mental and physical that are being linked to sedentary lifestyles. Depression, Lower Back Pain, Cancer, Increased levels of Stress and Anxiety, Poor Work Performance, the list is endless.
We have seen the rise of the stand-up desk, workplace social events, health insurance for employees all with the aim of improving employee’s productivity and their mental and physical wellbeing. But when push comes to shove, the only thing that has proven to combat the negative impacts of a stationary work environment is … wait for it … activity! Who would have thought!
So, while we all know an active lifestyle is the way to go, it’s not always easy to increase your levels of activity day to day. If you’re like the majority of Australian’s, the building pressures of work, family and social life tend to get in the way of that hour walk after work, the Saturday morning bike ride or the mid-week game of golf.
So, in the interests of your health, physical and mental wellbeing here are 5 easy ways to increase your activity when you’re at the mercy of a sedentary job!
1. Be Active to and from Work
This is a simple one and it has been said time and time again, but if you want to increase your step count, think about the ways you get to and from work as opportune times for adding activity. If you catch public transport, get off one or two stops early and walk the rest of the way. If you drive park a few extra blocks away from your destination and get a brisk walk in before you reach the desk. Is your desk in a high-rise building? Choose to take the stairs instead of the lift or escalators. Once you start actively looking for ways to move more on your way to and from work it’s amazing how many creative options you can come up with!
2. Be Active in your Lunch Break
More and more workplaces are realising the importance of this little gem. Not only for the health of their employees but also for their productivity, creativity, and general workplace moral. Encourage your employer to bring in external companies who can run a Pilates class in your lunch break. Sign up for a local session at a studio near you – many will run a high intensity 45min lunch time session that will have you back in your desk before the bell rings. The great thing about Pilates? You can work hard and still be sweat-free enough to head back to the office without your colleagues needing to move up wind from you on your return!
3. Actively look for opportunities during the day to leave your desk
Offer to do the Office Coffee Run, answer the phone, do the photo-copying or any other task that allows you to get up and out of your seat. Why not even throw a few wall squats in while you’re waiting for page 59 to scan? Re-fill your water bottle more times than you would normally, this has the added benefit of getting you to drink more water and use the bathroom more often, another great excuse to get up from your desk!
4. Enrol in a class that forces you to pay up front
The trouble with good intentions is that often they remain just that. “I intended to go to class after work / get up 45min earlier / enjoy that Sunday morning session”. However, all too often the pressures of work deadlines, family and social engagements are just that little bit more pressing and before you know it, Monday has rolled around again into a new week and you’re no closer to increasing your activity than you were last week. As much as it hurts to admit it, sometimes making a financial commitment to a class in advance helps to nudge the importance of this tasks a little higher up the to do list and soon you will find yourself in a routine of heading to your exercise class 3 times per week. Added benefit – most studio’s will give you a discount for paying in advance so not only are you committing to your health and wellbeing but you’re also helping your purse strings in the process!
5. Quit your job
Ok so this may not be a reality for many of us. However, there are a few of us who really could consider this. Perhaps a career change has been on the cards for a while and this might be the opportune time to look for a position which allows a little more movement flexibility. There are more and more roles available with flexible hours, work from home options and opportunities for scheduling your own activities around your work schedule. Have a think, you might be surprised at how you can still earn your keep while making work fit around you so your health doesn’t have to suffer. After all … what is wealth, money, or the ability to enjoy your life?
At BPS Tensegrity we offer a wide range of classes to work in with your busy lifestyle. Visit our classes page today to book: https://bpstensegrity.com.au/classes