Workout at Work

Workout at Work

17 July 2023

Remember the days when “work’ meant manual labour with a side of blood, sweat and tears?

Nah, neither do we. These days we’re more likely to log hour after hour in front of a computer.

Being desk-bound at your 9-to-5 (more like 9-to-7!) has serious health consequences. Research shows that sitting for an extended period is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, as well as an increased risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. So next time you groan you’re your job is killing you, well, you might be right! Experts agree that sitting is the new smoking.

Here’s the thing, you may think you’ve done your moving for the day because of that spin class most days. But think again. While you may be an Excel champ by day and gym rat by night, recent studies suggest that the recommended thirty minutes of cardio, five times per week, may not undo the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle.

A new study by Loughborough University – famed for sport and health sciences – has determined that even those who exercise daily can put themselves at risk of heart disease, strokes and diabetes, if they spend around six hours a day sitting at a desk. Yikes!

So, what’s a desk-jockey to do? We have a few easy tips to get you moving throughout the day that won’t involve you running around the office every thirty minutes high-fiving bewildered co-workers:

  • Park your car in the furthest parking bay, forgo the lift and TAKE. THE. STAIRS.
  • Be a wanderer. Take a stroll down the hall to catch up with co-workers. Or, instead of sending an email to a colleague two doors down, put in some face time.
  • Set a timer to remind you to take a quick activity break. Head out for a quick walk around the office or stretch to unkink those back muscles.
  • Sit on an exercise ball. Welcome to active sitting! You’ll be working on your body without realizing it.
  • Walk and talk. Forget about meetings in stuffy boardrooms – take it outside.
  • Isometrics – aka at your desk mini workouts – are a great way to get some exercise done. Do a seat squeeze. Squeeze the buttocks for ten seconds and release. Repeat until the glutes tire. Or do the toe tap – the faster the better. It’s a great way to get the blood flowing.
  • Use a stand-up desk. Even a few hours a day will be good. Just make sure it’s adjustable so it can be altered to fit your height.
  • Reorganize your desk so you have to stand up to answer the phone.
  • Research shows that fidgeting while sitting can help to prevent arterial dysfunction. Tap your toes, move your feet, or extend and bend your legs. Some movement is better than no movement at all.
  • Take an active lunch. Head out for a brisk walk around the building, run some errands, or have a quick sweat session at the gym.

Are you “actively sedentary”? Considering the risks at hand, the solutions seem pretty easy right?

Keep moving!


DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.

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