Move It: Easy Ways for Office Workers to Add Movement To The Work Day
As a fitness trainer, much of your day is spent up and active. However, that’s probably not the case for many of the people you train.
Many adults today work in desk-bound jobs, often staring at a computer screen a good eight hours each day. Their brains move a hundred miles an hour, but their bodies sit nearly motionless. This immobility can cause physical effects like poor circulation, fatigue, tension and headaches, adding up to poor fitness and less productivity at work. Ergonomically-designed equipment can help people work more comfortably, but there’s no denying that remaining sedentary for a large part of the day isn’t optimal for health.
If you have clients who work an office, or other desk-bound job, here are some beneficial tips you can print out and give them to help them add movement to the work day:
Walk this way
There are several different ways that walking can be added into the work day.
- In the morning: It can be tempting to take the closest parking spot available, but make a habit of parking farther out, or even a few blocks away, to add more steps on the way into work. Also, use the stairs as often as possible instead of riding the elevator.
- At lunch: A midday break is the perfect time to get up and move. Consider walking to a nearby restaurant or taking a stroll around the block. Use this time to not only refuel your body, but your mental status, too.
Short breaks throughout the day can do a lot to get blood circulating and prevent body aches and pains. Even when it’s hard to pull away from the task at hand, periodically taking a break to get up, move and stretch is necessary for mental and physical health. Try these break time tactics:
- Visit someone across the office in person instead of calling or emailing
- Refill your water jug frequently
- Walk outside and breathe fresh air
- Use a restroom further from your desk
Many companies are concerned about the well-being of their employees, including how work life impacts their overall health. Here are few ways to get your co-workers on the move with you:
- Take brainstorming meetings on a walk outside
- Re-locate to a different area of the office to work for a while
- Make a coffee or smoothie run for your department to a shop within walking distance and recruit volunteers to go along
Stretch it out
The neck, shoulders and back take the biggest toll from sitting for hours on end. Stiffness and tension build up and can cause lasting pain. Keeping Advil handy helps, but the natural way to combat stress in these areas is by stretching.
- Tension in the head, neck and shoulders can be released by rolling your head up and down and side to side, and your shoulders backwards and forwards.
- Seated stretches are a great way to ease muscle pain and tension. Trainers: Add your list of preferred stretches that you recommend for your clients here before distributing this list.
- Finally, remember to sit with good posture while you work.
Reduce eye strain
One of the most common effects of staring at the computer for hours on end is eye fatigue, sometimes called computer vision. While this is not usually a serious condition, eye fatigue can affect your concentration quickly once it sets in. To help reduce this phenomenon, try the following useful tips:
- It’s recommended that computer monitors be positioned two feet from the user, and smart phones and tablets be held at least a 12″ away during use.
- Remember to blink. Researchers at the Ohio State University found that blinking frequency reduces by half while using the computer, which causes eye strain and dry eyes.
- Shift your focus into the distance for 30 seconds at a time, whether it’s out a window or across the room. This action takes immediate strain off the eye muscles and lessens eye fatigue.
Adding these simple and effective techniques will help your clients add movement to the work day and can help your clients maintain their productivity and their fitness.
Thank you so much for your prompt response. Might I add, Veronica was a delight to work with and her professionalism and attention to detail made this an overall pleasurable experience.