Why we need to get moving more at work

According to a raft of medical evidence, sitting is the new smoking in terms of damaging our health . So how do we get moving more at work when we sit for large parts of the day either travelling or sat at a desk?

When we finish work, 63% of us don’t do enough exercise or moving to keep us as fit as we could be.

There is a lot of evidence to suggest that active people are up to 50% less likely to be at risk of major chronic disease such as coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer, and the recommended amount of exercise we should be aiming for is one hour every day for children, and 30 minutes at least five times a week for adults.

So how can we get more active? Well the good news is that we don’t need to rush out and join a gym, there are plenty of ways we can fit more exercise and movement into our working day.

The Chartered society of Physiotherapists have lots of recommendations in their ‘easy exercise guide’ and there are a whole host of fitness trackers, videos, classes and apps available to help motivate us into action.

How long have you sat for today?

If you add up the time spent travelling and the time spent sitting at work, whether in meetings or at a desk, it can add up to many hours per day. How easy would it be to find five minutes every hour to stand and stretch, get some blood flowing through your body and get moving a little?

If your hectic schedule won’t allow for five minutes, then how about one minute? Over a typical 8-hour day, that is just eight minutes of your time spent caring for yourself? Can you spare that?

Easy ways to get moving more at work

How can you get moving more at work? Here are a few ideas from the worksafeandwell team.

  1. Stand to attention! If your work requires use of a computer then you could consider a sit-stand desk, there are plenty of models available that are either fixed standing or adjustable to move between sitting and standing according to the users.
  2. Wake up and smell the coffee. Get up to make that cuppa or eat your lunch away from your desk- better for the digestion and hey you may even get to know other work colleagues if you sit and eat with them!
  3. Have walking meetings. If you and your colleagues are happy to do so, why not have your meeting in the fresh air and get some exercise and a change of scene at the same time.
  4. Try a different way to get to work. If you have to drive to work, try parking further away or getting off the bus/train a stop earlier and walking that extra few minutes each day.
  5. Start a walking/running or other exercise club with your colleagues. Many people don’t go to the gym or classes as they don’t want to go alone. Having someone else to motivate you often helps to get more done and not skip classes. It may have added benefits such as improving team morale and building better connections and creative ideas.

Check out our other Linked-in post  with some office stretches to try and enjoy!