I work in a fitness center, surrounded by fitness and physical activity. However, the majority of my work day is spent at a desk, behind a computer screen.
To practice what I preach to my personal training clients, I have adopted several strategies to stay physically active and healthy while at work.
Sitting at a desk for long periods of time can lead to issues such as back pain, neck pain and sciatic nerve problems. To avoid these issues, I strive to maximize my movement.
When I need to ask a coworker a quick question, or respond to a missed call or email, I walk to the individual’s office and chat in person, versus corresponding electronically. Doing so allows me to get additional steps in through the day and decrease my sedentary time.
I also encourage meetings to take place outside of my office space. Requesting to meet outside of my office gives me the opportunity to get physically active by walking to another location on campus.
Taking stretch breaks also helps me to stay healthy. I set an alarm on my phone for every 40 minutes to remind me to take a break from looking at my computer screen and stretch my legs. These breaks usually last five minutes or less, but they’re a great mental and physical refresher.
Maintaining proper hydration levels is important for optimal performance at work. To ensure I stay hydrated, I keep a water bottle next to my computer screen.
Having a water bottle in a visible location reminds me to drink regularly. I also use the need to refill my bottle as an opportunity to get in some additional steps.
Invest in yourself
I recently purchased a treadmill desk, standing desk, and foot elliptical for my office. This equipment allows me to exercise at a moderate level while also working.
I use my treadmill desk to walk at a slower pace while taking notes or working from my laptop. The foot elliptical allows me to pedal my feet while sending emails from my desktop. And the standing desk gives me the option to stand or sit through the day.
This equipment has significantly increased my physical activity level while at work. I also feel an improvement in my energy level and work quality as a result.
If you don’t have the desire or means to purchase office fitness equipment such as this, find other creative ways to invest in your physical health and increase your physical activity level during the work day.
Brittany Baldwin is a certified personal trainer with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Creighton University. She writes regularly for livewellnebraska.com.