Fitness goals in the office
Having a desk job can be bad for you physically and mentally unless you look after yourself. Inactivity can lead to weight gain and cause other health problems.
Being stuck behind a desk for eight hours a day can take its toll on your body and when you are puffed out walking up the office stairs you realise that you’re not as fit as you used to be.
Making time to exercise outside of the office can become a challenge for some people with other commitments at home. However, you can set yourself fitness goals at work and we have 20 great ideas for you to incorporate into your working day.
The desk job body…
Our bodies are built for physical activity and being in a sedentary job slows down our blood flow and our muscles burn less fat. Our pancreas produces more insulin which can lead to diabetes and fatty acids can build up in the body that could clog the heart.
Are you uncomfortable sitting at your desk?
We’ve all been there at some point, when you take time off at Christmas or go on holiday where you eat, drink and be merry! But, we all deserve a holiday and special treats now and then.
Does your waistband get too tight by the afternoon and when you look down you see your tummy protruding? Are you slumped over your desk with rolled shoulders and get puffed out when you walk up the office stairs? Sitting at a desk for long periods can cause back, hip, and knee problems, it can weaken bones and encourage varicose veins so it’s really important to keep moving throughout your working day.
Do you want to get your fitness back and be more productive and energized at work?
Yes? To start with, you need to be organised with good time management and not be afraid to be different. Once you start your new regime at work, you may find that some of your work colleagues join in with you. This could be a fun way to build working relationships amongst colleagues, including the boss!
With modern technology and products such as FitBits and diet and exercise apps, you have the potential to maximize your physical productivity and look after yourself whilst you’re at work. At the same time, you can encourage others and follow each other’s progress.
Here are 20 great ideas to improve your fitness when you are at work...
Much like when you set goals and targets in your job and review them, you should do the same with your fitness goals. The most obvious thing to do to kick start your working day is to walk, run, or cycle to work and home again if that’s possible.
Scheduling ‘break times’ from your work is key, take a look at Google’s break timer to keep you on track.
You have a personal trainer right in front of you on your desk. You can access specific ‘desk’ or ‘office’ workouts on YouTube. Take a look.
Going up? There’s no need to take the lift up to your office unless you have a load to carry, use the stairs. Good footwear is essential, swap your stilettos or tight-fitting loafers for some orthopedic or comfortable trainers
Chair squats. Try these! Stand up at your desk, go to sit back down but stop just before you place your bottom on the seat. Remember to squeeze your buttocks as you come up to standing and when you squat don’t go too low if you have knee problems. Want to hit those calf muscles? As you stand up, rise onto your toes before you squat down again.
Mingle! Step away from your desk and go for a walk, even if it’s just five minutes. Catch up with a work colleague or just tackle the stairs once more.
Take your productivity to another level. Standing desks are a great way to give your body a break from sitting down. A few high desks in the middle of the office is another way to have a meeting with someone.
Need to touch base with your boss or a work colleague? Try a walking meeting instead of sitting around a boardroom table.
Don’t email all the time. Need to ask someone a question or tell them something? If an electronic trail isn’t needed then walk to see them instead of sending an email.
Join a gym or take up a sport in your lunch break. Don’t have enough time to get there and back? Talk to your employer, see if you can arrange starting work fifteen minutes earlier so you can have an extra fifteen minutes to exercise in your lunch break.
Make it sociable. Have you got a staff room or spare office? Why not ask other members of staff if they want to do a thirty-minute fitness workout with you or a relaxing yoga session.
Go for a bike ride at your desk. You can purchase a mini exercise bike that can fit under your desk. Take a look on Amazon, there’s a great selection to look at.
Keep your balance. Try to use a fitness ball as your office chair sometimes. Take a look online at different ones and you never know, your boss may treat you!
Seated leg extensions. Get yourself some ankle weights, sit with your tummy pulled in and extend your leg up in line with your knee and down again. Choose the number of repetitions to suit you and your fitness.
Wibble, wobble. Stand on a wobble board to strengthen your core muscles, you can find these online. Best to practice first with a work colleague holding your hands whilst you get your balance.
And stretch... That’s an easy thing to do and effective. Stretching helps to remove lactic acid from your muscles and makes you more flexible so you can reach those places you normally can’t.
You must resist! We’re not talking about the cakes and biscuits in the office, although that would be a good idea. We’re talking about resistance bands that you can buy online. The bands normally come with exercise suggestions that you can do on a chair.
Twist but don’t shout! Another excellent gadget you can get and use standing next to your desk is a ‘twist disk’. It’s good for the waistline and fun to do.
Are you and your work colleagues competitive? Organise challenges to help motivate people in the office. For example, how many laps of the car park (if safe) or a piece of land around the office can you do in fifteen minutes?
Jog on! Are your offices in a lovely rural area? Take a fifteen minute jog with your lunch in a backpack, find somewhere picturesque to sit to have your lunch and then take a brisk walk back.
At least get to second base. Organise a company rounders or baseball match at lunchtime. You might not be a superstar but give it your best shot, even being a bowler will give you a gentle workout.
Ballet barre work. You will be amazed at how good plies and leg lifts are for you. Ballet movements help to strengthen your core muscles too.
Scheduling, consistency, monitoring, and maintenance…
With clever planning, self-motivation, the ability to adapt and a desire to be fit and healthy you can improve your performance mentally and physically at work. Settings targets and goals that will increase energy levels and productivity. Be consistent with your self-care program at work and have a timetable.
Monitor your progress, can you get up the stairs quicker, do you have fewer aches and pains after sitting for a while and do you have the ability to pull in the drooping desk belly?
You may think a lot of this is unachievable, unrealistic and bizarre but take from this what you can and have fun with it.
Nurture your body.
Your body needs to be nurtured, fed a healthy diet, and kept hydrated. We all know that sitting for long periods isn’t good for us and it happens without us realizing. For those in an office job, it’s easy to sit all day, sit in the car or on public transport to get home, sit to eat dinner, and then sit watching tv or working on the laptop. Is that what your life is like? Try some of our 20 great ideas to break that unhealthy lifestyle cycle.
It’s a proven fact that when you move away from your desk your mindset improves. Mental health is just as important as physical health. A healthy mind and body can build your confidence, overcome depression, help you deal better with work stress and reduce your risk of bad health conditions.
Live smart and nurture your body so you can boost your productivity.
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