How to Stay Active During a 9-5 Work Day
It’s becoming more well known that staying physically active throughout the workday isn’t just better for your health. It can also boost productivity, job satisfaction, and psychological well-being, too. Even if you work at a desk, there are plenty of simple things you can do to get moving more often. Check out these five tips from our physical therapy team—tips we actually use ourselves!
5 Simple Strategies to Stay Active at Work
- Hydrate. Drinking more water throughout the day can improve mental clarity and support healthy joints and connective tissues. Plus, if you keep a glass or stainless steel bottle of water on hand, you’ll find yourself having to get up more often simply to refill the bottle or relieve yourself.
- Schedule “movement breaks.” Getting into the flow at work is a great feeling—but you don’t want to look up from your desk and see that one, two, three or more hours have gone by since you’ve gotten up from your desk! So, set a timer on your watch or phone to go off once per hour (or at least be more mindful of the clock) and use these breaks to stand up, go for a short walk, or do some simple stretches and exercises.
- Modify your desk set up. Is there a way for you to install an adjustable sit-to-stand desk in your office? You may not even have to replace the whole desk—these days it’s easy to find high quality and affordable portable options online or in retail stores. You can also consult with a physical therapist to ensure the ergonomic set-up is ideal, so you can minimize any strain on your neck, back, shoulders, hands, and hips during the time you do spend sitting.
- Make moves on the move. Instead of sending an email or text to your colleague down the hall, why not walk down and deliver the message in person? You can also take business calls while walking outside.
- Lastly, do you love your lunch breaks? Sit down and enjoy your meal, but when you’re done eating use the remaining time to go for a walk around the building or even climb a few flights of stairs. We know it’s tempting to just work through lunch. But if you take even just five minutes to get up and move mid-day, you’ll be staving off health risks associated with excessive sitting and you may very well find yourself with way more energy.