Workplace Wellness: Four Tips for Fitness at the Office

Fitness and work, the two don’t always sound like they go “hand-in-hand”, do they? But, fitness at work is simpler than it sounds. And, it’s beneficial, like all kinds of workplace wellness, to get moving when working long hours.

According to a report by the Conference Board of Canada, getting just 10 percent of Canadian adults to sit less and move more would reduce Canada’s healthcare costs by $2.6 billion and inject $7.5 billion into the Canadian economy by the year 2040.

So, how do you sit less and move more when you have an office job that keeps you at your desk for long hours at a time? Here are four tips from your Wello Nurse Practitioners…

  1. Switch to a heart-racing commute!
    Biking, walking or running to work is a great way to keep up your steps and activity throughout the day. And it has the added benefit of saving you money on transport! If biking or running to work isn’t an option, hopping off the train or bus a stop earlier or parking further away is a simple way to put more steps into your commute. Another option is to motivate yourself by wearing a step counter or Fitbit-type device!
  2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator
    Every step really does count and incremental exercise is an easy way to boost your daily cardio. Next time you’re waiting with a frustrated crowd for the elevator to arrive, why not take the stairs instead? Taking the stairs boosts your heart rate, increases your energy and focus, and can help your immune system. Plus, you may just get the smug satisfaction of beating your colleagues to the top.
  3. Sit on an exercise ball
    Sitting on an exercise or stability ball is active sitting, which helps to strengthen your core, improve your posture and tone your muscles. What’s not to like? While you shouldn’t sit on an exercise ball the entire day, switching between that and a conventional office chair will help to protect against the health problems of extended sitting.
  4. Exercise on your lunch break
    However busy you are, you can afford some active time away from your desk. And it will help your productivity as well as your health, we promise! A lot of gyms cater to time-pressed corporates with 30-minute lunchtime classes, whether you want to lift weights, sweat it up in Spin, or decompress in yoga. Your own company may even provide free weekly classes…if the option is there, make the most of it! Make sure to check in to your company health spending account or other coverage for fitness class costs. If you don’t have access to a formal exercise class or group, you can still use your lunch break to take a stroll around the block or to squeeze in a few oxygen-boosting jumping jacks or yoga poses. We also encourage walking meetings, especially if you’re not doing a challenging course! It still counts as exercise and switches your day up!

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Image Credit: Transport Executive