Simple steps for an active office

As much as I’d like to see everyone up and active on a regular basis, I do also realise that there are many situations which arise and we need to make these a priority.

Unfortunately this often means that we are stuck to our desk and high intense activity will not occur.

If this situation does occur, we can still create and “active office”.

With some small modifications to the physical set up of your space, you can still fit in some activity. After all, some activity is better than none. Especially on the long days when you are glued to your desk.

If you are an office worker sitting at a desk all day, why not try some of these simple tips to increase your movement at work:

Never eat at your desk, always move to another area during your lunch break. Try going for a 10 minute walk to a park or mall to eat.

Keep printers and faxes out of reach so that you need to get up to collect your documents.

Keep your phone out of reach so that your body has the chance to move about when you get up to answer it.

Rather than communicating via phone or email, get up and speak to someone face to face.

Occasionally pull your chair out from your desk and stretch your back muscles – simply flop over your knees and touch your toes to maximise the stretch. Every 40-50 minutes is a good guide.

If your desk chair has arms, use your arms to lift your body off the chair and hold. This movement exercises both your stomach and arm muscles.

Be aware of good posture: sit up straight with your shoulders back and stomach muscles pulled in.

Rotate your shoulders and neck periodically to release tension.

Every time you come back to your chair, try and hold your stomach muscles in for as long as possible.

Encourage yourself to use the stairs whenever possible.

If possible, park your car further from the office so that you have to walk an extra ten minutes each way. Think of this as an opportunity to increase your level of incidental activity, instead of an inconvenience.

This will not make you into an Olympian, but it can certainly prevent certain conditions setting in and this will help keep you active, become less stiff and get your body moving. You will be surprised how much you can move to when these steps are implemented.