Are you one of those folks who spend most of your day glued to your desk, trying to conquer a mountain of work tasks while battling the siren call of the office chair? If so, it might be time to take a closer look at the importance of staying active throughout your workday.
The Sedentary Trap
First things first, let’s talk about the sedentary lifestyle. Many of us are familiar with the grind of an 8-hour workday, where it feels like we barely have time to grab a quick lunch, let alone fit in some exercise. The modern office culture, dominated by computer screens and conference calls, often leaves us chained to our desks.
The 10,000 Steps Rule
Enter the “10,000 steps a day” rule. You’ve probably heard of it, but what exactly does it mean? Well, it’s a general guideline that suggests aiming for 10,000 steps daily to maintain good health. While this number isn’t backed by ironclad scientific evidence, it serves as a practical target for encouraging physical activity.
Research on the Importance of Staying Active
1. Improved Physical Health: Studies consistently show that prolonged sitting is associated with a higher risk of chronic health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Taking breaks to move around can help mitigate these risks.
2. Enhanced Mental Well-being: Physical activity isn’t just good for your body; it’s a mood booster too. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals, which can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
3. Increased Productivity: Surprisingly, taking short breaks for physical activity can actually improve your overall productivity. Regular movement can refresh your mind, making you more focused and creative when you return to your tasks.
Incorporating Activity into Your Workday
At a loss for how to balance your wellness into a work day? You can start by focusing on fifteen suggestions that cover three important areas:
- Physical wellbeing
- Keep hydrated with a water bottle at your desk
- Plan healthy lunches in advance
- Include short desk workouts in your day
- Opt for walking meetings and phone calls to get fresh air and boost creativity
- Stay active by getting up and walking around at least once every hour.
- Keep immune-boosting supplements on hand
- Ensure a good night’s sleep with a gap between dinner and bedtime
- Mental wellbeing
- Minimize distractions by turning off phone notifications and avoiding face-up placement
- Schedule mindful social media usage
- Practice gratitude regularly
- Dedicate five minutes to meditation
- Track personal and professional goals to prevent burnout
- Set boundaries on after-hours availability, reserving responses for emergencies
- Create phone-free zones at least two hours before bedtime and upon waking
- Foster connections by daily check-ins with co-workers
- Show appreciation with handwritten notes
- Strengthen workplace relationships by having lunch away from your desk
- Consider outdoor lunches with colleagues at a nearby park
- Champion someone in the office to support their career growth
- Boost personal development and self-love
- Volunteer for available office community efforts when possible
Remember, the goal is to make a conscious effort to focus on wellbeing. Small changes in your routine can lead to significant improvements in your overall well-being, both physically and mentally.
So, whether you’re working from home or at the office, make it a priority to break free from any traps that keep you glued to your chair. Your body and mind will thank you, and those 8 hours at work will feel a whole lot more productive and fulfilling.
With over a decade dedicated to women-led startups, Raven is a seasoned entrepreneur, strategic luminary, and passionate advocate. She's nurtured 500+ women-led businesses, securing over $100M in funding through her blend of strategic counsel, marketing mastery, and resource facilitation.