Friday, May 25, 2018

10,000 steps a day

Walking 10,000 steps a day has become a popular fitness goal thanks to wearable devices. Research has shown that the more steps you take in a day, the better it is for your overall physical and mental wellbeing. Movement gets your blood flowing, improves muscle tone, reduces stress and burns calories, so why is it so hard to find the time to go for a walk? Here are easy ways to put more activity into your work day:  
  • Walk at least part of the way to work. Consider extending your walk by getting off the bus one stop early or parking further away. 
  • Change position at your workstation every 15-30 minutes. A simple, frequent change in body position (e.g., stand up if you are sitting) is actually more effective than taking a walk. It's how many times a day you change position that makes the difference.
  • Take 'mini' stretch breaks every hour. Take five minutes to stretch out your neck, back, chest, arms and legs to help reduce muscle strain and increase your energy. I have included a stretch tips sheet below with some quick and easy exercises.
  • Put things out of reach. Organize your work space so you have to move in order to reach files, the telephone or other office equipment.
  • Pretend it's the 90's! Walk down the hall to talk to a co-worker in person instead of instant messaging or sending an email.
  • Stand during meetings or conference calls. Aside from getting you out of your chair, standing can also help make discussions more focused, and increase meeting efficiency!
  • Walk during your lunch break. After you eat, take a short walk and enjoy a change of scenery to get the blood flowing and to break up your day.
  • Do your own coffee run. Go out and get your coffee or tea instead of letting someone else pick one up for you.
  • Take the stairs at least once a day. Taking the stairs at the same time each day will make it a natural part of your routine.
  • Turn waiting time into moving time. Take a stroll or do some stretches when waiting for the copier, microwave, or for a meeting room to vacate.
  • Start an office fitness challenge. Get your co-workers involved and make it a challenge to track your steps and see who can walk the most in a day. It's easier to be active when you have a motivating network.
  • Time it and/or track it. Use alarms on your computer, phone or activity tracker to remind you to move, stretch or take a short walk. Using an activity tracker can also help you assess how much you are actually moving.