How Can I Move More At Work?
Our bodies were designed for movement; however, our current lifestyle with all of the modern conveniences has left us rather sedentary. How can we add back functional movements to our day to bring ease of movement back into our bodies? Movement does not have to be formal exercise. While exercise does have a role in keeping us more fit, we also need just to move. Simple things like walking or bicycling to work if possible can be a great start. If that is not possible, how about parking farther away to add a bit of a walk when we arrive. Having walking meetings at work will improve health as well as mood and creativity. Problem-solving abilities become much greater when the body is moving rather than forced to be still. Change positions while working often. Stand when taking phone calls. Prop your computer higher on your desk so you can stand part of the time at work.
Adding a functional movement routine to your day in small increments has been shown to improve productivity and job satisfaction. Many studies have shown that we can intensely focus for about 50 minutes. After that, our productivity declines. Taking a 10-minute break every 50 minutes to get up and move around will increase not only your output but the quality of the work as well.
Here are 8 ideas to get you started filling those 10-minute breaks:
- Walk to fill your water bottle and rehydrate.
- Go from seated to standing 20 times to get some “squats” in and loosen up tight hip joints.
- Place your hands on top of your desk and walk your feet back to do a few pushups for the chest and shoulders.
- Stand beside your desk, so you have something to hold onto for support if necessary. Step the closest foot forward and bend the knee to stretch the hip and calf of the back leg. Lift the outside hand up toward the ceiling and lift your chest to intensify the stretch. Turn around and repeat on the other side.
- Stretch your arms out to the side like airplane wings. Bring the fingers, so they are facing up toward the ceiling to stretch the wrists and forearms. Reach your ear toward your shoulder in this position to add a stretch to the side of the neck. Repeat on the other side.
- Stand beside your desk and lift and lower your heels to increase circulation in the calf muscles that shorten as we sit all day.
- Hold on to the edge of the desk, walk your feet back and hinge from the hips to bring your back into a table position to lengthen the hamstrings and stretch the low back. Sway your hips from side to side to open one side at a time.
- Have a seat at the edge of your chair. Hold on with one hand while you raise the other arm up toward the ceiling and side bend to the opposite side. Bring both hands onto the edge of the chair and lift your chest to the ceiling to open up the front of the body to help avoid the rounded forward posture so prevalent in our society today.