The majority of us white-collar Brits are suckers for punishment when it comes to our work lives. If we are not squeezing ourselves onto a packed train or tube, we can be found sitting in a car, crawling along a motorway at a snail’s pace only to plonk ourselves at a desk for around 42.7 hours per week. That’s one of the highest ‘bum-to-seat’ averages in the EU.
Being stationary for this long will no doubt begin to take a toll on your body, especially when every other day someone is passing birthday cake around the office, but staying active and healthy as part of a consistent routine enables us to be better employees. Being active can enhance productivity, make us more focused and alert, elevate our moods and help us manage stress better.
So how can we stay healthy and active in our working lives? Some simple – and some slightly whacky – habit changes that could leave us positively radiant and all-round smashing it!
Take the stairs
This is a no brainer. It will get your blood pumping and elevate your heart rate quickly. Also, for every 3 flights of stairs you climb you can burn around 15 calories. If you do this four times a day for a week that is 300 calories! So when you are considering standing left on the tube escalator, take a deep breath and get your march on!
Get up earlier
Rising 10-15 minutes before you normally would, can offer you all sorts of positive perks. Consider choosing the train, tube or bus station before your normal stop and walk the rest of the way. Fresh air can help detoxify your lungs and bring clarity and calm to the brain, leaving you energised and ready to face the day ahead.
Sitting in a similar position day in and day out can be a real strain on our bodies, especially our backs and necks. Having good posture and being aware of our habits will only improve our mood and wellbeing. You don’t have to be a dedicated Yogi to practice stretching and breathing – two fundamental elements of all Yoga practices – so take some time out to bring calm and balance back into the body and mind. Beware, a pre-meeting downward dog, however, might just be a step too far!
Just for fun
A few classic exercises that you can casually try without breaking a sweat.
Desk Dips – While waiting for the kettle to boil, find the nearest surface for a quick triceps burn out.
Wall Sits – Have you ever found yourself twiddling your thumbs at the printer? Next time place your back against the wall and position your legs at a 90-degree angle; now hold. Pray that your document does not get jammed!
Phone Pacing – Get yourself a headset and walk while you talk.
Calf raises – An easy win. When standing, raise up onto the balls of the feet and gently lower. Repeat.
Workspace believes that a happy, healthy workplace is key to a successful team and this is at the forefront of our ethos. Whilst our designers are dedicated to understanding the practicalities of planning and maximising your office space, it is important to remember the environmental factors that can influence attitudes and productivity at work.
To learn more about how we work, speak to Charlie.Peacock@workspace-design.co.uk