ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://coach.nine.com.au/2018/04/09/12/23/how-to-move-more-at-work
Just because you have a desk job doesn’t mean you can’t move all day – the trick is making your work life as inconvenient as possible.
Those who incorporate more physical activity into their day, or “incidental exercise”, are likely to live longer. fact, being sedentary is listed just behind smoking as a major cause of poor health.
That should alarm those of us who sit behind desks most our working week. But all is not lost: research shows people who break up sitting periods with movement have a much lower risk of early death.
“If you’re talking about getting movement into your day at work, it’s about looking at really small things that make it easy to implement so it doesn’t feel like a chore,” osteopath Claire Richardson tells Coach.
“If you do lots of small bits of movement throughout the day, the cumulative effect is quite dramatic. You literally want to try and make work inconvenient, because that’s going to mean that you have to get out of your chair.”
Move your printer
If you can, put your printer on the other side of the office so you have to walk to it every time you collect a printout.
“It means that you have to get up out of your chair whenever you need to print something,” Richardson points out.
Stand up to speak
Every time you make or take a phone call, stand up.
“If you don’t need to be staring at a computer screen, there’s no reason you can’t stand up to take a phone call,” Richardson says.
Buy a big water jug
The more water you drink, the more you need to go to the toilet, which equates to more steps through the office.
“We should all be aiming to drink at least two litres a day anyway so it’s killing two birds with one stone – you’re keeping hydrated and you’re moving more,” Richardson says.
Embrace the 30/30 rule
The research suggests that moving every half hour lowers your risk of death, and Richardson says it has the added bonus of reducing your likelihood of pain.
“For every 30 minutes of sitting you need 30 seconds of movement,” Richardson says.
Try setting an alarm to remind you to stand up every 30 minutes.
“You could do 30 seconds of shoulder rolls or a quick stretch or a quick walk around the office – it’s not cumbersome, it’s not going to interfere with your work to be moving in that way,” Richardson says.
“When you sit down again, inherently you’ll start to use different muscles to keep you upright when sitting than you were before. It might only be minutely different, but it’s still different.”
Count your steps
If you really want to increase your incidental exercise to help ward off disease, then measuring your steps with a pedometer or app can be a good challenge.
The general rule of thumb is to aim for at least 10,000 steps, but even taking 3500 extra steps a day can help you lose 2kg in a year without even trying.
“We’ve all heard we should get off the bus a stop earlier or park our car further away to walk,” Richardson says.
“Going for a walk or a run around the block on your lunch break are obviously good as well.”