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Living in a digital era means that we’re constantly on our phones or computers, especially in the workplace. With full-time, 9 to 5 jobs, a lot of workers today sit for long periods in their workstations, typing away or getting tangled in conference calls. Sitting for long hours put workers at risk of developing various illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.
To counteract the effects of sitting, experts recommend moving more at work. It’s been touted that walking 10,000 steps a day is good for our health. However, this certain count has been disputed by research, with most adults only able to walk roughly 3,000 to 4,000 steps daily. Despite science proving a lower count than the mythical 10,000 steps, accumulating steps every day does equate to moving around more, and therefore, can help you become healthier.
You might be asking though, how can a desk job worker get the steps in while at work? This article is the answer to your question. Learn how you can get more steps even while working and who knows, you might even surpass the average count and truly achieve walking 10,000 steps a day!
Benefits of Walking at Work
Walking is a great form of exercise that’s available to most people. It doesn’t even require any kind of special equipment to get some steps in your day. Making walking a regular activity can help reduce the risk of common health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and depression. Walking can also help improve mood, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, fight fatigue, increase energy, strengthen muscles, and improve your overall fitness.
The Department of Health and Human Services recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity exercises, such as brisk walking. Worry not though, for you don’t have to walk 150 minutes a week right away. You can start slow and small, and gradually increase the amount of your movement week by week. Any step that you take is considered an activity and according to experts, some activity is better than no activity at all.
How to Get More Steps in Your Work Day
If you’re in the office a lot, you might be thinking that it’s going to be difficult to get in even just a thousand steps, not to mention, 4,000 or even greater than that. Worry not, there are numerous ways to get your steps in even if you’re in the office. Here are some tips to boost your step count without having to sacrifice office productivity!
Walk to Work
One of the best ways to get your steps in even before you reach your office building is to walk to work. If you live close enough to the office, take the time to walk instead. If you take public transport, you can get off a stop early and walk the remaining way. If you drive to work, you can park your car a little away from your building so that you can walk to the building’s doors.
Use the Stairs
Elevators are super convenient, especially if your office is located on the upper floors of the building. While we’re grateful to have elevators, you can challenge yourself and get your steps in by taking the stairs instead. You can alternate the days between taking the elevator and the stairs. You can even take work breaks by walking up and down the stairs to shake off muscle stiffness.
Visit Your Colleague
E-mail and messaging applications make it so easy to exchange information and have numerous conversations without moving anywhere. While technology isn’t a bad thing at all and it’s so much easier to type what you want to say, getting up from your desk and approaching your colleague in person can help you increase your step count.
Approach your co-workers and take the opportunity to stretch your legs at the same time. Say hi, exchange ideas, communicate about projects, or ask them to take a short walk around the office with you too. You can even go for a walking meeting instead of holing up inside a conference room.
Take Walking Breaks
You should get up from your desk every now and then to reduce your sitting time. Getting up also allows you to release the accumulated tension and tightness in your muscles. Set up an alarm that buzzes every hour or two to remind yourself to stand up and take a brisk 1-2 minute walk in the office.
You can pace in your work area, pace around the office, move while you talk on the phone, and walk to the break room to refill your mug or water bottle, the possibilities are endless.
Use a Sit-Stand Desk
Switching your traditional office desk for a sit-stand desk can help you move around more. Alternating between sitting and standing over the course of the day can help with blood circulation, aid in reducing body aches, and can even help you in keeping focused. You can also add a standing desk mat that can help you make micro-movements, relieve the pressure, and keep your blood flowing smoothly.
A little up-and-moving can help you become fitter and healthier. Being in an office may feel like there aren’t any opportunities to increase your step count. But in reality, there are a lot of moments in your day where you can stretch your legs out. You can start with a small step count and increase the amount as you go along. Try it now!