Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Executive Exercises: Staying Active at Work

I have recently done a guest post for Scrubadoo which will be going up on Thursday. Since it was such a fun experience, I asked if Eva Dixon wouldn't mind doing a guest post on my blog. It's always fun to branch out and write for others, so here is her article about Staying Active at Work. Enjoy!

Executive Exercises: Staying Active at Work

By’s Eva Dixon

I recently read an article regarding the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle.  According to the article, watching more than 3 hours of television a day can reduce your life expectancy by 2 years!  That places the risks of sitting on the couch up with smoking as a life-shortener! 

With over 30% of American adults and over 15% of American children diagnosed with obesity as of 2010, the results of an inactive lifestyle are obvious.  Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular disease is also mentioned in the article as possible repercussions.

Although the article’s focuses on watching your favorite sitcom for hours on end, there are many other reasons why Americans spend so much time in a chair- the office for example.  Many Americans spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week chained to a desk and rarely get the chance to move around.  Of course there are some people (like medical professionals) who are constantly on the move at work (and probably sweat right through their scrubs!) but for the rest of us physical movement at work is a challenge.  I myself have recently adjusted to life at a desk and, as a result, have come up with a few ways to keep myself moving:

Mid-day Meander: 

Most days at lunchtime I seize the chance to grab some fresh air and take a walk.  Even if I decide to go with the less-than-healthy option of eating out, I try to go somewhere within walking distance so that at the very least I’m not sitting in a car during lunch!  Of course, I live in Minnesota, so we’ll see if I keep this up throughout winter!

Strategic Stretching:

I also try to get up every hour or so and do a few stretches in the office.  Just simple things like touching my toes or standing and rotating my neck in circles keeps my joints from getting stiff and inflexible.  It also pulls my eyes away from the computer screen every once in awhile which can’t hurt!

Add a Challenge to Your Chatter!: 

Sometimes I spend a lot of my day on the phone.  My newest trick is to keep small free weights (5lbs or so) at my desk and pick one up when I’m on the phone or reading emails.  Although I don’t have any specific routine- I have to stay focused on my work-I just keep the weights moving.  This helps tone muscle without dedicating yourself to a trip to the gym- just remember to switch arms every once in a while! Also if you have a cell phone, try walking and talking!
With these small movements in my day, my body feels less stiff and I feel healthier at the end of my day.  8 hours is a long time to sit and with all the new research about the risks of an inactive lifestyle why not make these small changes!  So kick your inactive habits and kick into gear!

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