Active living at work


If you’re like most people, squeezing a bit more physical activity into your day wouldn’t hurt. An easy way to do this is to make small, sustainable efforts to be more active as you go about your day.

The College of Family Physicians of Canada’s Prevention in Hand website offers one-stop-shopping for current information from numerous healthcare organizations to support your individual wellness, healthy lifestyles and the prevention of chronic diseases. Here is what some of their resources say about incorporating activity into your daily work routine:

Take a lunch break: Take some time to step away from your desk and use your lunch time for a workout. Go for your favourite type of exercise or try something new and exciting, like a kickboxing or high-intensity spinning class. Check out local gyms and fitness centres near your office — many offer free trials so you can check out the facilities before committing to anything. You can even do something as simple as take a nice, long walk during lunchtime.

Get moving at work: Research shows that both the people and the workplace itself benefit when employees are encouraged to be active. Positive effects of physical activity include higher productivity, lower absenteeism and turnover, reduced stress and a happier workplace culture. Work with management or human resources to find creative ways of encouraging movement, like a plank challenge or bringing in an instructor to lead lunchtime yoga sessions.

Stretch and flex: Active living isn’t just about strength training and cardio — it’s important to have a mix of activities in your routine. Flexibility routines are great for your body, helping you maintain your ability to bend and stretch easily, which can get harder as we age. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety recommends breaking for five to 10 minutes for every hour you spend at a work station. Do some stretches, get up and walk over to a coworker’s space rather than communicate via phone or email, and start and end your workday with a short set of stretches.

Use the buddy system: It is sometimes hard to stick to your goal of incorporating more activity into your work day, but if you find someone willing to share the challenge it can make it easier and more enjoyable. A coworker might have a similar schedule, or if a friend or relative lives or works nearby, they can also be a great exercise partner. Go on walks together or sign up for a lunch class and make the commitment to show up for each other.


SOURCE: News Canada