Finding ways to stay active can be difficult regardless of your weekly schedule, but when your nine-to-five grind means sitting at a desk for 40+ hours every week, the idea of developing an active lifestyle can seem almost laughably unachievable! On average, most of us spend eight hours a day at a desk, two hours a day driving, and somewhere between six to eight hours each evening in bed! This doesn’t even count the time we’re probably spending on the couch or sitting at the table for a meal. Spending one hour at the gym every day could still mean spending 23 hours every day in a sedentary position.
Finding ways to be more active during your workday could help you to add significantly more activity to your day, thereby helping you to live a more active lifestyle. Searching for even 30 – 60 minutes of time to fit physical activity and exercise into your daily schedule may seem challenging on its own, but when you break down how much that amount of activity can improve your overall lifestyle, you have to start to ask if that is even enough. So, how much physical activity are we really fitting into our schedules?
If you are struggling to find ways to break away from your sedentary lifestyle, there’s a simple solution to your problem: physical therapy! Our innovative care strategies at Loop Physical Therapy will help you find quick relief. Physical therapy can help you learn a few basic activities that you can try at home, but what’s stopping you from incorporating these healthy activities into your workday?
Staying active during your work day
- Invest in an ergonomic standing desk or chair. Swap out your traditional desk and desk chair for healthier alternatives, such as a standing desk, or an exercise / stability ball instead of a desk chair.
- Stretching. Try doing basic stretches at your desk. You can easily try breaking down a problem while standing up and stretching for a few minutes without having to take your mind off your work. This is a great way to get your blood flowing, which could get those creative juices flowing, thereby actually helping you to solve issues that may leave you feeling stressed or stumped while crouched at your desk.
- Take breaks to walk around. Take a 5 minute break every hour to walk a lap around the office. This could be a great time to go and make copies, to take a quick lap to talk with a co-worker rather than send an email, or to stretch your legs for a few minutes so that you can clear your mind before heading to a meeting.
- Bring in a bit of small workout equipment to keep at your desk. This can include a lightweight dumbbell, which you can use to do some minor lifting while sitting at your desk, or even something like a resistance band. There are some fun gripping devices that work similarly to stress balls, helping you to work on developing a stronger grip without even standing up.
- Try the “half-hour” challenge. Set an alarm on your phone or computer to go off every 30 minutes. Once it goes off, you will have to complete a two-minute physical activity challenge in your office space. You can try walking or jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups, or even wall sits.
Working out every day for one hour really isn’t enough in the long run. Try to be creative and find new ways to make yourself get up out of your chair during the day. We totally understand that after an hour of sitting, you might lose track of time and not be fully aware of how long you’ve been inactive, but it’s important to be mindful of your body’s needs throughout the day. Being active throughout the workday is a great way to get started with living a more active lifestyle.
Once you start incorporating activity throughout your day, you may find you have more energy to incorporate it into your non-working hours, as well. As you become more active, remember to stay hydrated!
Keeping a large water bottle on your work desk and taking regular sips throughout the day can help you to stay hydrated and energized, not to mention refilling your bottle is yet another excuse to get up and get moving! Our trained physical therapists are dedicated to helping you achieve a pain-free life.
Ready to rise to the challenge? Call us today
Staying active throughout the workday can help with improving muscle strength, supporting weight loss efforts, and even with overcoming pain from stiffness that often comes along with a sedentary lifestyle. Inactivity is known to cause pain and inflammation over time. You can, and should, avoid future problems at all costs! Take care of your body, and it will reward you over time.
To learn more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and improving your overall well-being, consult with a physical therapist at Loop Physical Therapy.