Find Time to Be Active at Work and Improve Your Fitness

People who work with computers in an office setting typically get very little physical activity throughout their typical work shift. This lack of activity for eight or more hours every day can lead to significant health issues. Even people who manage to fit at least 30 minutes of vigorous physical activity into their daily routines can experience health problems from sitting for long periods every day. To fight off health issues, experts are recommending that people incorporate fitness and physical activity into the workplace. While this can take ingenuity, it is possible to fit exercise into the work day.

A number of health issues can occur with a sedentary lifestyle. Workers can develop weight problems; indeed, obesity is common among office workers. Cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and metabolic syndrome are also common risks. With a lack of activity, bones and muscles will become weak, which can increase the risk of falling. Some people notice pain in the shoulders and back, as well as issues with circulation, with an inactive lifestyle. Employees who do not get enough physical exercise may experience depression, mood swings, and have trouble sleeping.

It's possible to incorporate fitness into a daily work schedule. Even varying your activity throughout the day so you are not sitting for hours on end can make a positive difference in your health. Position items in your office or cubicle to force you to get out of your desk. For example, make yourself get up to go to the printer or to throw items into the trash can. You might also make a personal rule for yourself that you must stand while you have phone conversations at work to vary your activity level. Take a walk around your office once every hour or two to give yourself some low-key activity. A standing desk or a treadmill desk may be an effective option for incorporating activity into your work day. These special workstations enable you to stand or walk on a treadmill while working on a computer with a keyboard and monitor placed strategically to enable you to use them when while standing or walking.

Employers can also help their employees by encouraging activity throughout the workday and making it possible. For example, employers can schedule the work day to enable employees to take two or three breaks throughout the day for exercise. An extended lunch hour can enable employees to exercise and eat lunch during their break. Implementing stretch breaks throughout the day can help motivate employees to move more instead of remaining inactive. Even organizing an office-wide walking or exercise club could be instrumental in motivating employees to become more active.

Wear a pedometer to record your steps throughout the day. Many experts recommend that people should try to get 10,000 steps each day for optimal health. Incorporate effective strategies to increase your activity during work days. Park in an outer stall of the parking lot to force yourself to walk further, and take the stairs throughout the day instead of the elevator. Instead of sending an interoffice email to a coworker, deliver your message in person to create an excuse to walk through the office. Even standing up from your chair and performing a few simple squats throughout the day can be an effective way to increase your activity level.

Make a daily goal of incorporating activity into every workday. You might have more success if you and a coworker work together to meet an exercise goal. With increased activity during the day, you may notice more energy, better health, better moods, and an easier time controlling your weight. It's likely that your overall health will also improve.