There is a good chance that one of your new year’s resolutions for 2020 was to get in better shape and improve your activity levels in the office. Right now, many of us will simply look forward to the day that we are back in the office to finally live up to those promises. There are lots of ways that you can improve your activity levels in the office this year – whether you start out small from a sedentary lifestyle or want to really push yourself with a regime at your desk.
Increasing your activity levels bit by bit
If you are guilty of being sedentary at work and staying glued to your seat and keyboard, you need to start slowly. Make sure to take regular breaks to move your arms and legs and stretch out your wrists. Stretch your neck and back comfortably to improve your range of motion and stop the muscles from seizing up. Ideally, you want to get up and stretch and move after 20 minutes of sitting. You can use that time as wisely or unwisely as you choose. You could get up to make copies, to talk to a colleague or to go and make a drink.
From there, you can make more of an effort to be active at work by adding in specific exercises into your day. You could commit to taking the stairs between floors instead of the lift every day. You can turn those regular breaks into deeper stretches and poses away from your desk. For example, you could do some planks against a wall or desk, try some yoga poses, do some lunges or any other effective motions. If you don’t want to do this at your desk in front of everyone, try and find a quiet space elsewhere where you can get more active.
You could try and make fitness trends more of a communal and social experience in your office environment.
If this is the year that we get back together and encourage each other with our fitness goals, it might help to have some office-wide programs. For example, it can be more fun if you all try and increase your step count or work together for communal weight loss goals. This sort of venture can help to encourage those struggling with motivation. Incentive-based programs can help too if you have a common goal in mind.
Just be aware that there will be some people that are self-conscious and will struggle more than others. It is important to encourage any effort and achievement and not to measure everyone the same way. Build each other up as a team. If someone really doesn’t want to take part, don’t force them. It should all be voluntary not mandatory.
Setting up a space in the office building
If enough of you in your office space want to get in better shape, you might be able to commandeer a room within your complex to turn into a workout space or a yoga room. With some thought and commitment, it could become a great place to take a break and carry out those stretches. You could do so as a group in a mini fitness class or use the room individually. Motivational posters and guides will help. If management gets on board and finds the perfect space, it could make a big difference for both physical and mental health as a place to come and relax and focus on something else.
If you want to take things even further, you could use a fitness machine at your desk.
Finally, there is the option of adding a fitness machine to your daily workout from the “comfort” of your own desk. There are lots of different machines out there that can provide an office-friendly workout. They include:
With all of these models, what you essentially get here is the motorized or mechanical part of the product without the frame. For example, if you get a treadmill then you typically only get the belt, perhaps with a small console built-in. The elliptical and bike models are very similar in design and function, just with a different shape and motion in the pedals. There are more choices than ever and the machines are improving, with better features and options. Many now have more settings, resistance options and better consoles.
When choosing the best under-desk machine for your office space, make sure that it has the following benefits:
Office fitness is essential
There is a good chance that you are already feeling the need to get more active as you work. Working from home during the current coronavirus epidemic has led to an unhealthy change in lifestyle for countless workers. If you have a home office then you might be able to set up some equipment and start this sort of regime now. If not, these steps are something that you can consider at a later date.
There is no wrong way to get started with office fitness this year as long as you don’t push too hard and risk injury. Know your capabilities and limitations as well as your goals. Be realistic about where you are with your current fitness level, where you want to be by the end of the year and how you might achieve that. If your fitness levels and regime are gone right now, that’s completely understandable. Just know that there is a way to improve when you get back to work.