Ask Manpower: 

I sit at work all day. Do you have any suggestions on how I can stay active in a sedentary job?

As the population becomes increasingly health conscious in addition to watching their diet, they look for ways to stay physically active as well. If you have a job that requires you to stay moving, like retail or warehousing – chances are you are easily getting in your daily steps and keeping your blood flowing. But, since a significant amount of your day is spent at work, if you have a job that is rather sedentary such as a desk job, you may need to find some creative ways to promote movement. 

Take Your Scheduled Breaks

It is rather easy to get hyper-focused on your work or pressed for deadlines and forge through your day by foregoing allotted breaks. This is especially common in companies that do not have planned departmental breaks and leave it up to team members to manage their own time. Taking your breaks is not only important for your mental health it is important to your physical health as well. At breaktime make sure you get up and move. If you like to use your breaks to catch up on email, personal calls, or a little social media banter – take advantage of the mobility a phone offers and take care of business or decompress while on the move. 

Schedule in Stretch Breaks

No matter how ergonomic your workstation is, if you spend a lot of time there you are bound to get stiff. Work regular stretch breaks into your day; we would even recommend frequently sprinkling them in briefly around your traditional breaks. The practice of sprinkling in stretch exercises will provide multiple opportunities to improve circulation, release tension, improve focus & productivity, and reduce pain. 

Stand Up Whenever You Can

Would it be ideal for everyone to have convertible workstations that allow for both sitting and standing? Yes, of course. However, convertible workstations are often costly, and it may not be an affordable or practical solution for all companies. That being said, finding opportunities to stand while you are working does not have to be limited to those that have fully adjustable or mobile workstations. For instance, you can take the opportunity to stand when you are on a phone call.

Not only will standing up help you remain active, it can also help you exude more confidence and increase the overall energy of the call. If you have a brief meeting scheduled, consider having everyone stand – in addition to helping people improve blood flow, it can also help you keep the meeting moving along.

Find a Walking Partner

When grabbing your bag for work, why not throw in a pair of sneakers and find yourself a walking buddy? Not only will finding yourself a walking partner help you get moving and keep you accountable in your efforts to stay active, but it will help you build healthy relationships with your peers. You don’t need a fancy track or groomed trail, just open the door and start walking and see where the road takes you.

When walking, relax your mind, chat about things that bring you joy, and avoid bringing negative energy by engaging in petty office gossip or belaboring all the work stressors.

Listen to Music

There is something about music that just makes the day go faster, increases your energy, improves your focus, and just helps you get into your work. With the right music playing you can’t help but want to move, whether simply tapping your feet, moving your shoulders, or having a quick little dance party that would compete with the likes of Ellen DeGeneres. Of course you may want to temper back your moves just a bit to not call too much attention to yourself – but go on and subtly get your groove on.

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