Work Out at Work

Updated:Apr 15,2014

Working Out at WorkIf you’re like most American adults, you spend most of your waking hours at work, and it could be taking a toll on your health. Sixty-eight percent of adults are obese or overweight, and many of us struggle to find time to work out and make healthy eating a priority. Get the most out of your work day with these tips to pick up the pace. Your heart will thank you!

There’s no law that says you have to sit when you meet. Try brainstorming on the go. Make your next catch-up with your boss a walking meeting and discuss project ideas with a co-worker while you take a few laps around the building.

Here are some other ways to stay active during the work day:

  • Walk during business calls. March in place or at least stand when you talk on the phone.
     
  • Skip the email or the call and walk down the hall to talk to a co-worker.
     
  • Tone your muscles while you work. You might be surprised by how much you can improve your strength and balance with just a few minutes and a desk chair. Light hand weights are helpful and can be easily stored under your desk, but you can do these without weights too. It is generally recommended that you start with a set of 10–15 repetitions. The goal is to complete three sets of each activity.
     
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or get off a few floors early and take the stairs the rest of the way.
     
  • Participate in or start a recreation league at your company.
     
  • Form a sports team to raise money for charity events.
     
  • Schedule physical activity time on your business calendar — and treat it like an important appointment.
     
  • Get off the bus a few blocks early and walk the rest of the way to work or home.
     
  • Walk around your building for a break during the work day or during lunch.
     
  • Traveling for business? Pack a jump rope or resistance band in your suitcase. Walk while you wait for your plane. Once you arrive at your destination, jump rope and do calisthenics in your hotel room. Take advantage of the fitness center or the swimming pool.

Is your workplace interested in getting employees more active? The average healthcare cost exceeds $3,000 per person annually, and an obese employee costs his or her employer an additional $460 to $2,500 in medical costs and sick days per year. A worksite physical activity program and a culture of activity can increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, lower turnover and reduce healthcare costs.

Find out more information about the American Heart Association’s Fit-Friendly Worksites Program.


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