By Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie
Being mindful about how you plan your workday and workspace can help you stay healthy and injury-free, even with a demanding work schedule. Here’s how to set yourself up for health and fitness success at the office:
Dress comfortably for work, if you can, including your shoes. The American Council on Exercise found that employees burned 8% more calories when they wore business casual as opposed to traditional business attire. The reason? They moved more. And the difference may be just this: when you’re dressed more comfortably, you may be more motivated to take the stairs instead of the elevator or walk a little farther to get lunch.
Pay attention to your workstation. Sit-stand desks that allow you to choose your posture while you work are becoming popular, and for good reason: a 2015 expert statement released in the United Kingdom recommends breaking up seated work with standing work for the best health, eventually spending from 2 to 4 hours a day standing (or on an active standing break, including walks). And whether you sit or stand, reduce strain on your body by following these tips:
Fit in exercise. One simple way to include a workout in your workday is by taking a 30- (or 20-, or 10-) minute walk on your lunch break. If you drive to work, you can add some cardio to your commute by parking a mile away from the office. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, it's OK to start with just 5 minutes, but commit to doing it daily — and to ramping up when you’re ready. Even these small amounts can add up to an overall increase in physical activity that may very well make a difference for your health.
Published on June 2, 2016.
Natalie Gingerich Mackenzie is a health and fitness writer, as well as a certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise. She regularly contributes to national magazines including Fitness, Shape and SELF, and is the author of Tone Every Inch.
Additional reporting by Brittany Doohan.
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