Benefits of Exercise at Work
Does sitting at a desk for work seem to cause you stiffness, aches, and pains? There is a good reason why – humans were designed to stand and move, not sit all day. And unfortunately, the health problems from sitting don’t stop at back and neck pain. Sitting for long stretches of time, or what is known as being sedentary, has been found to cause weight gain, higher blood sugar, and higher cholesterol. These problems increase your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and other serious health conditions. Thirteen studies confirmed that sitting for 8 hours a day without exercise will impact your health as badly as smoking.
But you have to earn money, and work takes up the majority of our time. Don’t worry, you aren’t doomed because you work in an office. Even doing a little exercise and movement throughout your day can counteract those harmful impacts and make you happier and healthier.
Even if you spend your evenings and weekends taking your fitness to the next level, you will receive benefits from regularly taking some breaks to get the blood flowing throughout your workday.
Exercise improves your health in many ways which translate into a better work environment and life. Improved fitness leads to fewer common illnesses, which means less time having to miss work, and better productivity. Regular activity can reduce weight, lower blood sugar, cut cholesterol levels, and improve the cardiovascular system. This all adds up to a decreased risk of serious disease or illness, which of course in itself is a positive. And not having to treat any serious illness also saves money on health care longer-term. These benefits can be attained by getting exercise in during the workday even if you aren’t running marathons on the weekends. And there is such a clear positive impact on workers and businesses, that many companies are encouraging activity while at work, or even offer it through the company itself.
Stress and depression are very common in the United States workforce. Not only are they detrimental to the worker experiencing them, but they are a leading cause of absenteeism which impacts the business. Working all day, 5 days a week is enough to cause of stress, and many people work even more than that and in very intense environments. But physical activity can counteract that inevitable stress.
Studies confirm that exercise reduces stress by releasing energy, increasing your heart rate and blood flow, and producing those feel-good chemicals. The chemical brain-boost along with the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction from completing some exercise all help keep the blues at bay.
Happier employees produce better work, and lead to increased moral overall because the entire work environment is more positive.
Many people feel the late afternoon brain fog, and reach for some caffeine as the cure. But what will help more is getting the body moving. Physical activity increases blood flow and circulation, including to the brain. This improves your mental alertness and focus, without having to consume more caffeine which will keep you up all night.
Better Overall Mood
Getting some exercise in during your workday increases blood flow, which helps activate elements of the brain that enhance your mood. Even better, a workout causes your brain to release endorphins, which will improve your mood overall, including when you are back at the work station. They have also found that completing a workout or exercise gives you a sense of satisfaction, increasing confidence and translating into better performance on tasks.
How to Fit It In At Work
Some companies offer and encourage exercise, which is a big help. If yours does, take advantage of it – you will benefit in so many ways. And if you don’t have an official fitness plan through your company, there are several easy ways to get some movement into your day even if your job requires you to sit at a desk. Try to just stand up every 30 minutes or so to get a break from sitting. There are lots of times you can do this – stand up during on a conference call, stretch a little while mentally outlining that memo, or walk down the hall to talk to a co-worker instead of emailing. A desk that you can adjust to standing will allow you to alternate and keep the body from being in a sitting position too long.
Taking the stairs to meetings, taking a walk during lunch or for a break, parking far from the office, or better yet incorporating exercise into your commute are all ways to work some fitness into your workday.
Getting to the gym, on top of all your other obligations, can be really tough to do. Especially during the week. There are only so many hours in the day, and work, commuting, family and friends are all elements of our lives we dedicate time to. At the same time, exercise is vital to health and happiness. Being able to exercise at work keeps employees healthier, reducing everyday illnesses and more serious health concerns. It counteracts the stress that is unavoidable, and improves the mood as well as confidence. All of those mean employees are happier with higher morale, and more productive and efficient. Exercise at work is good for the individual and the business.
To get products that can help keep you active in your office click here.
Have Questions? Give us a call at (208) 297-2347