Dr. Mike Evans issues a wellness challenge in another compelling video: Let’s Make Our Day Harder. You should watch this video and share it with your employees – he makes very important points about health in a persuasive way.
This importance of his message takes on even more significance with the release another study offering yet more evidence that prolonged sitting is bad for you. Cardiologists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center examined data from from 2,223 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They looked at the association between fitness levels, daily exercise and sedentary behavior, and found, among other things, that the negative effect of six hours of sedentary time on fitness levels was similar in magnitude to the benefit of one hour of exercise .. except the magnitude is in a bad way, not a good way. That means the negative effects of sitting around all day can cancel out the benefits of exercise. Prior studies show similar results: too much sitting is bad even if you get regular exercise.
OK, so what is an office worker supposed to do? Well here’s some good news. Breaking up the prolonged periods of sitting can help – and it doesn’t have to take radical measures. Employers should be aware of these health risks and encourage office and other sedentary workers to stand up and put more movement in their days. Here are a few ideas:
- Get up and stretch at least once an hour
- Stand or walk during phone calls
- Take short walks throughout the day
- Deliver a message to nearby colleagues in person instead of via email
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Hold walking meetings
- Park further away from the building
In A Workout at Work, artists at the Washington Post‘s illustrated (see above) and animated 12 exercises that you could do in or near your desk. They tried them out for a week and, as an added bonus, they invited readers to vote on how difficult, how sweaty and how humiliating each exercise would be to do at work. They range from super easy to challenging. Check them out – the animated graphics are fun but you can also download a printable poster.
Here are a few other options:
Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work
5 Minute Desk Workout
Printable 15 Minute Desk Workout
Looking for the most comprehensive and effective wellness program for your employees? ESI TotalCare Wellness pairs Behavioral Health Clinicians with certified Wellness Coaches to provide employees and their families with the help, motivation, tools and support to make changes and improve their lives. Call 800-535-4841 for more information.