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  • Writer's pictureMette Bloch

Boosting productivity and well-being with movement

In the modern age, many of us spend hours each day sitting behind a desk. These periods of inactivity can wreak havoc on our physical and mental health. So how can we break this cycle of sedentary behavior and inject movement into our workday? Let me unravel the science-backed benefits of an active workday and discover some exciting ways to weave activity into your daily routine.


Research has shown impressive effects of regular movement throughout the day. Here are a few top reasons to become more active:

  1. Improved Mental Health: A 2018 study found that physical activity can help manage depression and anxiety.1 The benefits are comparable to those seen with medication or psychological therapy.

  2. Enhanced Brain Power: Regular activity boosts memory, creativity, and cognitive abilities.2

  3. Increased Lifespan: Regular physical activity has been linked to a decreased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer, potentially increasing longevity.3

  4. Elevated Mood and Energy Levels: Movement can trigger the release of endorphins, the body's feel-good hormones, promoting a more upbeat and energetic workday.

Embracing an Active Workday: Practical Tips

Breaking up your workday with movement doesn’t have to be complicated. Below are a few strategies to get started:

  1. Desk Exercises: Incorporate simple exercises like leg lifts, seated stretches, and arm circles into your routine.

  2. Active Meetings: Instead of sitting in a conference room, propose walking meetings. Research shows that walking can spark creativity.4

  3. Stand Up Regularly: Set a reminder to stand up every 30 minutes. A 2017 study found that frequent, short walking breaks are more beneficial than a single, longer walk.5

  4. Active Commuting: If possible, cycle or walk to work. If you drive or take public transportation, consider getting off a stop earlier and walking the rest of the way.

  5. Lunch Break Workouts: Use a part of your lunch break for a quick workout. This could be a brisk walk, a short run, or a yoga session.

  6. Use the Stairs: Whenever you can, opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.

  7. Invest in a Standing Desk or Active Chair: Active furniture encourages movement and can help burn more calories than traditional desks.


Remember, the goal is to break up periods of inactivity rather than achieving high-intensity exercise. Listen to your body, and make adjustments to fit your comfort and capacity.


Conclusion

An active workday is more than just a strategy for physical health; it's a vehicle to improved productivity, mental well-being, and a happier life. The first step is awareness and the commitment to make small changes. So why wait? Start NOW, weave these tips into your workday, and join the movement revolution!


References

Footnotes

  1. Harvey, S. B., Øverland, S., Hatch, S. L., Wessely, S., Mykletun, A., & Hotopf, M. (2018). Exercise and the Prevention of Depression: Results of the HUNT Cohort Study. American Journal of Psychiatry, 175(1), 28–36.

  2. Ratey, J. J., & Loehr, J. E. (2011). The positive impact of physical activity on cognition during adulthood: a review of underlying mechanisms, evidence and recommendations. Reviews in the Neurosciences, 22(2), 171–185.

  3. Warburton, D. E. R., & Bredin, S. S. D. (2017). Health benefits of physical activity: a systematic review of current systematic reviews. Current Opinion in Cardiology, 32(5), 541–556.

  4. Oppezzo, M., & Schwartz, D. L. (2014). Give your ideas some legs: The positive effect of walking on creative thinking. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 40(4), 1142–1152.

  5. Peddie, M. C., Bone, J. L., Rehrer, N. J., Skeaff, C. M., Gray, A. R., & Perry, T. L. (2013). Breaking prolonged sitting reduces postprandial glycemia in healthy, normal-weight adults: a randomized crossover trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 98(2), 358–366.




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Guest
Jul 03, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I always take the stairs. And take 10.000 steps a day! 🏆

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