How many hours a day you spend sitting down? For those who have an office job, it is likely to be at least 7 hours per day!
The University of Vitoria (Spain) has developed a project they call "Walk @ Work", which has been shown to decrease the time that workers remain seated, thereby increasing productivity and improving wellbeing in the workplace.
Office workers participated in the 2 month study and were walk to regular meetings and increase the number of steps they made each day.
Researchers reported that the results of the study reduced employees' seated time by 20 minutes per day, simply by increasing their physical activity by 1,400 steps per day (equivalent to approx. 15 minutes per day). In addition, decreasing the time sitting at the computer is a direct benefit to the health of workers, and also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The project's principal investigator, Anna Puig, said "The main intention of the study is the integration of physical activity in the workplace."
"So we will stretch your legs from time to time as, in addition to the direct health benefits, it helps more to improve our working efficiency."
Here are some simple exercises you can do at the office:
- The Stair Master: Want to avoid elevator small talk in favor of elevating the heart rate? Take the stairs! Take two steps at a time every for a real leg burn.
- The Slog, Then Jog: Instead of slogging away for hours nonstop, take a mini break for a stationary jog. Pop up from your chair, (admire the butt imprint left behind!), and jog in place. Willing to huff and puff a little more? Pick up those knees! Continue for one minute, return to spreadsheets, and repeat.
- The Mover and Shaker: There’s nothing wrong with a brief spaz sesh. Release stress and spark some energy with a quick bout of seated dancing when no one is looking! Salsa anyone?
- The Seated Leg Raiser: When pay raises are nowhere to be seen, consider the leg raise. (Bonus: they’re hardly noticeable underneath the desk!) While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. Underwhelmed? Loop a purse or briefcase strap over the ankle for added weight. Or, for more of an ab workout, add a crunch.
- The Lunch Break Hammy: Strengthen the hamstrings with this standing leg curl. Stand behind your chair and hold onto it for support. Gently kick one foot back, aiming the heel to the top of your thigh. Lower the foot back down and repeat exercise with the other leg. Do 10 reps, take a bite of your lunchtime sandwich, and then do 10 more.
So all workers should be quite happy that we are actually more productive if we have time off during the day. Instead of just working constantly all day we are better workers if we take breaks, there is now scientific proof.