How Movement Affects Your Health and Work Performance
Sitting at your desk all day at work might seem like a harmless act but it can pose a serious threat to your mental and physical health. This should be especially concerning if your job requires you to sit behind a screen for eight or more hours every work day. That’s because our bodies are designed to expect movement on a daily basis. If the required level of movement is not accomplished each day, it can also impact your work performance by interfering with important processes such as your learning, memory, and problem-solving capabilities. Fortunately, even a small amount of activity throughout the work day can go a long way to boosting your mental and physical state.
5 Effective Ways to Increase Movement During the Work Week
Incorporating physical activity into your work day is one of the most important things you can do for your mind and body. After all, the absence of movement prohibits blood flow, which can eventually lead to brain fog, general discomfort and even injury. If you want to be more productive and ensure your body continues to function optimally, take a closer look below at some of the ways you can incorporate movement into your workday:
- Walk or Bike to Work: If you live close enough to walk or bike to work, try using these modes of transportation over driving your car. However, if you require a car to get you to and from work, park in a spot that is furthest from the entrance. If this is not possible for you to do, consider arriving to work early and walking around the building or up and down the block before going inside. Once inside, take the stairs instead of using the elevator.
- Engage with Your Colleagues: If you need to talk to a colleague, get up and walk over to their desk instead of sending an instant message or email from your desk. Standing and walking periodically, even if it’s a short distance, can help reduce your risk of developing health problems over time. Of course, remember to maintain a safe physical distance—that’s our new normal!
- Take Advantage of Your Lunch Break: A lunch break provides an extremely valuable opportunity to walk away from your desk and get in some movement. There are a few ways to do this such as walking to pick up your food, volunteer to do the office food run or take a walk around the block before or after you eat.
- Track Your Fitness: Wearing a fitness monitor is a good way to ensure you are getting in the steps your body requires each day. If you are having trouble reaching your step count, consider taking the long way to the bathroom or break room or suggest a walking meeting with your colleagues instead of sitting around a desk.
- Stretch It Out: Stand up from your desk and stretch periodically throughout the day. Even if you have a lot on your plate, taking 5 minutes to refresh will get your body moving and improve your focus, clarity, and productivity.
The benefits of movement throughout your work day are very positive and contribute to improving your overall well-being. While it may feel a little daunting to make these changes to your daily routine, taking small steps to modify your behavior at work can reduce the health risks often associated with sitting in a chair for prolonged periods of time. At Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania, we often see patients who are dealing with injuries related to the sedentary nature of their jobs. We want to encourage you to build good exercise habits into your work day, in order to boost your productivity, strengthen your immune system and protect your mental health. If you have suffered an injury at work, we provide a number of physical therapy services to address all your rehabilitation needs so you can enjoy a better-quality working life for years to come.
To learn more about our physical therapy services or to book your appointment, contact us at the location of your choice, or complete our online form and our team will get back to you as soon as possible.