Working in an office may seem relatively safe, but there are several health risks associated with the office environment that go unrecognized. Sitting for long hours at work with lack of physical activity can wear on your heart’s health and increase your risk for cardiovascular disease. Additionally, working long hours can raise stress levels, leading to high blood pressure.
For many office workers, finding time for physical activity during the work day is tricky. Luckily, there are several quick and easy ways to get active at the office that will significantly lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, and help you feel better too! Remember, the key to being successful with any new lifestyle change is to start small and to be consistent. As certain activities become routine, be sure to switch up your plan and keep your body guessing.
1. Take walking breaks- Get up from your desk and take a quick five-minute walk every hour. Five minutes doesn’t seem like much, but it is a great place to start and your heart will thank you.
2. Opt for the stairs- If your office has stairs and/or elevators, opt to take the stairs. The simple act of climbing a set of stairs is enough to get your heart pumping and puts you one step closer to a more active day.
3. Stretch often- Stretching gets you moving and helps to increase blood flow throughout the body. It also serves as a great way to break the monotony of your daily routine while increasing your range of motion and reducing your risk of injury during physical activity. The American Heart Association offers these easy-to-do stretches.
4. Eat a heart-healthy diet- Busy work schedules and long workdays are burdensome and can make it difficult to stick to a diet at work. Try to choose nutrient-dense foods and pack your meals on the weekend to save time during the week. Livestrong.com offers some great suggestions on how to plan ahead to make healthy-eating an easy part of your day.
5. Move around the office- Getting active in your office is easy. Use resistance bands while working or pace around while you’re on phone calls to get yourself moving. Explore these simple office workouts to get more out of your day.