Throughout the ages there's been a public enemy number 1, whether it be drugs in the 80s or smoking in the 90s. Today this has evolved into obesity, so how can we change our office-based habits and get moving again?
Being a team of web developers we sit down pretty much all day but at Webigence we try to break this up to promote and practice good physical and mental well-being in the office.
With summer slowly sneaking up on us many discussions tend to migrate towards those ever-elusive summer bods. It would appear that the discussion begins just before Easter (followed by a sharp slump caused by chocolate related comas) when the first bit of sunshine starts to warm us and naturally, as Brits, the coats are off and the tees are back on, regardless of the actual temperature. It’s at this point we realise that that oversized jumper that kept us cosy through those treacherous winter months also had it’s other uses…
This is the first job where I’ve had to sit down for any portion of the day (minus lunch breaks) with my previous roles being pretty much retail based - a sector where you find yourself nursing bruised soles (or souls) daily. Therefore, the transition to a seat was a blessing, however, months down the line I do find myself itching to move around throughout the day, culminating in an “exercise routine” post-commute to expend this pent-up energy.
So what can the office worker, who finds themselves hunched at their desk for 8-9 hours a day, do to tackle this? Even a short search on the web gives back a variety of different exercises and products that swear they’re the best way to optimise your desk time with a workout session. Now, whether these are plausible or even realistic options remains another matter (imagine pitching this product to your boss). However some are actually just as simple as standing up for a minute every hour (or other hour) which may very well be beneficial (as Ken Burden elaborates in his book “Is your chair killing you?”), although I doubt it’ll get us strutting down the beach in our speedos.
If you’re not ready to move away from the chair as of yet, there are still options available, many of which seem like they’re focused on exercising your core. However, what you get does depend on how much you’re willing to spend, with products at the higher end of the spectrum coming in at around $1000 such as the Core Chair, which admittedly does look pretty sleak. However if you’re on a tighter budget perhaps something like the Evolution chair, would better suit the need.
Here at Webigence we find ourselves sat staring at a screen hard at our web development work, so in between we’ve started adopting a few keepie uppies with our newly acquired foam football to keep our minds fresh and our legs moving. Also (when we’re not training the next England squad) we’ve taken to following OfficeHealth, who give great little tips on things to do to keep your mind and body ticking over throughout the day. It’s always good for us to get a bit of movement going, even if it’s for one or two minutes just to break up the day. Having difficulty in a particular piece of work? Get up, move around, have a quick unrelated chat with someone else, by the time you come back to your work you’ll have a new perspective on the issue and more often than not a solution.
Exercise is clearly an essential part of being more than just fit but healthy in terms of mind and body. As our schedules become continually more jam-packed and our commutes take longer, it’s important we don’t skimp on looking after our health otherwise we won’t ever really get to fully enjoy the fruits of our labour! If there’s a way to fit this into our day-to-day activities by changing as little as how we’re sitting then that sounds like a mighty fine plan to us.
How do you fit in your exercise throughout the day? Tweet us @Webigence.
Blog written by Elliott. Find out more about the team on our website.