More ways to add a workout at the workplace

bcain@newsobserver.comApril 7, 2014 

  • More ways to add more movement to your workday

    • Walk or bike to work once a week.

    • Park in the parking spot farthest away from your office. (Take security into consideration.)

    • Stop the impulse to email. Instead, get up and walk to a colleague’s desk to deliver a work message.

    • Walk 15 minutes before work, 15 minutes at lunch, 15 minutes after your shift ends and 15 minutes after you park your car at home. Boom – you just put in an hour’s worth of walking.

    • Get a headset or a long handset cord, and pace while talking on the phone or listening to a conference call.

    • No standing desk? Then just stand whenever you can (while you’re sorting mail, reviewing your schedule for the day, reading paperwork or riffling through files).

    • Institute walk-and-talk or standing meetings.

    • Create “walking trails” in your building.

    • Use the bathroom on the opposite side of the building. Same goes for the microwave, refrigerator, coffee maker, etc.

    • Start a walking club. Three times a week, meet before or after work for a 30-minute walk. (Everyone starts together but proceeds at their own pace.)

    • Leave your lunch in a cooler in your car and walk to your car at lunchtime to retrieve it. After eating at your desk, walk the cooler back to the car.

    Rene Lynch, Los Angeles Times

Last week we brought you a story about staying fit in your workplace, along with suggestions from readers about using standing or treadmill desks ( newsobserver.com/fitness).

Here are a few more tips from readers, followed by a list of tips from the Los Angeles Times.

1 Balance ball. Andrew Sleeth of Raleigh started using a balance or stability ball instead of a chair two years ago, and he loves it. “I wouldn’t think of using any other perch at work,” he said. He combined the balance ball with a computer timer that reminds him to get up and move every 30 minutes. “I perform a few squats, toe-touches and various other stretching movements to shake me out of my computer-induced torpor.”

2 Stability disc. A little less obvious than the stability ball is a disc, which can be placed in your chair. Joan Ontjes of Chapel Hill said she improved her balance and stability while sitting at her desk by using a Yes4All model. “It has gel inside and is designed to work on balance so, basically, I’m kind of balanced all day,” she wrote.

3 Stairs, stairs stairs! This is one we should all be doing already. Vanessa Castillo works in a building with four floors and says sometimes she goes up and down the stairs – 102 steps up, 102 steps down – several times a day. If she’s wearing heels, she does it in her stocking feet. “It’s like my little secret, as I have never seen anyone else in the stairs!” said Castillo. Well, not anymore!

4 Desk exercise videos. Kim Grimm of Cary recently found a series of “desk exercise” videos on YouTube – and she doesn’t mind that her office mates know she’s exercising. “Every day at lunch I try to get 10-15 minutes of something in, whether it’s exercises off one of these videos ... a couple of squats or just walking up and down the stairwell,” said Grimm. “If it is nice out, I will take 20 minutes or so and walk outside. Getting up and moving definitely helps to energize and improve concentration and I don’t have that 3 p.m. slump.”

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