Workout while you work – 5 useful tips to integrate into your daily working life

We all are guilty of making an excuse that a busy work day influences your level of activity or exercise during the week.

According to research commissioned by the Nutrition and Health Foundation, only one third of employees take the recommended weekly level of exercise for a healthy lifestyle. Many of us are within the two out of three people, who have good intentions to set aside time for physical activity, but find it a challenge to do so. There are many small steps that we can take to increase our number of steps in the day, all of which helps to make us fitter and healthier. The workplace is an ideal place to promote and encourage healthier living because we spend such a high proportion of our lives there.

The Nutrition and Health Foundation have been promoting and encouraging employers and employees to get more active in the workplace as part of a national campaign to “Get Ireland Moving” in the wake of the second National Workplace Wellbeing Day which took place in April. We were delighted to see over double the number of organisations sign up to the day itself and the variety and level of activities companies are undertaking throughout the year. It is never too late to get involved.

There is lots of advice to take from our website blog which had some simple ideas to incorporate exercise into your daily routine. The Nutrition and Health Foundation are encouraging people to set the wheels in motion to make workplace wellbeing a part of their daily routine. You can develop a new habit to work towards a ‘new improved you’ by the five simple steps below to “Workout while you work”. Workplace wellbeing has been proven to directly positively influence the physical, mental, economic and social well-being of workers. You can feel more energised in your daily routine.

No. 1 Be Realistic

Strive for a goal which is attainable. You want a programme that you can stick with for the long haul—not just this week. Be completely honest with yourself and ask if you can realistically see yourself doing what it takes to achieve the goal at hand. If you can and it meets your criteria, then you probably have a realistic goal.

No. 2 Start with Your Commute to Work

Walk or bike to work. If you get public transport, get off a stop earlier than usual and walk the rest of the way. If you drive to work, park at the far end of the car park or try a new parking location. Remember you do not need to be sweating to gain the health benefits of physical activity, just even moving more helps a lot.

No. 3 Sit less, stand more

Did you know that standing burns more calories than sitting? Take every opportunity to get up from your chair. Why not deliver in-house documents or messages to co-workers in person rather than by email and take phone calls standing up? Remember, every step counts.

No. 4 Use the Buddy System

Find a like-minded friend or colleague so you can encourage one another. Exercise together. Use this as an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company and to strengthen the relationship.

No. 5 Utilise your lunch break

Take some time during your lunch to get some exercise and some fresh air. Take a brisk walk, jog or join a lunch time class with colleagues. You’ll feel better and be refreshed for the rest of your day.

Keep an eye out on our website nhfireland.ie/wellbeing for the date of National Workplace Wellbeing Day 2017.

Dr. Muireann Cullen
Dr. Muireann Cullen
Manager of the Nutrition and Health Foundation (NHF). The NHF is an independent partnership of industry, government, State agencies, internationally recognised scientists, health professionals and relevant stakeholders working together to address Ireland’s lifestyle, nutrition and health challenges. Further information is available at nhfireland.ie.
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