Companies and employees are always interested in leveraging their time and energy. Companies are demanding more and more of the employees time which leaves less time at home for exercise, family and responsibilities.
The current recommendation for exercise is 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. That exercise must increase the participants heart rate and breathing, but can also be broken up into 10 minute segments.
In a recent study the researchers found that Americans may be getting more exercise at work than they previously thought. The study showed that 2/3 of working Americans didn’t get enough exercise in their leisure time but that 44% of working Americans got at least one hour of occupational activity each day at work or doing housework.
The study measured activity and exercise during leisure time but more recent studies from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion began measuring activity during work hours. Even the CDC has developed a new questionnaire that takes into account the physical activity that employees get at work.
Employees who are interested in getting more exercise can increase their physical activity and decrease their risk of heart disease, stroke and obesity through small changes in work style behavior. For instance, the employee can park further away from the office instead of closer. Parking further away may mean not parking at all if you live close enough to walk. Another alternative is to ride your bike to work and use the company shower when you arrive.
Consider taking the stairs not the elevator, walk to meetings that are close by instead of driving, do stretches and desk exercises several times each day to strengthen muscles and improve concentration and productivity.
Exercises at your desk can be quick, easy and fun. They will strengthen your muscles, improve your blood supply and increase your productivity. Find an excuse to get up and walk around your office every hour. Set a clock on your computer to remind you so that you don’t become so caught up in your work that you forget your health. Walking around the office for 5 minutes each hour will improve the way you work and give your mind the quick rest it needs.
In more progressive companies the employers are putting in small gyms and showers to encourage employees to workout during lunch or after work hours. This added bonus is actually a bonus for the employer since active fit employees call in sick less often, have a lower risk of chronic disease and don’t use the company health insurance which drives up premiums.
Employees are finding that getting exercise at work is easier than it was even 5 years ago. They are also finding that this improves their health, increases their energy and can decrease the risk of illness when done consistently. Employers are finding that allowing employees to workout during the day increases the employees ability to focus during the day and decreases insurance costs. When an employee gets exercise at work it is a win-win situation for all involved.
ExpertAnswer: Exercises at Work Boosts Productivity, Swedish Researchers Find
NHS CHoices: Exercises and Study
National Association for Sport and Physical Education: Fields of Study-Exercise Science
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago: Aerobic Exercise and Creative Potential
MayoClinic: Workplace Exercises
Fitness: 10 Ways to Sneak in a Workout
Fitness: 7 Habits of Highly Effective Exercisers
Washington Post: A workout at Work
Everyday Health: Work out While You Work
American Heart Association: Get Moving Easy Tips to Get Active