Fun Ways to Stay Active at Work
by Matt Marandola
July 8, 2019
The workplace wellness and health are starting to boom these days. And for good reason. Desk jobs are putting a huge strain on our bodies. While everyone has a different approach, the goal is all the same. To make sure that we are burning calories at the typical 9-5 job, and helping get extra blood flow to help with muscle cramping and soreness.
Ever since I started my job now, which requires quite a bit of walking around (on average 10,000 steps a day), my main focus has been more on stretching. While I am a young lad (22 years), I suffer from early onset arthritis in my back due to an injury in high school, and two torn rotator cuffs. Needless to say, I have many issues when it comes to being stiff. I make sure that I am constantly stretching at work when I get the chance to keep my muscles loose and ready to go.
1. Resistance Bands
While they are dated, and the colors might make you stand out a little more, resistance bands are my number one option to keep me loose. My job allows me to have a medium strength one that I keep bolted to a portion of the cash wrap. Throughout the day, on the slower times when I am just standing around, I will do some Lateral Raises with them to keep the blood flowing in my shoulders.
Beyond just me, my coworkers have full access to them as well. Each dealing with their own set of injuries. One has an issue with a previous ACL tear, so he likes to use the bands for mobility on his knees. Another will use it to help with grip strength since he has poor circulation to his fingers. The best thing about resistance bands is their ability to be versatile and is a great place to start.
2. Light Weights
While not as common, lightweights are another option for keeping yourself moving throughout the day. A light dumbbell of about 1-3 pounds that can be kept on the desk and picked up whenever needed comes in hand for those times when youâ€™re brainstorming your next idea or maybe when there is a slow period for the day. The small dumbbells are versatile and can be used for a wide variety of exercises. For me personally, I enjoy using a 1 pound dumbbell and holding my arms outstretched with it to help build my endurance in my shoulders.
3. Micro Walks
The easiest one that most can do at the typical desk job is micro walks. For me, I like to make sure I do not sit at my desk for more than 15 minutes at a time. With the poor posture that is found with working a desk job, as well as the constant threat of carpal tunnel, getting up and moving is one of the easiest ways to get the blood flowing and reset back to zero. Even while writing this, I take a break at the 15-minute mark even if I am in the groove to avoid any further issues with my joints.
Donâ€™t Let the 9-5 Stop You
Work with your employer to see if there are any other options as well. Companies these days have an entire section dedicated to employee wellness and health. If there is not, pair up with your team and see about getting something started. The extra activity in the building might change the whole work mentality altogether.