Sitting kills, and it’s not just the fact that society as a whole is exercising less either. It’s the fact that many of us are sitting for eight, 10, 12 hours a day, including all the sitting we do at work as well as the commute and when we come home and watch TV. Recent research has found that prolonged sitting is just as deadly as smoking and that its linked to an increased risk of a variety of diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Fortunately, with a Salt Lake City virtual office, or any virtual office for that matter, it’s very easy to incorporate exercise into your workday. Here’s how to sit less, move a little more, and delay the onset of early death.
“Commute” to Work
If you have a virtual office, then it’s likely that you’re working from home and only using the office from time to time. However, this doesn’t mean that your “commute” has to be straight from the kitchen to the home office. Instead, get a little morning exercise by walking around the block or walking to the coffee shop and back. Then, you’ve commuted to work and you can begin your duties for the day.
Adding this ritual not only gives you a chance to move around, but it also puts you into the mindset of work. Getting ready for work is also psychological, and this aspect of “getting ready” can be lost when you aren’t stuck in rush hour traffic and you’re not starting the day with a morning meeting or greetings from your coworkers. Including an activity to help you get ready for work psychologically can help you to be more productive throughout the day.
Get Up about Once Every Hour
Moving about doesn’t have to mean 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise or spending an hour at the gym. Simply making a point to get up every hour to go to the bathroom, to refill your water bottle, or even to stretch or to do a few lunges is very good for your body. After all, you don’t have to do you 20 or 30 minutes of exercise all at once. Sneak in a few minutes throughout the day, and find ways to walk instead of driving or taking the elevator. Every little bit of movement adds up to keeping your energy levels at their peak throughout the day.
If you can’t get up, such as when you’re in the middle of a meeting or presentation, then desk exercises are a discreet way to move about without interrupting the meeting or presentation. Desk exercises are activities like leg extensions and calf raises, where you hold each leg for 10 seconds before switching. No one would think anything of it because it’s likely nearly everyone wants to stand up and stretch.
Start Small and Work Your Way Up
One of the reasons why incorporating exercise and including more physical activity into your life is difficult is that people start off trying to do too much. Even 30 minutes a week can seem like a lot, so most people don’t end up doing it because getting the exercise becomes overwhelming. Instead, start small. Starting with just 10 minutes a week, or doing something more physical each day. Instead of setting a goal of going to the gym three times a week, which can sound like a lot, start by setting a goal of taking the stairs three times a week, or going for a walk once a week. Once the smaller goal is too easy, then you can work your way up to those larger, more time-consuming goals. By then, those goals aren’t as overwhelming because you’ve already made exercising somewhat of a habit.