Desk based exercises. Can they really help you keep moving?
Earlier this month I had the wonderful opportunity to talk about seated exercise at your desk at my very own webinar with the Institute of Translation and Interpreting.
You see, a few months ago I launched a programme offering 15-minutes of daily exercise that you can do without having to move far from your desk. It is called Daily Energise and this was an great opportunity for me to share it with a wider audience.
I have attended many webinars myself over the last year but this one I was leading for the first time ever. Surprisingly, I didn’t feel too nervous. Was it because I couldn’t see the 94 people that who were watching, or was it because I had prepared myself in such a way that I felt confident I knew what I was talking about? Maybe it was both!
What did we talk about? Well, I started by talking about the scary statistics surrounding the effects being seated for long periods of time. The fact is that physical inactivity is the 4th largest cause of death and disability in the UK. What a number! In fact it is being suggested that sitting is the new smoking!
I am not sure if it that close but it certainly not that far behind. This pandemic has not improved the situation either. It has been so easy to stay seated for a lot longer than you ever would have done before. Your office was your kitchen or study space. Not too far to go to get there! Also, because we had nothing else to do during lockdown many of us worked longer hours than we would do normally do in a week, and even over the weekend, just for something to do.
Are we sitting more than ever before now? I think so. I am guilty of this myself, but I do have a very active job so thankfully unless it is an admin day I am not on my desk for long periods of time.
Just being seated for a long time can lead to 112% increase in diabetes, 147% increase in cardiovascular problems and a 49% increase in mortality. It can also lead to back, neck and leg pain, low mood, sleep issues, premature ageing, blood clots and more. The list seems endless.
I hear you say ‘I walk every day for 90 minutes’ or ‘I go to the gym and walk the dog regularly’ That is all great, it really is and you are doing wonders for your body and overall wellbeing. HOWEVER, unfortunately this does not give you the green light to then sit for 9 hours a day with only the occasional toilet or coffee break. Sadly, those statistics and risks will still apply to you.
So what can you do to prevent all this and keep yourself well?
The answer is still and will always be - MOVEMENT. If you cannot exercise at your desk and you are in back to back meetings here are a few things you can do.
1. Stand up every 30 minutes to realign your spine.
2. If you can walk around when you are on the phone, do so.
3. Stand up in a meeting if it is online and stack boxes up so your laptop can sit on it for eye level contact. If you are in a position to, then a standing desk is definitely a good investment.
4. Have a fit ball that you can sit on. This will keep you constantly moving and not in one fixed position.
5. Use a timer to tell you to stand up every 30 minutes.
The whole point is you keep shifting your body and not keep it in a fixed position for long periods of time. If we can do something to preserve our health better and prevent any health issues, shouldn’t we be doing it?
Does this resonate with you? If you need more of a helping hand, then my Daily Energise desk based exercise programme can definitely help. It will give you the inspiration and motivation to make movement a part of your working day.
Please do get in touch. I am happy to have a chat with you and see how I can help. To find out more contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07846 597460.