A little over a week ago I had the opportunity to do an awesome seminar on health and Pilates in the office for a branding company here in LA. I was excited and intrigued by the challenge of how to get people to move more at work and it was a great success.

As many of you know, working in an office today takes quite a toll on the body. I have been fortunate that for most of my life beyond high school, I have escaped the sitting-for-hours world. I did take a job a few years back in an office for a short period of time and couldn’t believe how achy and tired I felt at the end of each day – and I was running around a lot of the time and never even at the job for more than six hours at a time! I can only imagine what you nine-to-fivers must deal with daily!

When my husband, Karl, had a surf accident last summer and injured his lower back, he had a very hard time sitting in his chair at the office anymore. He then began working while standing, moving around, and immediately his back began feeling better. Though the accident was incredibly unfortunate, it did lead him to take better care of his body at the office.

We aren’t meant to sit down all day long. Here is an excellent article Karl recently sent to me which will give you some stats on people who move in the office versus people who do not, as well as tips on staying active at work. It’s worth the quick read:

Sitting Is Bad for You: What Can You Do About it at Work?

So, as inspired by my recent seminar, here are a couple easy things to do beyond what is mentioned in the article above to take care of your body at work*:

  • HYDRATE ALL DAY LONG – So easy to forget to drink water. For more information about, the importance of drinking water all day long, check out info and tips on my previous blog:  And if you still won’t drink water, try doing half water and half coconut water which has so many great health benefits; Super hydrating, coconut water is great for your hair and skin, low in sugar, filled with electrolytes, just to name a few.
  • DON’T SUCCOMB TO THE 4 O’CLOCK CRASH – Avoid that really-tired-I- desperately-need-sugar-NOW feeling that kicks in around “tea time” by choosing natural sugars such as fruit, and adding a little protein, such as a nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut…) so as to not spike your blood sugar. How about crackers and cheese or veggies and hummus?  Yogurt with granola or a natural protein bar (for ideas on the best protein bars, check out my recent post,  Finding the Perfect Protein Bar) These snacks are great for everyone in the afternoon, whether you are in an office or not!
  • CHOSE TEA OVER COFFEE – Go for tea over coffee to stay alert and avoid the crash later (or even worse, end up hyped up on caffeine until 3 am). Green tea is an excellent option and recently discovered there are so many great ones out there such as Kukicha, Genmaicha, Hojicha – all with so many health benefits and less caffeine and acidity. (More info on tea and the benefits on my previous post, Sipping Tea for Japan). Or how about a Kombucha? It is my favorite afternoon pick-me-up with so many health benefits! Try the GT’s Synergy brand, it’s the best! Or how about iced tea? There are so many flavors to choose from so you have plenty of coffee alternatives.
  • TAKE YOUR BREAK OUTSIDE IN THE FRESH AIR – Why not have a pair of walking shoes under your desk to put on for your break and take a nice walk outside in the fresh air? Being cooped up all day isn’t so great for the body but not so great for the mind either. Give yourself a chance to step away from the stress and breathe some nice clean air.
  • TRY A MEDICINE BALL FOR YOUR CHAIR – I recently began sitting on mine at the breakfast table where I eat and write emails, blog posts, etc….and I LOVE it! It is a wonderful break for your back and won’t break the bank. You can find them at your local sports store and these days a lot of the discount stores carry them, too! (TJ Maxx, Ross, Marshalls, etc…) Or if that just really turns you off and you are willing to invest more, these days they make office chairs that are meant to be more supportive for your back. Karl has one from Herman Miller that he absolutely loves! Maybe you can even get our company to pay for it!
  • TAKE THAT PHONE OFF YOUR EAR! – Chances are you have been hearing this for years but it’s an important one! I get so many clients who come in with one shoulder much higher than the other due to the hours of balancing or holding the phone up to one ear. Choose the speakerphone if it’s available to you, get some earphones or one of those fabulous Britney Spears headsets and get that thing away from your ear! Aside from how it affects your back, neck and shoulders, who knows just what the effects will be on your brain? Cell phones are still such a new technology that we really have no idea what it will do to us in the long run so better to be safe than sorry.
  • TAKE STAIRS AND WALK MORE AT WORK –  Stop using the elevator, especially if it’s your only opportunity for exercise that day. Park a little farther to get a little extra walk. Ride your bike. Walk a little further for lunch. Take stairs to your meetings when out and about. Just take advantage of every opportunity to move more.
  • TAKE A LITTLE TIME TO LAUGH AT WORK – Life gets too serious, especially at the office!  At my husband’s company, they have a 4 o’clock dance party everyday to keep everyone’s spirits up and to keep the afternoon from dragging. They also have a ping pong table for the same purpose. Give yourself the chance to relieve a little stress with laughter and a good chat with a co-worker for a couple of minutes every day. It will help keep things in perspective.

* If you are interested in learning the Pilates exercises that can be done while at the office, feel free to contact me for more info:

Lana@HousePilates.com

www.HousePilates.com

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