You have good intentions to work out, but you’re a working mom so your morning workout is never guaranteed. Or your afternoon workout. Or your evening workout. I talk about fitting in spurts of activity throughout the day in my post How to Workout When you don’t have Time to Workout, but today we’re going to talk about physical activity at work and in the office.
I work in higher education, and pre-Covid, one of the easiest ways for me to get in activity during the work day was simply walking to meetings around campus. I could easily walk 1 mile round trip just to a single meeting, or to grab lunch. Do that multiple times in a day, and you’re all set! But now that I’m working from home, I go from one meeting to another in 10 seconds via the click of a mouse. It’s so much easier to schedule back-to-back meetings now, and it’s not in favor of our physical or mental health. I’m sure if you work somewhere where all of your meetings are in the same building, or even on the same floor, you have a similar issue.
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My solution is to keep some workout gear at my desk. I have a resistance band and some light weights. If I have a few minutes between meetings, I’ll do a few quick reps just to get my heart pumping and my legs stretched. But I also am lucky enough to have a few audio only conference calls, so if my camera is off and it’s more of a discussion instead of me needing to type or take notes, I will stand up and just do easy, slow, muscle-toning reps that won’t make me go out of breath so I can still participate in the conversation. I know once I’m back in the office, these are things I will still be able to do.
Now let’s talk about posture. Have you gotten yourself a simple standing desk yet? I’ve had this Amazon Basics Laptop Table for years and it’s served me well. I use it all the time, no matter if I’m sitting or standing. If I’m sitting, my posture is so much better because my screen is eye-level and my back and neck aren’t hunched over (not to mention the camera angle is much better for Zoom calls!). I also have a bluetooth keyboard and mouse that fit nicely under the stand to use if I’m sitting down.
To check on my posture throughout the day, I use my smartwatch movement reminder. If I’m in a meeting and not able to get in steps, I’ll make simple body adjustments. Are my feet flat on the floor, am I sitting up straight, are my shoulders down, is my neck and jaw relaxed instead of tense? These are all things you can easily adjust without drawing attention to yourself, and bonus, you’ll look much more attentive in your meeting.
What are other ways you like to stay active at the office?