I’ll admit it—having your own printer is nice.
Nestled right in your office, you’re able to print whatever you want (according to your company protocol, anyway), whenever you want and pull the page hot off the rollers without even having to get out your seat. Enter the multifunction device — (or “copier” for most people) the larger machine capable of printing, faxing, copying, hole-punching, binding, and more. While this sounds like a blessing, only having a few of these in the office means having to get up out of your seat. What a pain! Well, let us take a look at the prolonged effects of the alternative.
The Downside of Sitting on Your Duff
When I was in college, working in a fast-paced bookstore, nothing sounded more appealing to me than having a job where I didn’t have to run around the entire shift. Entering the professional workforce, I went to work for offices that only had maybe one or two copiers, causing me to have to get up and walk across the floor to retrieve whatever it is I printed off. What a pain, right?
Not according to health professionals— especially those who study how detrimental workplaces can be to our physical wellbeing. No, I’m not talking about construction sites, factories, and hazardous material zones, but just your ordinary office life. Cardiovascular diseases are becoming a growing concern, accounting for 34% of all worldwide deaths in women and 28% of deaths in men according to one study. In addition to some harmful behaviors, inactivity is a leading culprit. According to the World Health Organization, 3.2 million deaths can be attributed to a lack of physical activity. How do you go about combating this statistic in the workplace? Just a few changes in your daily habits can make a huge impact.
Quick Physical Movement Tips For The Workplace
When you sit at your desk for hours all day, your muscles can lose some of their elasticity and strength. Make sure to periodically stretch your neck by moving your head in all directions as well as tipping your head from shoulder to shoulder. Also, standing up to reach to the ceiling as well as back down to the floor can help keep things limber.
2. Staying hydrated.
Not only is drinking a healthy portion of water great for your body, trips to refill your hopefully-reusable water bottle, as well as the additional trips to the bathroom, make for great breaks in your day.
3. Take the stairs.
Making a habit to take the stairs instead of the elevator greatly increases your physical activity during the day. While you may be a tad winded on the first couple tries, it will only be a matter of time before you won’t be out of breath by the time you reach your office.
4. Take calls while standing.
When your phone rings, try to make a habit of answering it and immediately standing up. These standing sessions during the day will add up to a lot of great muscle movement and will help knock the monotony out of boring work.
5. Park further out.
Instead of circling the parking lot, looking for the closest spot, purposely park further away. Not only is the walk inside good for your body, but the time and activity will also help you clear your mind and prepare for either the workday or help you wind down once you’ve clocked out.
5. Working from home? Take an afternoon walk.
Though you could easily take a walk around your office setting, doing so may be awkward if its a largely business area. Your neighborhood, however, is likely a prime destination for an afternoon walk. As you feel your eye-lids start to droop around 1:45pm, instead of reaching for another cup of coffee, don your smartphone’s headphones, find some music or a short podcast, and go for a 15-20 minute walk. This is also a great time to take phone calls. You’ll return to your home office refreshed and invigorated—ready to wrap up whatever you need to do before quitting time.
6. Using an office copier over your own desktop device.
Yeah, it sounds odd, but that walk across the office to retrieve printed documents or to fax crucial papers makes for great exercise. What seemed like a pain before is now helping out your physical health. Also, the short walk is a great time to reset your mind in order to prepare to tackle the tasks at hand.