SI: Taking Care of Business and Working [Out] Overtime
September 30th, 2014 by
Rates of obesity are plateauing, healthy eating is up, and work fitness programs are on the rise. Fitness isn’t a fad or a trend, it’s a lifestyle change that a large part of the country is starting to value. But is your regular exercise regimen enough if you spend eight or more hours sitting per day? According to Time Magazine’s review of 43 studies on sitting, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your likelihood of getting cancer, along with a slue of other health problems.
With this in mind, some influencers have taken advantage of our company’s team spirit and new downtown location’s extra office space to incorporated some office fitness into their daily routines. Here are a few ways you can incorporate a little more movement and little less sitting into your daily work flow.
Trek to Work:
Your trek to and from work can be a great time to squeeze in some cardio. Biking or walking to work can help energize you in the morning and give you a boost of endorphins after a long day at work. Exercise before work can also help your memory and recollection, according to the New York Times.
“Biking every morning is a really great way to start and end the day! It wakes me up and keeps me energized throughout the day, while also saving parking money! It’s a quick and easy way to get some exercise in a busy 9-5 schedule.” – Sabrina Mohsenin
“Moving downtown made it worth the ride for me. From my house, after dropping my 12 year-old, it’s a little less than 5 miles. On my ambitious days I’ll extend it and go out and around city park which is 15 miles or more. Everybody was excited when we moved that we had a gym in the building. I’ve never used the gym, but I use the locker room shower plenty!” – Will Scott.
Live too far from your office to walk or ride your bike? Parking at the edge of the parking lot or choosing a parking garage a few blocks from work can help add valuable steps to your pedometer and get your heart pumping.
Climb the Stairs:
Incorporating some cardio into your day can help you shake off pent up energy and increase concentration. Try ditching the elevator and taking the stairs.
Not willing to climb the stairs with your purse, lunch box and computer in hand during your morning and evening commute? Try Chris Dopper’s ‘Crush the Stairs and Kill Some Calories’ challenge.
“After reading the article ‘The War on Sitting’ on Time.com, I realized we are sitting WAY too much. Every place you go, there is an invitation to sit down; in the car, on the subway, at work, at home. Therefore I set up ‘Crush the Stairs and Kill Some Calories’ and invited the whole company to join me in walking up the stairs three times a week. We are located on the thirteenth floor, so we walk up 13 flights of stairs and each week we add one floor. Around 10% of my colleagues accepted this ‘challenge’. Out of breath, but satisfied, we give each other an awkward high five on top of the stairs. According to Business Insider, your brain shows more activity after exercise, so working on the physical also does wonders for the mental. What’s not to like!?” – Chris Dopper
Build a Standing Desk:
Standing is one of the more obvious solutions to sitting too much at work. While that may seem unrealistic or like an expensive investment in office furniture, there are simple ways to build a standing desk with items you can find around the office. Make sure your monitors are high enough so that you don’t need to crane your head down. Also, make sure your keyboard is high enough to keep your arms at a 90 degree angle.
“Standing instead of sitting for 3 hours a day at your desk for a year is the equivalent (in calories burned) to running 10 marathons! My posture has been better and I’m using my abs and back more. My core area has been sore, because I’m using it so much more now and was probably not using it at all before.” – Cory Badeaux
Sit on an Exercise Ball:
Using an exercise ball as a chair in increments throughout the work day can help with core stabilization and posture.
“Since I’ve started using my exercise ball at work, I’ve noticed a big improvement in my posture. I’m standing straighter and have noticed that I have a lot less tension in my shoulders and back!” – Erika Karas
As general rule of thumb, people under 5’3” should use a ball that is 55 cm in diameter. If you are between 5’3” and 6’ try a 65 cm ball. If you’re taller than 6’, you should use a ball that is 75 cm. You can also measure the height of your chair and go from there. Try to maintain a 90 degree angle at your elbow with your arms slightly extended towards your keypad. For more info on how to use the exercise ball, check out this article.
Not ready to commit to a full exercise ball? Some influencers have started using the discball to help their balance and posture while sitting in an office chair. The discball provides many of the same benefits of the full exercise ball without the bulk.
“Sitting on the discball has really helped me maintain my posture throughout the day.” – Andrea Hernandez
Participate in Group Exercise:
Utilizing your support system at work is a great way to keep yourself accountable for your fitness goals. Participating in scheduled and structured exercise with your colleagues after work can keep you motivated to attend and to push yourself. Taking part in running clubs, yoga classes or other exercise groups that meet at the end of the work day is a fun way to be both social and active.
Influencers have been attending Happy’s Running Club on Wednesday after work for a leisurely jog through downtown New Orleans and 2-for-1 beers to hydrate after.
“Anyone who runs knows the running community is one of the most welcoming and supportive groups. A few years back we started the SI Running Club to help everyone train for some of the big races around NOLA. At the time, our office was Uptown and the team ran from Oak to Audubon and back to finish at Carrollton Station for a beer. Even though many of the members in the running club were more walkers than runners, I noticed something on that first run. I saw so many of our runners (daily runners, race runners, half and full runners) running with the slower ones to help encourage them and push them to the finish. For those five miles we weren’t Account Managers, or Developers, or Production members but a true team. This is still by far my favorite team building exercise yet! Even with the move downtown, the running group still goes on, but now we meet at Happy’s Running Club on Wednesdays. I’m still working on getting the team to run from the new office to the old office for old times sake!” – Gabrielle
Play Team Sports:
Team sports are another fun way to get some exercise while building camaraderie with your colleagues. This summer Search Influence participated in the New Orleans Dodge Association’s League. The team worked together by combining their strengths and strategy to win the championship.
“As much as the culture in New Orleans dictates great happy hours with your co-workers, breaking a sweat playing a team sport can be even more beneficial for your relationships and certainly better for your health. Dodgeball has been exactly that for the team at SI. It’s a great change of pace and good opportunity to see your coworkers in a new light.” – Scott Holstein
Great article! Glad to see Search Influence as a Bike Easy member these days. Awesome to find local companies that support the cause by encouraging employees to bike to work!