Little Steps towards Total Workplace Fitness

Little Steps towards Total Workplace Fitness
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

Throughout the program, Lark DPP has been telling you about the benefits of physical activity for lowering diabetes risk. The goal is to get in at least 150 minutes per week to improve insulin sensitivity and support weight loss

Lack of time is a common barrier to hitting that goal, and recent Lark check-ins have been about finding ways to get more. Work often gets in the way, especially if you have a desk job that leaves you sitting for hours without extra time to work out before or after work. Still, with some creativity, you may be able to use your work time as healthy activity time.

Open Your Workspace

It will be easier to get a bit of activity in your workspace if you have some space to do so. Clear away unnecessary clutter on the floor so you have room to do lunges, squats, and toe touches whenever you can. If you can, clear enough space so you can pace your office whenever you are on the phone, and, if using a landline, be sure to use a cordless phone or get a phone with a long cord so you can pace freely.

Invest in Smart Equipment

Regardless of how small your workspace is, you can probably fit in some smart exercise equipment. Without needing a special desk or extra space, you can get in as much cardio as you want with a fitness pedaler as inexpensive as $20 for a basic model, or up to $50 for one with more advanced functions.

For resistance training, you can lift light dumbbells while on the phone. Resistance, or stretch, bands, have additional benefits. They take up less space when storing them, so you can purchase and store a set with a variety of different thicknesses (resistance levels). Plus, unlike with dumbbells which require you to have one or both hands free, you can use resistance bands hands-free to strengthen your calves, hips, inner thighs, hamstrings, and quadriceps.

Office Furniture for Fitness

If you have the space and freedom in your office at home or in a workplace, you might want to know about certain pieces of furniture that can help you get fit. A ball chair, for example, lets you strengthen your core and improve posture while you type at your desk. A standing desk can be set up with a treadmill so you can walk while you type or surf the net, or you can get a treadmill desk that comes ready-to-use. A laptop holder designed for treadmills and other exercise machines is an inexpensive and versatile investment. 

Make It Official

The majority of employers report that employee wellness is important to them, and most employers offer some sort of workplace wellness program. There is a good chance, if your worksite does not already have a walking group or other scheduled group fitness opportunities, that your employer would be open to supporting or sponsoring such programs.

There is no doubt that work can take up a good amount of your time and energy, but you can make a few changes to be able to get fit at work. With a bit of reorganization, some smart purchases, and/or some support from your boss, you may find it easier than you thought to hit those 150 minutes per week.