Changing Your Workflow to Improve Your Health

Changing Your Workflow to Improve Your Health

Range Govindan
Aug 17, 2011

You've probably read a post or an article about reasons why sitting all day may be harming your health. That being said, standing desks aren't for everyone, and thankfully there are alternatives to working standing up for hours at a time, working techniques that aren't just about "what" you work on, but "how" you work throughout the day.

1. Adjust Your Daily Work Routine: Depending whether you're in an office or working from home, you'll possibly face hurdles and obstacles preventing you from getting up regularly to aid in circulation. While most employers don't let their employees take off for hours at a time, there are some techniques to incorporate movement throughout the day.

If you work in an office, consider using your breaks to either take half hour walks, jogs, or even short runs to get the blood flowing (interval training would work well). Using your lunch break to get some cardiovascular exercise is probably the easiest opportunity for movement. Do the same with your afternoon break. Those more dedicated could also ditch the car and resort to biking to work everyday to get some much needed exercise. Even taking public transportation usually lends itself to more exercise than commuting, so take the stairs when possible.

If you work from home, there's nothing stopping you from splitting up your work day into chunks, allowing you to insert some kind of physical activity between these blocks of time (even bathroom breaks are opportunities). Even running some errands, like grocery shopping or picking the kids up from school will change your routine enough to make a difference over the long run.

2. Play breaks for health: While video gaming themselves aren't traditionally cited as a health and fitness solution, tapping into the variety of Wii, Kinect and Sony Move titles is an entertaining way to get the blood moving in a short amount of time.

3. Alternative Workstations: A change a scenery can be a good thing, both mentally and physically; it will be a lot better than just sitting in the same spot for 5+ hours a day. Going to the coffee shop with your laptop, going into the bedroom, using a living room workstation, or using a library or bookstore are all alternatives to staying in the same place for hours. Movement by moving around...set a timer on your computer and migrate around the house if you've got a laptop.

4. Exercise While You Sit: Just because you're sitting doesn't mean you can't sneak in some exercise. Many exercises can be done while in a seated position. Changing your chair to an exercise ball may also help (the jury still seems out whether these alternative chairs really strengthen the core, but some swear by it).

5. Use a time management app to remind yourself to get up: There's a wide assortment of apps you could utilize to break up your work days into chunks. Whether you work at home or in an office, just getting up every hour will improve circulation, so use a reminder apps (we like Alarms) and schedule yourself water breaks in hour increments.


(Images: Modis, Flickr member Jspad via CC license, Flickr member Eric Alex Rogers via CC license, click through images for further credits)

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