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8 Great Moves to Stay Active at Your Work Desk

Being at work is a necessary part of most of our daily routines so it's important to factor this in when we consider your daily fitness goals. As a personal trainer I spend a lot of time in the gym but as a business owner I spend just as much time at my desk. I understand the effects on the body in relation being sedentary for long periods of time at work, for example sitting at a desk in an office environment.

Some negative physical effects relating to sedentary office work are;

Reduction of mobility in lower back, hip-flexors, knees and/or ankles from sitting for long periods of time. This may cause postural imbalances leading to weakness of muscle fibers.

Read on for 8 tips on how to become more active at work to support your health and fitness goals:

1. Adjust your route to work - If you sit for most of your commute to work either in the car or public transport try parking a little further away or getting off a stop earlier. This is a good start towards becoming more active from the very start of your workday. Already do a lot of walking, try cycling!

2. Standing desk - Standing vs sitting can promote blood circulation, which can increase energy levels increasing productivity levels. Adjusting your office chair sitting position can also be beneficial to promoting a neutral position in your spine, which can reduce the risk of muscle soreness and/or joint mobility reduction.

3. Take regular breaks - We all get lunch breaks, but making a habit to move every hour or so can increase joint mobility and reduce stress on the muscles. Try setting an alarm for every couple of hours to remind you to move.

4. Stay hydrated - Keep a glass of water on your desk but leave the bottle in the fridge. Every time you finish a glass you now have an excuse to leave your desk, just for a moment to refill. This way you'll get to stretch your legs and stay hydrated. NHS recommended intake work healthy adults is between 1.2 -2 liters per day.

5. Take the stairs - Challenge yourself! Start with maybe getting off the elevator a floor early to walk the last flight. As you become fitter you can increase how many floors you climb and how many times per day you climb that stair case.

6. Go out for lunch - Staying at your desk during lunch can be distracting and you may be tempted to keep working. Even though you may be busy you can increase productivity by taking a break from your current environment and getting some well deserved fresh air.

7. Lunch time fitness - Whether you're into group exercises classes or prefer to train alone, exercising at lunch time can not only boost productivity in the workplace upon your return but you'll be boosting your metabolism too. Why not gather some of your colleagues and start a running club!

8. Get enough sleep at night - Being well rested can increase energy levels at work improving concentration and efficiency. You'll be able to implement all of the suggestions above if you wake up feeling well rested. NHS recommends between 7-9 hrs of sleep for a healthy adult. Try tracking your sleep to see if you can improve your energy levels.

With consistent effort you can make habitual behavior changes which can lead towards improve your overall health and fitness throughout your work day.

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