10 Ways to Infuse Movement into Your Busy Workday

“The only bad posture is the one you spend too much time in”

– Dr Andrea Spino

There are so many benefits to moving regularly throughout your day, and posture is just one of them. By moving into different positions throughout your day, you prevent your body from adapting to a sitting position and instead you keep your joints hydrated, and you can even boost your energy levels and improve your focus too.

Finding time to exercise in your week is important, but a lot of the good work you are doing can be undone again if you sit still at a desk all day.

Now, we’re all guilty of this, it is simply the nature of the modern work-from-home corporate professional! But there are simple changes you can make to increase your movement levels in your work day.

These ten pragmatic strategies are designed to seamlessly integrate more movement into your daily routine. Let’s dive in….

1. Take a Lunchtime Stroll

Going for a walk on your lunch break is a simple change you can make that can make a huge difference to your working day. There are so many benefits to this!

Going for a walk can break up your working day, give your mind time to reflect and reprioritise ahead of your afternoon, as well as boosting your activity levels.

I felt so strongly about this I wrote an entire blog post purely on this topic! You can read it here.

2. Zoom Pacing Magic

Back to back virtual meetings can be exhausting at the best of times.

Plus, I’m not a psychologist but relentlessly watching your own face on camera surely is not psychologically healthy for any of us?

Instead, use the opportunity to fit more movement into your day. Toggle your camera off and take a stroll around the room. You can use airpods or headphones to keep talking.

Trust me, your colleagues won’t mind, and your body will thank you!

3. Elevate your Workstation

Consider a standing desk and mix up your stance throughout the day.

Now, I’m actually not the biggest fan of standing desks. So why am I recommending this? Standing all day can reinforce bad postural habits as much as sitting all day.

The key is to make your desk about regular movement. And this is how a standing desk can help!

Vary your position throughout the day – stand for a while, then sit for a while. Use the standing desk to break up your day and avoid prolonged periods of sitting.

4. Remind Yourself to Move

Take advantage of notification settings on your phone or watch to set reminders throughout your day. Each time the reminder goes off can be a prompt for you to change positions.

It’s a simple step and a small nudge that can make a big difference in maintaining your body’s vitality.

5. Location Shuffle

Vary your workspaces at home. Whether it’s the kitchen counter or a cosy nook, changing locations can break the monotony and keep you on your toes—literally!

Plus, you get a double benefit: you change how you are positioned which helps you avoid sitting the same way all day, plus the change of location can often help your mind to refocus by breaking it out of a pattern.

6. Take Mini Movement Breaks

This is a tried and true method that is recommended so widely because it actually works!

It only takes 5 minutes for yourself to change how your body feels. Movement breaks help reset your body, bring your awareness back into your body and re-energise you when you feel you’re in a slump.

There are so many different things you can do – a quick yoga session, some stretches, or your favourite exercises. You could try writing a list of 5 exercises such as squats, push-ups or lunges and do each one for a minute (or 40 seconds on, 20 seconds break) to make up to 5 minutes.

It’s a fantastic way to reset your focus and energise your body.

7. Dance Party Interludes

Who says work can’t be a dance party? Probably lots of us actually…. But if you’re working from home, there’s no reason you can’t make the most of a 5 minute break to boost up your energy.

Turn up the volume, let loose, and have a mini dance break. Bonus points for karaoke too! Did you know that singing is a way to tone your vagus nerve, helping you to destress?

It’s a joyful way to elevate your energy levels and shake off stress. Plus, the physical movement of shaking has also been shown as a way to help you to complete your stress cycle.

(Unsure what I’m talking about? Take a look at my free training where we dive into completing your stress cycle.)

8. Chores and DIY Workouts

Combine productivity with movement by tackling household chores or DIY tasks during breaks. It’s a win-win—accomplishing tasks while keeping the body active.

As someone who is an anti-diet-culture teacher, I do think it is my duty to highlight here that not everything you do needs to contribute toward burning calories.

I know in the past a lot of messaging around weight loss has talked about making the most of relentless opportunities to burn off more food. This is NOT what I’m talking about here.

In fact, I think one of the biggest shifts that has taken place as more and more people have moved to remote work is an integration of work and personal lives that hasn’t before been seen on this scale in history. And there are consequences to that change.

One consequence is that, by working at home, we both increase the amount of chores that are needed (no workplace canteen to wash up our dishes or mugs, and more and more vacuuming needed than ever!) and we can no longer escape the lists of chores that you spot when you’re at home all day.

So, instead of trying to squeeze all your home tasks into your personal hours at the end of the day, when you’re feeling exhausted, optimise your day to make the workload work for you.

Personally, I find between around 2.30pm and 3.30pm I have a natural slump most days (I believe this can be improved through better nutrition, but I’m working on it!)

So for me, that time is ideal to get a few tasks done that get me moving. It boosts my energy, helps me to reflect on my work and allows me to get back to my work with more focus and drive.

9. Invest in a walking pad or stationary bike

Consider an under-desk walking pad or stationary bike to incorporate subtle movement while working.

I don’t believe you need to spend a tonne of money on products to make changes to improve your health. However, if you can afford to do so, and you know you would make use of them, these tools can be a game-changer for maintaining activity levels throughout your day.

10. Swap Your Chair for a Stability Ball

Bring the gym to your workspace by swapping your chair for a stability ball. It engages your core, improves posture, and adds a touch of fitness flair to your day.

Just make sure you don’t cheat! Stability balls won’t make any difference if you spend the day propping the ball up against your desk leg or tucking under your heels – you need the dynamic stabilisation to see any benefits.

Keep it simple

Remember, weaving movement into your daily routine doesn’t have to be complicated. These simple adjustments can lead to a healthier, more balanced lifestyle. Embrace the power of movement, and let’s journey toward a more active and vibrant you!

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