Did you know that because we are descended from nomads, the human body is really designed to walk 10 km a day. Less physical activity than that is actually harmful.
Spending a day sitting in your car, at your desk, in your car and on the couch in front of the TV is as unhealthy as smoking a pack of cigarettes. No kidding!
Most of us today have jobs that are high on brain activity and low on physical activity – not good. A body is more than “that thing, that carries my head from one meeting to the next,” and the state of your body is vital for your physical well-being and for your creativity and energy.
So today, do what you would normally do – but move your body while you do it. Walk around a little while talking on the phone. Have a stand-up meeting. Sit as little as possible. Walk over to talk to colleagues, instead of emailing or phoning. Basically use every chance you get to activate your body.
Notice how it feels and how this may actually make you less tired both mentally and physically than sitting passively in your chair all day.
The Chief Happiness Officer’s monday tips are simple, easy, fun things you can do to make yourself and others happy at work and get the work-week off to a great start. Something everyone can do in five minutes, tops. When you try it, write a comment here to tell me how it went.
12 thoughts on “Monday Tip: Move”
I have a four hour commute on a cramped commuter train (with pretty poorly designed seats), I work an average eight hour day, seated on a Hermann-Miller chair, and have an hour lunch, again seated.
I used to run everyday, before I started commuting, and your post rings very true – I’ve needed to wear knee supports as a result of inactivity and am looking forward to stopping commuting!
Do you have any sources that back up these comments?
A four hour commute – that’s wild!
I have one link here that backs up my claims:
I should have said ‘four hour daily commute’, but it’s still pretty bad, although people obviously have it worse, with longer overtime, etc.
I don’t find those figures at all surprising, disappointingly. Though, I can’t wait to get back to a morning jog, nonetheless
Thanks for your positive, motivating site. Thanks for your efforts and thanks for remaining positive and avoiding cynicism.
Boy, do I ever need to start moving! Through too little exercise and too much stress eating I’ve got to the stage when my excess weight is hampering my concentration at work. Exercise seems to be a necessity in maintaining not just good physical but also proper mental balance.
That’s the best thing about my job right now. I work downtown so I walk about 10 minutes to and from my car in the morning and evening, take 2-15 minute breaks, and walk downtown for lunch (30 minute round trip).
I have gotten so much out of it: mental clarity, good breaks in the day, energy boosts. It also helps me to make it through an otherwise unchallenging day. Although, I’m working on that too ;-)
Dan: 4 hrs/day is still bad :o) A morning jog is probably nicer!
Aamer: There you have it. When we stop using our bodies, they slowly deteriorate. And thanks for the kind words!
Nneka: Excellent! That’s pretty much my situation, though I ride my bicycle to work like 30% of all Copenhageners.
Very good point– it often strikes me how since I’ve stopped doing personal training (as the trainer) and started doing business training (as the trainer, again) I’m almost completely sedentary.
An average brisk walk is about 3km/h. So we’re looking at, ideally, a good 4.5 hours per day, correct? That’ll be a challenge.
Might it be viable to set up my laptop and phone so I can work on the treadmill for portions of the day?
3 kmh is too fast to type, though. So bring the speed down to say 2 kmh, and we’re on the treadmill for 5 hours.
Whew. Not very practical. Just pondering aloud….
Jeff: It doesn’t need to be 10km walking, just an equivalent physical load over the day.
Though one guy did in fact construct a treadmill desk:
As often as the weather permits it, I ride my bike for the 15km commute. When it rains in the morning, I take my car but park a good 20 minutes walk away from the office. I use my lunchtime for doing half hour of 6km/h walk.
But at the office, I find it really hard to not be sitting for lenghty amounts of time. I’ll surely try your tricks or walking to other people (we are on many floors!) rather than e-mailing, and standing through meetings.
Anything to move a bit more.
A treadmill desk??!! OMGoodness. I hope he has spell check…
I have a job that I need to quit, so not only is it nearly unbearable to be there (another story), but I have to sit at a desk most of the day. I have no buddies to walk over and talk with. I have assigned parking close to the building. So I constantly move a little bit when sitting at my desk (I have my own office thank goodness). Even just moving your ankles around or stretching your arms and back, sucking in your gut, etc. every half hour would be better than just sitting there. When it is dark it is not safe to walk where I work and live. Therefore daytime walks outside of the office, or even up and down the stairs and hallways when it’s freezing outside is all I can do. Even just doing that helps keep me sane and flexible for a few more hours. Today I am already up and around more and it’s still early. Thanks for the reminder!
I couldn’t find the article above – here is another, with citations: