The Corporate Curse of the Sedentary Lifestyle

It’s no big shocker to learn that sitting on your behind all day has a negative impact on your health. You can spot an office worker from a mile off; out of shape, an insipid complexion topped off with a coffee stain down the front and a few crumbs of cake lurking around the mouth area are all common giveaways. In short, office workers tend to be far from a picture of health.

I’m shining the spotlight on the health and fitness of the Inbound team this month because I had a cake-based epiphany yesterday. The endless coffee consumed in the day had been accompanied nicely with a calorie-ridden, nutritionally-void cake. I got home and went upstairs to change into my comfy tracksuit bottoms (incidentally, I wish I could tell my teenage self about the inevitable slippery of slope of comfort over fashion, I’d have been far more outrageous in my style choices). Anyway, as I got changed, I found the remnants of the cake I’d boshed at work in the creases of my trousers… and in my hair. Finding cake in my hair was the final straw; time for a change.

Sedentary work carries a host of associated health complications that will invariably lead to employees needing to take time away from the office to try and rectify the damage caused. From back problems to depression, a healthier lifestyle is the only true deterrent. With this, I present to you a list of October goals to improve my health and fitness. The rest of the team don’t know it yet, but I’m going to need encouragement to kick the cake, so they’re joining me.

The Water Challenge

The NHS recommends drinking roughly 2 litres of water a day and I currently drink a measly small bottle and a half at most during the working day, in fact I have to admit that some days I don’t bother with water at all, preferring to chug down the coffee like there is no tomorrow instead. A good amount of water each day has been proven to increase energy and concentration levels as well as many health benefits. With this in mind, I’m going to do my own small 30 day challenge in October and ensure I’m drinking at least 2 litres of water every day. I’ll be encouraging the team to join me and will buy everyone a brand spanking new water bottle to get us off to the right start.

The Healthy Snack Budget

We’ve played around with a healthy snack budget for a while and amended the shopping list to the point where bananas have now been replaced with biscuits and carrot sticks have been replaced with cake. To combat this, the healthy snack budget will be back with a vengeance in October and to kick this off, I’ll be buying a big office fruit bowl to be filled each week with a range of fruit. A healthy snack budget is a minimal cost to a business but can make a huge impact to productivity and motivation.

Making the Most of a Lunch Hour

In the summer, the majority of office workers make an effort to leave the confines of their desk and head out to enjoy a bit of the mild weather, but in winter the desire to go outside depletes and most stick to eating a sandwich inside whilst browsing the internet for the entirety of their lunch. The importance of a lunch hour goes beyond simply stretching your legs. Research shows that skipping a lunch hour to keep working can cause a loss to a business through decreased productivity, because taking lunch is a form of recharging for us. If we don’t escape the computer screen, we often fizzle out by the mid-afternoon. Encourage your team to take a lunch away from the desk by adding a few incentives to do so. If you have the space, additions such as a dart board, table tennis or a Wii console will go a long way in enticing workers away from the computer and into doing something physical. I bought a Wii years ago, and I can count on one hand how many times it’s been used. I’m bringing it into work and will be challenging people to a game of bowling (the only thing I remember not totally sucking at, don’t even talk to me about golf, that’s advanced in my book).

Lazy Lift Time is Over

Urgh, I hate that I love the lift. I love it because I’m lazy and I love it because I’m vain; it has a big ole’ mirror in it for me to check my hair and makeup when I arrive in the morning. We work on the second floor of the building, I’m a 26 year old able-bodied woman, there is zero reason for me to use that beautifully crafted lift. The lift is out as of October, I can’t do Stoptober because I gave up smoking a few months back. I shall instead be participating in (and creating) Stairtober. Join me as I release myself from the shackles of lift life; we’ll soon realise the joy of climbing I’m sure.

Squat Like Nobody’s Watching

Is there a less attractive word than “squat”? How about when you put the (made up) word “grok” in front of it to create the Grok Squat? It sounds quite disgusting really. However grim the grok squat may sound, it’s actually one of the best exercises you can get away with in work time. A post on the The Art of Manliness describes the grok squat better than I ever could (they also created the rather nifty graphic at the top of the post);

“Simply squat down until your butt touches your ankles. Keep your heels firmly on the ground and back straight. Hold that position for 30 seconds to a minute. For added effect, do the Grok Squat on top of your desk while holding a stapler above your head”.

Excellent. I’ll be sure to do that every day as of October. In the safe haven of an empty meeting room and not on top of a desk with suggested stapler.

I’m off to indulge in a weekend of chocolate, comfy tracksuit bottoms and minimal movement ahead of a water, fruit, stair and squat-filled October. What are you doing to combat the corporate curse of a deskbound team?