Here at Notable.ca, our job does involve a fair share of meetings, events, site visits and field research. Especially as writers and business people, it also involves much time spent sitting in front of our computers, literally not moving for hours. As many young professionals with deadline-heavy jobs will tell you, there is rarely time for an hour-long lunch break or breaks at all on some days. In general, the typical young professional office is not conducive to a healthy and active lifestyle.
We have recently found that this has made us a little lethargic and, frankly, slightly afraid of developing the dreaded “office ass,” especially now that the warmer weather has arrived. We recently discovered the power of a good mid-work break, either to clear our heads and return to our work with a fresh set of eyes, or to recharge and refuel our energy level and get our blood flowing.
For us, nothing – nothing – makes us feel better than a little physical activity. We are always amazed at the power of a good cardio session to transform our energy level, relieve stress and regain our focus. It does, however, seem a common conception among young professionals that an intense heart-pumping evening workout at the gym can counteract 8-10 hours of the day spent sitting in front of a computer screen.
On the first nice day of the season, our team took a walk by the water and we were amazed at how refreshed we felt upon returning back to our desks. So, we decided here at Notable.ca that starting next week, we would try to “healthify” our office to improve our health and physical activity levels.
Here are some things we are going to do, and so can you:
Replace Desk Chairs With Stability Balls
This is not a new concept but we have recently become keen to try this and, as of next week, we will! The stability ball engages key core muscles and improves your posture in the meantime, so that you may look better in that suit or cocktail dress at your next charity event. Alternatives include stand-up desks, adjustable height desks that allow workers to change positions throughout the day, or even the emerging trend of a treadmill desk.
Bring the Gym to the Office
It is possible to target all major muscle groups with 5-pound weights, a stretchy exercise band, a yoga mat and your new office chair stability ball. You can also be resourceful with office furniture. We have done leg extensions on our desk chairs in the past, push ups against the wall and even standing yoga poses while waiting for the elevator. You will be surprised at the difference this little things make in every day life.
Get Rid of the Junk
It is so easy to snack on things like candy, nuts and chips while at your desk. Whether at the movies, at home or out and about, we never snack in any circumstance the way we do at the office. The best solution? Don’t have it around. Get rid of the basket of candy and chocolate leftover from Valentine’s Day or an event. Furthermore, stop making runs to grab bags of chips or candy bars in an attempt for a quick energy boost. We have recently started to purchase salt-free nuts and fat-free popcorn in place of the typical sugary foods that may very well provide a temporary energy boost but will inevitably cause you to crash shortly after. As a team, we have vowed to drink more water and less caffeine. The Brita filter is filled in the fridge in the kitchen and a case of bottle water sits in the office. We have agreed not to make more than two espressos per day on our beloved espresso machine.
Taking breaks is good for your overall mental and physical heath, even if just to take a walk around the office or around the block to get your blood flowing. We have vowed to conquer the sporadic bouts of writer’s block with breaks to refuel our minds and bodies. When you are sitting still for hours at a time, muscle activity essentially stops, which leads to a drastically lowered metabolism and does very little to burn off that unhealthy lunch anytime soon.
Take Advantage of Your Surroundings
One of the number one deterrents of working out and physical activity is lack of convenience and as much as you can tell yourself that “you always have time for the things you put first,” sometimes you don’t. Providing your office is not located on the 30th floor, take the stairs up in the morning or after lunch breaks. If your office is near a gym, yoga studio or park that offers “Boot Camp,” take advantage of these things. If you walk to work, invest in a pair of rocker bottom shoes like the original MBT Footwear, which are recognized by Health Canada as a medical device and have drastically transformed the calves, butts and legs of fellow pedestrian YP friends. Here at the Toronto office of Notable.ca, we have the advantage of being on Toronto’s harbour and have decided that we would all bust out our Rollerblades (we told you yesterday we were bringing back the Rollerblade) and keep them at the office for welcomed breaks in the day for the warmer months ahead.
Stay tuned for our progress in “healthifying” the office…in the meantime, maybe it’s time for you to do the same!