Physical Movement for Health at Work

About a year ago a friend received a promotion at his work. He went from a ‘hands-on’ Supervisor and trainer “on the floor” which entailed fairly physically-intensive work to an administration role that entailed a huge amount of paperwork and a majority of his time spent in a chair behind a desk.

Being always so active at work my friend kept a lean body frame, ate a nourishing meal during his break, and always had plenty of energy to join in full-on activities on a weekend.

That all changed within about four months of his promotion.

My friend was no longer physically active at work.

He not only ate his nourishing meals during his breaks, he also took to snacks and soft drinks while staring at a computer screen.

He began piling on the weight, and it wasn’t distributed over his usually lean frame, it all settled on his chest, stomach and waist.

Suddenly he was more exhausted after a day’s work sitting than when he was out working machinery and supervising on the floor. He no longer had energy to do things with his family and friends, so home life and social gatherings became a routine of watching TV and eating.

As his general health and outlook took a plunge he also became more prone to colds and sickness that went through the office.

Physical Movement for HealthNow, a promotion is an excellent thing. Don’t most people desire recognition for their efforts and achievements? Isn’t it good to know at the end of the day you contributed somehow and the company recognized that? Doesn’t that bit extra in your pay packet help out at home? Doesn’t it feel good to tell your friends and family that you received a promotion?

And being promoted or advancing in our jobs needn’t have a detrimental affect on our health.

If your job doesn’t require much physical movement, then incorporate simple things like:

  • walking to and from the train station rather than driving
  • going for a walk during your lunch break
  • getting out your seat to file each document as you finish with it rather than building up a pile of files and then walking to the filing cabinet
  • getting up and opening the door for people who come into your office rather than sitting in your chair and telling them to enter (if your door is always open, even standing up as people enter will work)
  • walking to the next department to deliver a spoken message rather than getting on the phone
  • doing some general stretching exercises throughout the day

You can also supplement a light physical work existence with a slightly more physical outside of work existence:

  • wake up that little bit earlier and go for a walk
  • join a club and swim, walk, run, play volley-ball, tennis, squash, row, cycle, learn martial arts, do aqua aerobics, yoga, dance, etc.
  • park at the end of the shopping centre carpark and walk that little extra
  • opt for fun activities with friends, eg. climb a mountain (I’m not suggesting Everest!), walk through a National Park, walk through some markets, cycle tour, go sand-boarding, snow-boarding, learn to surf, etc.

Just a little exercise goes a long way to a happier, healthier, and more energetic you! After all, don’t you want the energy to enjoy that new promotion?

About the Author

Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

Comments (1)

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  1. I can relate to this story. Working an office job has it perks – morning teas, lunches all seem to be part of the conviviality of working in teams. However, one day you soon realise that there are a few extres kilos, it is harder to walk, breathing is a problem, and frustration kicks in. It costs more for clothing – bigger sizes, and so it goes. Being self employed changes the focus – no longer is there the protection of your regular job. Being self employed means there is a greater need to maintain your asset – in some case it is you, particularly if you are the only person in your business. Maintaining good physical and psychological well being is essentially. I dropped 28 kilos in 3 years, by going to training 3 days a week, taking part in fun runs eg. Bridge to Brisbane, IWD Fun Run, changed what I eat and how much I eat. Hardest part of doing all that was making the decision to do something. The best part is going to training and seeing people 25 years junior to me struggling (and some of them look fit). It doesn’t what your age is – start small and build up. It is a great feeling being able to do even simple things without huffing and puffing and feeling like everyone is watching and wondering when you are to fall over. Life is too short to miss the good things.

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