Nothing brings you back to reality than Monday traffic and your first day back at work or school. The holidays are done and dusted.
I’m actually OK with going back to work. The cynical among you might think that’s because in less than three weeks until I’m off to Florida and then Dallas with Ben. You would be right. But remember, I then have a long year ahead of me!
Just before Christmas, when very few people were working, I experimented with my desk at work by putting an Amazon box underneath my laptop to give me a standing desk. When I work from home this is standard practice for me. Sitting down all day long is not healthy, even if you’re active (here’s a depressing read on The Guardian if you want to read more).
I wear a Vivofit to monitor my steps and always ensure I’m over 10,000 a day – usually 12,000 is my average. I give Alfie a 30-40 minute walk in the morning sacrificing a bit of sleep time for some peaceful morning walking listening to a podcast or just music. It’s very refreshing and gets me ready for the day, not to mention by the time I get to work I’m on 5,000 steps already. I try to walk a lot during work (lots of drinks and subsequent loo visits help with that) and make sure I go for a 20 minute walk at lunch time. But I still sit from 8am commuting an hour, then 9am until 5pm working, then another hour commute home. Then watching TV or chilling on the sofa at home. That’s over 10 hours of sitting every week day. You can’t deny how unhealthy that sounds.
So I made a change. I made myself a standing desk in the office. There were few people in the office at the time and it was only one day before we went off for Christmas. But I vowed to myself to continue when I got back. On Monday the office was full, I set myself up and started work. I won’t lie, I felt extremely embarrassed stood there with my make-shift desk with everyone else sat down around me. People obviously started to notice. When they asked me what I was doing I explained my reasoning. And you know what? They got it. OK they’re not all creating their own standing desks but they understand why I want to do it and no one thought I was stupid or laughed at me (actually they know what I’m like so it probably came as no surprise).
I now stand at my desk from 9am until lunch when I go out for a walk, then I sit down for an hour to eat (which is so lovely by the way – it’s nice to appreciate being sat down!) and then stand again until 5pm. Originally I was aiming for 4pm but it’s actually not too tough. I take little ‘breathing’ breaks every now and again where I sit down, have a look at my phone then stand up again. The hardest part is not letting myself slouch when I stand.
The benefits? I feel more alert at work. More focused. My posture is so much better. My legs feel loose rather than stiff. In fact my whole body feels better. I enjoy my commute more 😉
My point is, my health is number one priority to me. Work takes up a very large part of my life and I’m conscious that just because I’m at work it doesn’t mean I can’t also look after my health too. Who knows if this is why I’m always injured? This is something I’m doing for me regardless of what people might think. I’m lucky my work is quite casual in this respect as I can understand in certain offices this might not be allowed. But as I can, why shouldn’t I?
Have you ever made a change to your life for health reasons? OK this isn’t a huge change in the great scheme of things but it does improve my health in the long term!
Do you sit a lot during the day? At the weekend I’m always on my feet but in the week it’s so different (or at least it used to be).