Ahh wouldn’t it be nice to be a professional athlete where it’s your job to keep fit and healthy? The high end ones having access to round the clock coaches, physios, masseurs, lucrative sponsorship deals, nutritional advice, high quality training camps…well, I could go on.
The reality though is that most of us have regular 9-5 jobs (give or take a few hours before all you teachers start harassing me for underplaying the sheer number of hours you do…;-)). Fitness for most of us has to play second fiddle. We have to get up ridiculously early to squeeze in gym time or a workout, or wait until we finish and go in the evening. I know for me it’s a juggling act and I don’t even have kids to worry about!
In fact research shows that 80% of adults in the UK don’t exercise enough. It’s a sad but not entirely surprising statistic in this day and age. Those who do run or try and keep fit are the minority. Gym memberships get wasted, running shoes get dusty and general day-to-day life can really just make you forget or not want to get a sweat on.
What’s clear for me though is that the more I exercise, the better I feel. Yes it sucks when my alarm goes off at 5am but once I’m up and out there I feel fantastic, and afterwards you can’t help but feel euphoric, strong and a little smug.
But not everyone is a morning person or has the motivation to work out after work. Personally I really have to motivate myself in a big way to run after work. And there’s no way I’d go to the gym. I just don’t fancy it and have probably found a million excuses why not to go that evening.
So when can you squeeze it in then? I’m lucky that in my office we have a shower and a gym (albeit a very tiny one). So if I fancy a quick strength session or a run I know I can without having to worry about ponging the office out.
I do think it’s important to incorporate fitness or at least some movement into your day. Most of us are at work for 8-9 hours at least which is basically the significant portion of your daily life really (as sad as that is!)
And another study showed that people who sat for the longest during the day had a 112% increased risk of getting diabetes, a 147% risk in experiencing cardiovascular events and a 49% increased risk in death from any cause compared to those who sat the least. This bolsters my argument for why I have a standing desk.
And why I take regular walking breaks to get a drink or go to the bathroom (the perfect cycle of events really…) to make sure I hit over 12,000 steps for non-running days. I love my Vivofit for highlighting with the Dreaded Red Line when I need to walk a bit more.
SimplyHealth has once again provided some great tips on keeping fit in the workplace by outlining some incentives and initiatives for encouraging a businesses’ employees to have a more active lifestyle. I would argue that it is in an employer’s best interest that they keep their employees healthy and fit. Not only does this provide a good environment to work in but it’s likely people will be more productive and take less sick days. Anything an employer can do to encourage its employees to being fit is a big win in my eyes. I just hope more companies take the initiative to do things like cycle to work schemes, standing desks, organised exercise, etc.
Well, we can hope!
How do you keep healthy and fit at work?
Does your company do anything to encourage you to be healthy?
**Full Disclosure: Simplyhealth asked me to write an article regarding how to promote fitness at work with links to their website. The links are not affiliated but I will receive a related gift in return.**