Get More ‘Steps’ In Your Day This Steptember
Written by Occupational Health Physiotherapist Kym Siddons.
Spring is here and there’s no better time to dust off your walking shoes and increase your daily activity!
Plus, if you register for ‘Steptember’ and aim for 10,000 steps each day of the month from 4th September, you’ll be raising money to support children with cerebral palsy.
After all, it is recommended adults take at least 10,000 steps per day to maintain good health… and the average office worker only manages about 3000.
I’d love to have more time to exercise, you say, but I’m just so busy! Well, I’ve got some good news for you!
Recent research has shown that just 2 minutes of movement, every half hour while you’re sitting, is the best way to boost your metabolism to reduce your risk of chronic disease from sitting.
So, if you commit to moving your body for just 2 minutes regularly throughout your working day, you can drastically improve your health.
Is that a good enough reason to get moving?
It doesn’t have to be limited to walking. Every bit of body movement counts as ‘steps’ towards better health. Plus, you don’t have to set aside a half an hour block for exercise every day (though that’s still fantastic, if you can make the time).
Simply scheduling in a quick couple of minutes here and there will help to get your body moving and your step count!
Here are a couple of ideas for moving more at work:
Engage a colleague or your team to join in the challenge to increase your steps. It’s amazing how a bit of ‘healthy competition’ will motivate you!
Stand up from your desk every half hour and do some calf raises, up and down onto your toes. Aim to do more repetitions each time. Stretch your calves out in-between.
Every time you go to sit down, do some extra ‘chair squats’ first. Position yourself so the backs of your knees are just in front of your chair with feet hip width apart. Bend your hips and knees while aiming your buttocks towards the back of the chair but don’t quite sit down. Go as far as you can comfortably go, then come up again. Repeat 5-10 times.
Arrange walking meetings or meeting around standing stations, so you can move rather than sit still.
Make use of standing stations or sit-stand desks. Aim to stand for about 15 minutes (or as long as is comfortable for you) every hour or so. You’ll be surprised just how much more your step count increases when you’re standing, even if you’re keyboarding.
Try to avoid sending in-house emails. Instead go for a walk and visit the staff member to directly interact.
Be strict with yourself about taking a break from your desk for lunch- even if it’s a quick one! Getting up, and outside if you can, is not only a great way to get more walking into your day, but reaps a multitude of benefits for your productivity and mental health.
Most of us know we should take the stairs rather than the lift where possible. Why not challenge yourself this ‘Steptember’ to really try and develop the healthy habit of ‘stair climbing’