Exercise … at the office?

By Ryan Schuster

You don’t have to go to the gym or buy a treadmill to exercise. In fact, you don’t even have to leave the office to get moving.

Office cubicle life can get a bit repetitive: Desk, chair, wall, repeat. But lately my office neighborhood has gotten a little more lively thanks to some creative fitness ideas. As I walk down the hallway I will sometimes see one of my co-workers bouncing on an inflatable ball that she sits on while typing. My very tall next door neighbor has also started using a standing desk, which allows me to say hi to him without walking over to his cube door (and see if he is at his desk from across the room). Some employers even have treadmills that employees can walk on while they work (I have a hard enough time not falling off treadmills at the gym, so I think I’ll stick with my chair for now).

I like to take the stairs at work to fit in a little bit of cardio. You can also park farther away from the door so you walk more. If you sit at a desk all day like me, you can take periodic breaks and go for a short walk or just get up and stretch from time to time. I tend to tap my feet softly under my desk when I work (especially on days when I drink a lot of coffee or when I’m listening to music on headphones).

There are many other ways to incorporate physical activity into your busy schedule, from taking a daily walk with your family, going on a bike ride or playing catch with your kids. BCBSND recently launched an effort to increase physical activity among schoolchildren across the state. But recess isn’t just for kids. We believe recess should be for everyone.

What do you think? What does your company do to encourage physical activity? What are some of your tricks for being more active at work and at home?

Ryan Schuster is an editor in the Communications department at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

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