5 reasons to make physical activity part of your work dayApril 28, 2017
It is estimated, on average, the majority of us will spend 90,000 hours at work during our lifetime.
For many, this equals hours of sitting behind a computer, at desks, in meetings and during the commute.
The Public Health Agency of Canada tells us that “people who are physically active live longer, healthier lives. Active people are more productive, and more likely to avoid illness and injury.”
With that in mind, more and more workplaces are starting to adopt policies that encourage their employees to take a break during the day, so that they can incorporate some form of physical activity into their schedules. And employees are heeding to this advice.
While the benefits are countless, here are our top five reasons why physical activity should become a regular part of our work week:
1. CONSEQUENCES OF A SEDENTARY LIFE
According to Statistics Canada, the average person spends 9.5 hours in a sedentary position during the day. This accounts for almost 70% of our waking hours!
In addition to being sedentary at work, this also accounts for the hours we spend at home watching TV or on our computers.
Chronic inactivity is a proven risk factor in developing obesity and other serious illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.
2. IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology states that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week is all that is needed for adults to reap the health benefits.
These benefits include reducing the risk of:
- premature death;
- high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke;
- certain types of cancer;
- type 2 diabetes;
- osteoporosis; and
- excessive weight gain and obesity.
Regular physical activity can also lead to improved mental health such as confidence and self-esteem.
By committing to only 2.5 hours of exercise per week, we can drastically change the course of our health. All we have to do is swap out a few hours of computer time or Netflix for a few more walks around the block. And let’s face it: binge watching our favourite shows at the end of the day is only fun when we know we’ve earned it!
3. NO GYM, NO PROBLEM
While more and more workplaces are providing standing desks and workout equipment at the office, we don’t always need fancy equipment to get in our 150 minutes.
A few of our favourite workday activities are:
- When weather permits, head outside on your lunch break for a brisk walk or jog
- Get out of the boardroom and make your next meeting a walking meeting
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
4. PHYSICAL ACTIVITY = INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
Several studies show a link between the level of physical activity we get and our level of mental fatigue. After sitting for eight hours straight, it’s no wonder all the numbers and words on our screen start blending together.
From improved concentration to reducing stress, a mid-day workout can act as a “reset button” towards productivity and performance.
5. LOVE THY COWORKERS
So much of the time we spend at work is spent nurturing relationships, building up connections and fostering collaboration with other colleagues.
With a fast-paced and pressure-filled work environment, what better way to unwind and bond with a group of coworkers than to engage in a (friendly!) battle in the gym or a muscle-burning power-walk around the block?
We never know what we’ll learn about the coworker who we thought was super shy but who just beasted the staff workout class…and let the rest of the group hear about it a bit too!
It’s amazing to think that just 2.5 hours of simple physical activities later, we can all be healthier and more productive members of society. So kick off those heels, put on those runners, and get active in the workplace!
EMPOWER YOUR EMPLOYEES TODAY!
Want to get your team away from the office for some physical activity and fun? Fortius offers unique Corporate Wellness packages that combine group fitness activities, educational seminars and catered meals in a setting that will foster team building and knowledge sharing. Our integrated team of sports science practitioners and medical professionals will work to customize a package unique to your groups’ needs.
Visit our website to learn more about our offerings and to get started on planning your team’s corporate wellness.