May is Global Employee Health and Fitness Month (GEHFM), an international initiative that prioritizes health and fitness in the workplace. If you are looking for simple ways to be more active and engage in more physical fitness activities while staying busy on the job, read some of our recommendations below!

1. Walk at Lunch.

Go for a walk around the block where your office is located a few times or even just around your building. Not only will this help you reach your step goal for the day (10,000 steps is recommended each day for healthy adults) but it will also help you get out and enjoy some fresh air on your lunch break and help keep you motivated/engaged throughout the rest of the workday!

2. Move Once Every Hour.

Moving regularly is important to help circulate blood flow and promote good fitness habits. Did you know that prolonged sitting is an independent risk factor for poor health? Sitting for extended periods of time has been linked with a 112% increase in the risk of diabetes, a 147% increase in the risk of heart disease, and a 49% increase in the risk of death.

According to a study from the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, “standing more may not be enough to offset the dangers of sitting for too long, but short bursts of light activities, such as walking, cleaning and gardening, can boost the longevity of people who are sedentary for more than half of their day.”

“Trading two minutes of sitting for two minutes of light-intensity activity each hour lowered the risk of premature death by 33 percent, the study revealed.”

Something as simple as a two-minute walk to the water cooler every hour can help impact your life in a positive and meaningful way!

3. Stretch at Your Desk.

Take the time to stretch at your desk. Olympic sports physiotherapist Mark Alexander suggests standing up every 30 minutes to stretch out your chest and extend your spine to reverse the hunched position of sitting. This will help reduce back and neck pain as well as making your feel more energized.

How To:

  • Set an alarm to go off every hour to help remind you to stretch.
  • Hold each stretch for at least 15 seconds.
  • Avoid any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.
  • Do as many reps as you can comfortably.

4. Walk. Don’t call/email.

Instead of calling/emailing your coworker, walk to their office. Many of us sit just steps away from each other and yet we practice calling/texting/emailing others rather than simply walking to their desk(s). Take advantage of those moments and get some steps in to help reach your activity goals.

5. Turn Waiting to Moving Time.

Waiting for the printer or the microwave or to get some face time with your boss? Take a little stroll, or even do some small exercises like calf-raises, wall pushups, or wall sits!

As busy as we all can be at the office, it’s important to take advantage of the time we do have. Don’t waste time waiting when you could spend that time being productive!

Small changes can make a big difference in the long run!