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Exercise in the workplace and boost your health during work hours

When work pressures mount and your schedule seems tighter than ever, it’s essential you find the time to be more physically active in your working week. It will improve your fitness levels and reduce stress. 

Government guidelines recommend adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week. By meeting these guidelines, your risk of heart disease, stroke and Type 2 diabetes is reduced by up to 50%. Your mental wellbeing will also improve.

There are things you can do to increase physical activity in the workplace and to make your busy working day healthier.

It’s important to take regular breaks, especially if your work means spending long hours at a desk or sitting in meetings. Use these breaks to introduce exercise in the workplace. Small changes, such as walking to someone’s desk rather than emailing them will help, but climbing the stairs for exercise will count as part of your 150 minutes. 

Stair climbing is the perfect way to include aerobic exercise in your working day and it burns more calories per minute than jogging. It’s officially classed as a ‘vigorous’ exercise and will raise your heart rate enough to count towards the official target. If you can talk but are unable to sing the words to a song, you’re climbing at the right intensity! 

Most workplaces have stairs, so use them. If your building has no stairs, locate some near you through the StepJockey map.

These top-ten tips will help build exercise and activity into your working day: 

  1. Take the stairs instead of the lift. If at first this seems unachievable because you work on the top floor of a tall building, only use the lift part of the way. 
  2. Have a walking meeting or arrange colleague update sessions while climbing stairs. 
  3. Use a toilet on a different floor and use the stairs to get there. 
  4. Walk, scooter or cycle part, if not all, of your journey to work. 
  5. If you travel to work on public transport, get off one stop before your final destination. 
  6. If you drive, park further away from your office and walk the rest of the way. 
  7. Stand while talking on the telephone or make a point of walking when you make calls on your mobile. 
  8. Make the most of your lunch hour by climbing the stairs at work or going for a walk. 
  9. Take regular breaks and use them to move around. 
  10. Rate your building for calorie burn. By sticking up StepJockey posters in your workplace you’ll be reminded to take the stairs and you’ll be encouraging others in your building to take them as well.