Bruce Williams, owner of the Abnormal Fitness Club, has some fitness tips for suppliers.
Stand three hours out of your day.
Many suppliers are at their desk eight hours each day, sitting nearly all of those hours. Add the sitting time in your commute and the time you spend sitting on the sofa in the evening, and you’re spending a lot of time just sitting down.
Even if you exercise before or after work, there are health consequences to sitting. Research shows that sitting still slows the movement of oxygen-carrying blood through the body, making brains fuzzy and increasing the odds of heart disease and stroke. Sitting wrong can lead to poor circulation, too, with consequences throughout the body. Excessive sitting has been linked to everything from diabetes to colon cancer.
Williams points out that getting up and moving for three hours each workday can also add up to 30,000 extra calories burnt over the course of a year, leading to healthy weight loss as well as better overall wellness.
Stretch every hour.
Take just a minute out of each hour to reduce stress and loosen your muscles. Sitting all day and slouching for most of it can lead to sore shoulders, neck strain, and back pain. Stretching, along with ergonomic work stations and other safety measures, can reduce injuries as well as making everyone feel better.
Williams demonstrates one simple stretch for the arm and shoulder. You can stretch discreetly at your workstation, so build stretches for your neck, back, arms, and legs into your workday. Stanford researchers also recommend stretching your eyes by looking all “around the clock” every half hour or so of sustained computer use.
Do you work in an open space and worry that people will notice your stretching? Think of it another way: you’re providing a good example for everyone.
Keep your posture in mind.
Part of the problem of sitting is bad posture. Slumping can lead to over-stressed back muscles and under-used abdominals, which leads to more slumping. Consider a wearable (the Millennial Moment in this episode of Focus on Suppliers reveals the percentage of Millennials who use wearables) like the Lumo Lift to help remind you to sit up straight.
Not the wearables type? You can still improve your posture. “Just check in with yourself,” says Williams. Make time to notice your posture and remind yourself to get yourself back into a healthy position.
Walk at least five to ten minutes every hour.
Walk when you take a phone call, climb stairs to get to your meeting, and take a hike down the hallway instead of using instant messaging. Set a timer at your desk and get up on the hour for five or ten minutes’ walk. Be inefficient — return your coffee cup to the break room in one trip, and go back and refill it in another.
Depending on your job, it can be hard to fit that movement in, but it’s worth doing whatever you can. Other wearables like Fitbit, can keep track of steps, encourage you, and even let you compete with and encourage your colleagues. The 8th & Walton writers use Fitbit challenges to avoid totally sedentary days at the computer.
Watch the full episode of Focus on Suppliers above. You can catch the show on Channel 9 in Northwest Arkansas on Saturday evenings at 6:30, or see it here on the website or on YouTube and Vimeo at your convenience.