Walking at Work
If you are lucky, you live close enough to work that you can walk there. For the majority of us, however, we have to drive to work and end up sitting at a desk most of the day. Walking is such an easy way to get in shape, stimulate creativity and improve problem solving and a great way to get to know your co-workers. In Fremont, Kim Nobriga, Justin Powell and Karla Gonzalez walk when they can and many employees from the Portland warehouse walk to lunch. Read on to get inspired to start your own walking group at your location.
The benefits of walking just 15-40 minutes a day include weight loss, physical fitness, increased mobility and you significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes when you exercise on a regular basis. A new study by the American Cancer Society found that men who spent more than six hours sitting per day had an 18 percent higher risk of death than men who sat for fewer than three hours. Women had a 37 percent higher risk. Walking during the work day is a great way to get the exercise you need and it can also improve your job performance:
- Physical activity energizes people and makes them more alert.
- Changes in environment can inspire new ideas and stimulate creativity.
- Walking and talking side-by-side cuts through hierarchical work distinctions and sets people at ease, which enhances a positive working environment.
- Walking burns calories, stimulates oxygen flow, and increases brain function facilitating problem solving.
- While walking, interruptions are minimized and confidentiality is usually increased.
- Walking and moving allow the mind to become more flexible and can help stimulate the right side of the brain.
While it is easy to see the benefits of walking at work, many of us still have to overcome some barriers to make it happen. We often feel that we are too busy, too tired or too tied to the phone and computer to take time to walk. It is a matter of finding the time and taking advantage of it. There are many online resources for starting a walking program, including The Walking Site. Here’s some ways to introduce more walking in your life:
- Get a decent pedometer that counts your steps. 2,000 steps=1 mile.
- Wear comfortable shoes to work so that you can walk anytime.
- Walk out the door and walk for 5 minutes, turn around and come back. Do that 10 days in a row. Increase your time to 10 minutes out.
- Having a walking lunch, or at least walk with your lunch to a location outside the office.
- If you commute, park a few blocks away and walk in.
- Encourage colleagues to leave the water cooler and go for a walk or climb some stairs. These activity breaks may turn out to not be breaks at all, but brainstorming sessions.
- Team up: find a walking buddy and spread the word: use emails, im’s or posters to get people interested in walking with you.
Mallory Minute would love to hear if you have success getting a walking group started at your location. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your success story. Happy walking!
Sources: http://fruitguys.com/almanac/2012/07/10/walking-on-the-job, healthytowork.org/pdf_files/WalkingToolkit.pdf