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4 Tips To Staying Active In A Hybrid Workplace

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4 Tips To Staying Active In A Hybrid Workplace

Is staying active in a hybrid workplace too hard or worth it and is sitting really the new smoking? These are some of the questions that are undoubtedly being asked by employees as they consider balancing their fitness and work with a hybrid work schedule. According to the American Journal of Public Health, this may be a slight exaggeration of the risks that many people face while they’re sedentary. With a growing number of organizations offering hybrid work to their employees, it’s important to move around during the day to mitigate the actual risks of sitting for extended periods of time. What are the actual risks of sitting and working all day you ask? 

Sitting for most of the workday can put you at risk for a number of conditions, which includes an increased risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. But, it’s never too late to get your body moving during the workday to curb these potential effects. Adopting some healthy habits and routines that’ll get you up and off your feet might just do the trick to staying active in a hybrid workplace.

staying active in a hybrid workplace - woman running

The Benefits Of Staying Active During Your Hybrid Work Week

While hybrid work offers numerous benefits, such as improved mental health outcomes, it also provides employees with the flexibility to take a break and work on their physical wellness too. A hybrid work schedule means that employees have the opportunity to fit in some physical activity during their day. Though this was possible before during work from home orders, hybrid work has it made it easier for employees that want a mix of both in-office and remote work. 

If you can fit in a few hours of activity a week, it can have enormous benefits that will have a direct impact on your job performance, which includes:

  • A reduction in stress
  • Greater mental stamina 
  • Improved cognitive performance
  • Higher levels of creative output

Exercise And A Good Night’s Sleep

In terms of your physical health, not only does regular exercise during the workday reduce the risks of many preventable illnesses, but it can also improve one thing that we often overlook: your sleep. A good night’s rest is important to ensure that you stay focused and alert so that you’re on top of your game whether you’re in the office or working from home. This is especially true during those days when you’re putting in extra hours to meet those tight deadlines.

staying active in a hybrid workplace - satisfied employee

Tips To Staying Active In A Hybrid Workplace

Regardless of where or how you’re working, getting in some physical activity can be a breeze. Staying active in a hybrid workplace, whether that’s at home or in a physical office, isn’t too difficult if you follow some of the tips we’re going to be discussing. We’re going to through a list of some activities that you can easily incorporate into your hybrid work week. These tips are easy enough to implement and won’t require you to put down a down payment on a pricey spin bike (though having one definitely won’t harm you!). 

1. Volunteer For A Coffee Run

Instead of driving or getting your breakfast delivered to the office, volunteer for a coffee run when you’re either working from home or at the office. It’ll give you a great excuse to stretch your legs and can be easily worked into your daily routine. Most offices are in close proximity to a coffee shop of some sort, but even a 30-minute two-way trip to get your daily coffee fix can help you burn about 150 calories a day. If you’re working from home and are away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the next tip might be a little bit more applicable. 

staying active in a hybrid workplace - office worker walking

2. Set Aside Time For A Walk Or Ride

Set aside 30 minutes each day to go for a walk or ride and do this at least four times a week. If you’re able to fit this activity into your hybrid work schedule, you’ll be getting some much-needed exercise while also mitigating some of the harmful effects of prolonged sitting that we discussed earlier. If you’re working from home, either hop on the treadmill or spin bike for 30 minutes or go for a jog or bike ride outside. If you’re heading into the office, make an effort to either walk or ride to work, and if this isn’t an option for the entire commute, forego the subway or the Uber to the office from the train or bus terminal. 

3. Fit in a 15-minute HIIT Workout

If you’re pressed for time or are working a shorter and more flexible work week, finding the time to fit in a workout or any form of physical activity may be challenging. That’s where 15-minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are perfect for those that are strapped for time. HIIT workouts nearly double the health benefits as much as exercise done at moderate intensities. They typically involve intervals of exercise that involve maximal effort followed by a rest period – this is usually done repeatedly for 15-30 minutes.

Here’s a great example of a HIIT workout that you can incorporate without any equipment at all. If you have access to an onsite gym or are close enough to one while you’re in the office, you can fit in a quick HIIT workout on your choice of equipment during a lunch break. Your goal of staying active in a hybrid workplace should be easily met with a little bit of dedication, perspiration, and HIIT!

staying active in a hybrid workplace - man using elliptical

4. Try Standing Up Instead of Sitting Down For Meetings

We’ve all had those days with back-to-back ZOOM calls and meetings, where getting up and stretching feels like a luxury. If you have access to a standing desk or can comfortably place your laptop or monitor at a height that makes it easier to stand, utilize this setup during your ZOOM meetings – you’ll thank us later! By doing this, you’ll break the routine of sitting in the same position for hours on end without making a big adjustment to your workday. 

Adopt Healthy Habits With Tech

One of the most challenging aspects of adopting a lifestyle change that involves some degree of physical activity is the perceived commitment required to take the first leap. We’ve all made those resolutions at the beginning of the year to lose ‘x’ amount of weight, cut back on takeout, or get 30 minutes of exercise each day. There are more effective ways to commit to a healthy routine, and it’s never been easier to do so. 

With My Contributions, billie’s employee engagement and ESG solution, you can choose to participate in fun and gamified challenges that encourage you to incorporate some form of physical activity or a break away from your screen. Every time you complete a challenge, you’re rewarded with points, which can then be banked towards a prize or even a tree planted in your honour! For example, if you choose to complete a challenge that encourages you to walk or ride a bike to work instead of driving, you’ll be encouraged to get more active while offsetting CO2 equivalent to an average commute. Earn enough of these points, and you’ll be getting in shape while planting trees! 

Use Hybrid Work To Your Advantage

No matter the approach, take full advantage of your hybrid work schedule to get more active because, at the end of the day, you’re doing more harm than good by sitting for 40 or more hours a week. If the tips above aren’t your cup of tea, don’t sweat it. Taking regular breaks and getting up from your chair can be quite beneficial, and if you haven’t already considered it, check out these under-desk ellipticals and cycles to get your heart pumping when you’re sitting at the desk all day. Whatever you do, getting a little bit of physical activity in your day will help you improve your health, and more than likely, your performance at work. Remember, staying active in a hybrid workplace doesn’t have to be difficult!

Bibliography

Laskowski, E. R. (2020, August 21). Sitting risks: How harmful is too much sitting? Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, November 1). Benefits of physical activity. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm

Council, F. C. (2019, May 28). Council post: 10 ways to stay active while working from home. Forbes. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/05/28/10-ways-to-stay-active-while-working-from-home/?sh=a35a8d558659

Friedman, R. (2014, November 5). Regular exercise is part of your job. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2014/10/regular-exercise-is-part-of-your-job

Khan, C. (2021, November 5). Is sitting the new smoking? we ask the expert. The Guardian. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/nov/05/is-sitting-the-new-smoking-we-ask-the-expert

Kohll, A. (2021, December 10). Why we pay our employees to exercise at work. Forbes. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/alankohll/2019/01/09/why-we-pay-our-employees-to-exercise-at-work/?sh=7586078728d2

Medibank. (2019, March 12). 13 easy ways to be more active at work: Live better. Medibank Live Better. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.medibank.com.au/livebetter/be-magazine/exercise/13-ways-to-be-more-active-in-the-workplace/

MediLexicon International. (n.d.). 5 ways to keep active at work. Medical News Today. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321375

Routledge, C. (2021, September 16). Bring the outdoors into your hybrid work routine. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://hbr.org/2021/09/bring-the-outdoors-into-your-hybrid-work-routine

Sismondo, C. (2021, August 18). Sitting is the new smoking, but a two-minute workout is surprisingly effective. thestar.com. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/advice/2021/08/18/sitting-is-the-new-smoking-but-a-two-minute-workout-is-surprisingly-effective.html

Tinsley, G. (2021, December 20). HIIT benefits: 7 reasons to try high intensity interval training. Healthline. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-hiit#benefits

University of South Australia. (2018, November 5). Sitting is not the new smoking, contrary to popular myth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/11/181105105419.htm

Valance, J. K., Owen, N., Buman, M. P., Johnson, S. T., Taylor, L. M., Boyle, T., D’Silva, A., Lynch, B. M., & Gardner, P. A. (n.d.). The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) from the American Public Health Association (APHA) publications. American Journal of Public Health. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/10.2105/AJPH.2018.304649

WebMD. (n.d.). Workouts at work: Workers and companies may benefit. WebMD. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/working-out-at-w

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