One of the things that makes it hardest for me to be able to get all my steps on my pedometer each day is a desk job. When you need to be sitting down at a computer to do your job, it’s hard to make sure you’re up and moving around on a regular basis. That works against everything we know about weight loss, fitness and physical health as a whole!
Recently, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I’m fortunate enough to work with – and for – some great people. That being the case, I didn’t have any problem with asking if it was possible for my coworkers and I to take quick breaks every hour to get up, move around, and avoid becoming one with our desk chairs.
My response was great. From then on, my coworkers and I could take up to five minutes per hour for the purpose of moving our bodies. Great…now what? I really should have had a plan in place. That night, I got to googling. My goal was to discover the best way to make sure we’d all be willing and motivated to take part. I didn’t want to be the only weirdo running on the spot like a cuckoo clock!
Here’s how I did it. I just thought I’d share these tips in case you want to get your own coworkers involved in a five minute workout on the job every day. It’s weird, but I feel like it’s made us more productive and happier. We feel like we have our own microscopic, non-competitive sports team!
- Decide on what you’re going to do. Is everyone going to do the same workout? Will you all do jumping jacks every day? Will every workout be the same? In my case, Our first workout is yoga, then running on the spot, “weight lifting” with water bottles (or hand weights for those of us who brought them from home), jumping jacks, squats and lunges, then yoga again.
- Decide when you’ll do it. At my workplace, we all wait until ten minutes after the hour to get started. Each session is 5 minutes long, though we skip it in our first and last hour of the day.
- Decide how you’ll agree it’s time. We use an office-wide messenger program. Whoever notices the time first drops a line to remind us all, and we all “react” with an emoji to show that we’re participating.
- Encourage each other. This time can’t be used for moaning and groaning about how hard it is. If it’s tough, laugh about it and push through. We’re all in it together and the fact that we’re all doing it and are challenged by it is always seen as a positive thing.
- Don’t get pushy. Participation is completely voluntary. Everyone knows they’re always invited. If there’s an hour or a day when they’re busy or they just don’t feel like taking part, that’s up to them. Nobody is teased or bothered for it. The key is to take part because you want to and it feels great. That keeps up a very positive atmosphere and motivates us to want to do it.