Focus on Fitness: Don’t just sit there

Reall Colbenson/For Steamboat Today

Sleepwalking through your desk job? Often hit by the 2 p.m. slump at your computer?

There’s a simple quick fix for those daily lags in energy. And no, it’s not a cup of coffee.

Incorporating short movements and exercises throughout the workday can boost employee energy, engagement and efficiency, according to sports scientist Jack Groppel of InMotion.

Whether it’s stretching periodically in your cubicle or walking to a co-worker’s desk rather than sending that intra-office email, small actions can go a long way toward improving both individual and company performance.

In a recent study conducted at the New Balance headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, employees incorporated physical activity into their work routines every 30 minutes. Of the 239 who completed a post-program survey, 53 percent said they increased their level of physical activity at work and 42 percent reported heightened engagement and concentration.

Movement and exercise stimulate blood flow throughout the body, which leads to a brief period of hyperoxygenation in the brain. The phenomenon lasts only a minute or two, but the effects linger — increasing both physical energy and cognitive attentiveness.

Here are some tips on how to incorporate movement into your workday:

• Take the stairs

• Hold “walking meetings,” taking notes on the go if needed or take that meeting outside to the trails

• Sit on an exercise ball at your desk to increase movement and muscle engagement

• Set an hourly alarm with a reminder to get up and move

• Walk to a farther-away bathroom

• Try small stretches or exercises like knee extensions or lunges

Reall Colbenson is an ACE-certified personal trainer at Old Town Hot Springs.

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