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Physical fitness
By: Pauline Handy - Marketing Director


You may remember from one of my last articles, Standing Desks, that I talked about my personal experience with using a standing desk. Today, I’m going to dive into other ways you can increase your activity and simply get up from your chair during a long day at the office. 

If you’re like most working adults, you probably spend eight to ten hours of your day, not including travel, at your place of employment. These long work days can create a major struggle when it comes to fitting everything else into your very minimal amount of free time.  I think it’s safe to assume that regular exercise could be one of those things you often compromise. Am I right?

Since exercise is a very important component to staying healthy and shouldn’t be compromised, I want to give you some ideas that will help you keep your body moving. Some of our team members at V.F. McNeil Insurance are finding these workplace workouts to be a good supplement to their weekly exercise. 

Also, a few of our staff members have reported that some of these exercises have helped to fend off the mid-to-late day fatigue that can often occur after long periods of sitting.  Read on to learn our tips.  

  • Do Your Research: Consider converting to a standing desk. While standing, do calf raises, glute squeezes, knee raises, or just step in place.
  • Don’t Skip the Stairs: Take the stairs anytime you arrive or leave the office. 
  • Organize: Just like you would organize anything else, organize lunch-time walks with co-workers. (Note: Don’t let bad weather stop you! We use the building or a local, large shopping store like Big Y or Home Depot to provide us with cover from the rain while we get in some steps)
  • These Headsets Are Made for Moving: Most headsets come with a pretty good range. Make it a habit to get up and move while on a call. Longer calls facilitate more time for moving in place, stretching, calf raises, squats, or whatever you can handle while conversing. Can anyone try the 100s? I do them while on calls with my arms and a stop watch that I keep on my desk.
  • Pick Your Parking: Parking further away from the office entrance will force you to take more steps coming and going.
  • Small Gear Can Make a Big Difference: Keep small hand weights, ankle weights, and even resistance bands at your desk. It’s another great way to get in some movement on those long calls or waiting for your computer to boot up. Check out the internet for exercises you can do at your desk with small exercise gear. Aka …deskercise! 
  • Crush the Crash. Getting up to briskly circle the office a time or two to remedy the afternoon crash is a great way to get more steps. Get your water while you’re at it and be sure to stay hydrated! 
  • Walking Meetings: Scheduling walking meetings for brief, informal discussions and for brainstorming has really started to catch on with many places of business. Brief meetings with small groups sometimes take place in our parking lot! Use a voice memo app on your phone to capture the conversation instead of taking notes. Just be sure you and your team have a safe area to walk and talk. Don’t forget, keep those extra sneakers on hand! 
  • Two Birds Approach: At V.F. McNeil, we’re lucky enough to have a grocery store nearby. If you do too, keep a cart at your desk or in your office and pick up that bread and milk on foot. Don’t let lunch time errands get in the way of your steps! If we must go by car, my exercise partner and I use the shopping center to do our laps. We park near our target store. We time our walk with a stop watch, and we calculate the time we’ll need to grab and go. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!!
    Additional Tips for Any Possible Naysayers
    If you think these ideas could never work for you, here are a few more tips to help you get beyond that thought. Simply prepare ahead and don’t let your excuses get in the way of better health!!
    Dressing Nicely and Comfortably Should Be a New Goal: You have the ability! Besides, it’s an excuse to go shopping. Choose outfits and shoes you can move easily in. You can also keep spare sneakers at your desk for those days you just can’t avoid shoes not suited for movement.
    There’s Power in Numbers: Find a co-worker you can count on to be your exercise partner. You’ll help to keep each other motivated. Plus, once the others see your dedication, it could catch on. We know! It’s tip #2!!

    Use Your Calendar or Task List: Schedule physical activity on your calendar – just like you would do for any other important task or appointment. 
    Mats are a Must: Use an appropriate floor mat when standing to avoid the possible, anticipated foot and muscle fatigue.

    The above suggestions are only suggestions based on our own experience and level of physical ability. Be sure to consult with your doctor before performing any new exercises. You want to be sure your new level of activity is safe for your physical ability before you get started. Once you have the green light from your doctor, keep that body moving! 

    About V.F. McNeil Insurance
    V.F. McNeil Insurance is a Trusted Choice® independent insurance agency and a member of PIACT (Professional Insurance Agents of Connecticut) that provides its customers with a range of quality insurance products for the needs of families, individuals, and businesses in Connecticut.