keep work from killing you
Today, only 20 percent of jobs require real activity. This trans- formational shift mirrors increases in diabetes and obesity rates. You can now accomplish countless tasks with click of a mouse and a few keystrokes.
While this increases efficiency, it comes at the expense of our physical health.
This epidemic of inactivity now spans the globe. From the United States to India and China, technology — from computers to washing machines — minimizes the need for manual labor, and our health suffers as a result. The way we cook, clean, work, and make products no longer requires strenuous activity.
Because of these seismic shifts in activity levels, you now have to find ways to infuse deliberate movement into your day. If you work in a traditional office setting, it is in your company’s best interest to ensure you get some activity during the workday.
Emerging research suggests companies that provide employees with time to exercise, even during working hours, do not lose any business. In fact, this research shows how you could be more productive if your organization gives you time to exercise during the workday. Even when you work fewer hours in a week, the tradeoff is a net positive for you and your organization. Other studies find that employees see significant increases in overall earnings as their activity levels rise.
Find a few moments each day when you can walk briskly. Ask a colleague to go for a walking meeting instead of sitting in uncomfortable chairs. The late Steve Jobs was famous for requiring colleagues and clients to go on walking meetings around his neighborhood. When a reporter asked him why he did, Jobs explained he could think better when he walked.
If nothing else, make sure you get up several times a day and move around your workspace. Work can make you fat, sick, and tired. But building movement into your daily routine will provide a buffer against today’s sedentary jobs. As a leading public health researcher put it, “In many ways we’ve engineered physical activity out of our lives, so we’ve got to find ways to put it back into our lives.”