Why Activity = Productivity
We all know that exercise is important if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. Staying active is critical if you want to avoid heart disease, stroke and obesity, but did you know that activity can also improve memory and thinking skills? Apparently increasing your heart rate pumps more oxygen to the brain which increases information processing and memory functions. Exercise also aids the release of hormones that provide a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.
In a nutshell, exercise makes your brain work better, so when your brain is working hardest - during the working day - that is when it could probably do with a boost. We’ve all suffered from a bit of brain fog or have struggled to concentrate on our computer screens at times, so those are the times when a quick blast of exercise could be just what you need to give your brain a kick-start.
Now, exercising at work can be tricky and we have all made the excuse that we haven't got time’ but we’re here to tell you that you should make time. If you do, your brain will thank you.
So why not try a few exercises in the office? We’ve listed a few below and, yes, we realise that they might induce the odd sideways glance from colleagues, but we suggest you use this as an opportunity to get them involved too. Get up, get moving, get your colleagues involved and improve productivity!
Stay in a seated position but move to the very front of your chair. Place your palms flat on the edge of your chair pointing forward. Bending your elbows straight back, lower yourself down several inches, keeping your back straight and as close to the edge of your chair as you can. Straighten your arms to raise yourself back up again. Do 20.
Wall push ups
This is a great way of doing ‘push ups’ without needing Pop-eye biceps or a gym mat. Stand a few steps away from the wall and place your palms flat on the wall at chest level, wider than your shoulders. Lean into the wall and then push backwards into a standing position. Repeat 20 times.
Stand just in front of your chair and lower yourself into a seating (squat) position without letting your bum rest on the seat. Raise back up into a standing position and repeat 20 times.
Invisible skipping rop
Ok you may look ridiculous here but it is a really good way of raising your heart rate and working the upper and lower body. Pretend you have a skipping rope and get jumping. Do a full minute of jumps, hops and skips.
We’ve all got a wall handy, so stand with your back against it and then slide down into a seated position until your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Hold it for 30 seconds, raise up and then repeat 10 times.
Got stairs? Use them!
Climbing stairs is one of the best ways of raising your heart rate, so if you have a flight of stairs in your building, climb them! Start by walking quickly to the top and then walking back down again. Repeat, but faster. Repeat the run-up-walk-down as many times as you can until you are out of breath. The final time should be a slow walk up and down to cool the muscles and slow heart rate.
Walking is the easiest exercise to fit into your day, so pack a pair of comfy shoes and get cracking. Offer to pick up the office milk so you can get in a quick walk to the shops. Go for a long walk at lunchtime. Park your car at the furthest point in the car park from the office. Get in half an hour early, park your car up and then go for a walk around the local area. Easy.
So the next time you can’t seem to concentrate on the task at hand then a short burst of exercise could be just what you need. It’s good for the body, it’s good for the brain, and it could give you just the boost you need to get your productivity levels back on track.