Get Moving to Improve Productivity

By Sammy Lembi I have a desk job and sit for hours on end.

workout

I am usually energized and productive in the morning. Fueled with a large Peet’s coffee, I set out to tackle the day, blazing through my work with focused determination.

Then after lunch, the drag sets in…

In the past, coffee has been my strategy for staying on track for the remainder of the day. Yet it comes with a major side effect – it often sets me up for sleep deprivation that evening, which then puts me in bad shape in the days to follow.

Then a friend suggested “office exercising” as a way to get the blood pumping – and to improve my work productivity and focus sans coffee. I tried it, and became a fan immediately!

Here are my Top 5 quick tips to help you beat the afternoon drag:

  1. Make it a point to do an afternoon stretch session. All you need is a five minute routine—Get out of that chair! Stand up, stretch your arms, legs, and fingers; roll your neck back and forth, do circles with your ankles and wrists. Stretching is therapeutic and helps to alleviate stress. These small actions will also wake up your body and increase range of motion.
  2. If you have access to a stairwell, take a few minutes to do some stair-climbing--skip one step, then two. Sprint up the steps. Side step. Get creative! Stair climbing is a quick way to get the blood pumping and give you a natural energy boost.
  3. Another light cardio option is to escape your cubicle for a brisk walk around the block. In fact, if you have a one-on-one or a small group meeting scheduled—take it to the streets. The fresh air and movement will get the blood flowing, help to release tension, and brighten your mood. Your colleagues will thank you!
  4. If you are unable to leave your office or cubicle, you can still get that blood flowing with a quick set of jumping jacks or squats. Remember some physical movement is better than none at all. Getting the blood flowing will help the brain stay alert and focused.
  5. And finally, swap your boring office chair for a stability ball. Not only will sitting on a stability ball promote better posture, improve muscle tone and help keep you alert; it is much more fun than a regular chair—when you start to feel yourself drag, a few seated bounces can lighten things up and get you back on track.

In general, physical activity makes your brain work better. Even small amounts of exercise throughout the day can go a long way to sharpen your mind and improve your work performance!

For more ideas on how to incorporate physical activity into your workday, check out Best Exercises To Do At Your Desk, and this handy book by Shirley Archer and Chuck Gonzales: Fitness 9 to 5.

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sammySammy Lembi is the Marketing Coordinator at Learn iT! After retiring her chef knives for a more sedentary occupation, she has had to find creative ways to incorporate daily physical activity into her workday.