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A Vital Working Environment: Exercising

A Vital Working Environment: Exercising

, by Joris Lans, 5 min reading time

In the blog 'A vital working environment: eating, drinking and relaxing we talked about vitality at the working environment in combination to eating, drinking and relaxation. In this blog you'll read more about vitality in combination with exercising.


Sports and exercise are beneficial to your physical and mental health and your social life. People who work out and exercise enough have a reduced risk of health issues.

The current guidelines for exercise 

• According to the guidelines for exercise persons aged 18 to 54 should work out 30 minutes five days a week with moderate intensity. You can think of activities to raise your heart beat and respiration like walking or cycling briskly.
• The norm for fitness for adults is that persons aged 18 to 54 should workout at least 20 minutes per week with high intensity. This could be cardio training like running, jumping rope or running up and down a flight of stairs.

More exercise at the office

Employers expect their employees to be productive during business hours. In most offices this seems to mean employees have to sit on a chair at a desk for for hours. Still, this doesn't have to mean employees can't get exercise during their working day. We hope these tips will inspire you to get moving during your working day.

1. Standing or moving while working

More and more offices add standing desks, treadmill desks and desk-bikes to their existing furniture. You best alternate between seated and standing work. Standing work for long periods of time makes you leaning on your desk which leads to back and joint complaints. A hybrid desk can offer a solution. If you regularly work from home and don't have a hybrid desk, make sure you're able to work ergonomically to prevent backache and other physical complaints. Your employer might be able to help you to buy proper office furniture to use at home.
Take short breaks and move around, like up- or down the stairs, some stretching or an afternoon walk.

2. If possible communicate in person instead of digital

If you have a question that's simple to answer you best go to the person in question instead of sending him or her an email or message by phone. This way you get some exercise. This kind of communication is usually more effective. It's also good to have contact in person with your colleagues. When you work from home this isn't possible so make sure to communicate with your colleagues by video-calling every day. It doesn't matter whether it be long or short or whether it's about your or their weekend. Video-calling is closest thing to real life social contact and keeps you connected to other people.

3. Make sure you aren't being served

In a bullpen filled with employees it's usually common one of them serves all of his or her colleagues with drinks. That's all very social and all but the problem is that only one person gets exercise this way. It's better to get your own drinks. This also applies to employees working at home with multiple other people present. Make sure to get your drinks and food yourself.

4. Move the trash bin further away

Another way to get mini breaks during work is to move the trash bin further away from your desk. This way you obligate yourself to get up when you have to throw away something.

5. Take the stairs

Forget about the elevator at all and make it a habit to take the stairs. That's all very well, unless your office is on the zillionth floor. But even then you can take the stairs. Just go up a few levels by elevator and take on further by using the stairs. Challenge yourself by adding a floor once every month you're going to reach by taking the stairs. Go up and down the stairs as much as you can. If your workplace is based on another floor, you probably do this already to get food and drinks. But if you have everything you need within reach, set yourself to the task to leave your workplace every five minutes to get some exercise.

6. Walk and talk

Do you just want to discuss one single thing with your colleagues? Then invite them to a quick walk to discuss the matter. Studies has shown that walking meetings are more efficient and take less time. Another good thing to do is to leave your desk when you have to make a phone call. This provides you with exercise and saves your colleagues from being disturbed.

7. Take a bike to work

Do you work close from where you living? Then why not taking a bike to work instead of the car or public transportation? It benefits the environment, keeps money in your pocket, it improves your health and you've been exercising well before you start your working day. When you work from home you can use the time you would usually spend on traveling to the office exercising before you start working. Rise at your usual hour and walk or cycle for a bit before crawling behind your desk.

8. Park and walk

If you don't live close enough to where you work and you have to take the car, try to park it as far away from the entrance of the office building as possible. This way you obligate yourself to take a few steps more everyday. The same goes from parking at home. You don't always have to park your car as close to the front door as possible.

9. Motivate your employees to exercise

More and more companies start to see the use of vital and happy employees and sometimes provide them with gym subscription. At some companies there's even a gym present. If you're one of those lucky employees start using the company gym today!

10. Motivate yourself

Are you planning on going to the gym after work but do you find yourself often not going? Than it's a good idea to take your sportswear to work. You don't have to go home to pick up your sports clothing but can go from work to the gym directly. Lesser chance you just stay home after work in stead of going to the gym.


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