Staying Motivated at Work

By Courtney Neville

Recent research suggests that those who sit from 9-5 (more than 6 hours daily) and exercise regularly are more likely to have heart disease than those who sit less than 3 hours per day and don’t “exercise” at all.

In fact in 2011, the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a snapshot of the physical activity patterns of Australian adults, produced from an analysis of data from the 2007–2008 National Health Survey.
The results show that;

  • Around 62 per cent of Australians adults did not meet the recommended physical activity guidelines
  • A higher proportion of women than men were not meeting the guidelines (64 per cent and 60 per cent respectively)
  • The proportion of people who did not meet the guidelines was highest in older adults – those aged 75 years and over (76 per cent)
  • Almost 40 per cent of adults did no exercise during the previous week
  • Women and older Australian adults were more likely to walk for exercise than men, while men were more likely to undertake moderate and vigorous exercise
  • Adults with a higher education level (those who had competed year 12 (or equivalent), or had higher education qualifications), were more likely to meet the physical activity guidelines than those who had a lower education level (those who had completed year 11 or lower and had no post-school qualifications)

staying-motivated-1Gone are the caveman days of us humans hunting and gathering for survival, now we sit have a less active lifestyle while experimenting with Paleo Diets and alike to maintain a standard level of fitness and ultimate health.

Among the Diet & Nutrition trends there are gadgets, gizmos and suggestions on how to be healthy and happy whilst working 38 plus hour weeks.

  • Pedometer to track your steps
  • Wobble boards – for your ankles
  • Barefoot shoes – for your freedom and holistic ‘grounding technique) to reduce stress & anxiety
  • Office plants – promoting oxygen and aesthetical presence
  • Hand grippers – stronger handshakes
  • Pull up bars for chin ups
  • Sprung floorboards for your joints
  • Nap room – to increase memory and alleviate stress
  • Fruit bowl in place of vending machines
  • Herbal tea instead of coffee
  • Dips/crackers instead of highly processed food
  • Gym memberships to fit around your working schedule
  • Stand up (Ergonomic) Desk
  • Walk or ride a bicycle to work

staying-motivated-2If you don’t have the luxury to be working at Google and do not have access to the resources listed, there are alternate cost effective solutions to maintain a health physical and mental state of mind and wellbeing. When trying to create a positive and healthy work culture you may unintentionally cause people to feel uncomfortable or pressured. Do what feels right for yourself starting off slowly, thus encouraging others to take on a healthier journey with you also. It takes 21 days to change a habit (according to renown Cosmetic Surgeon Maxwell Maltz) and employees who embark on a lifestyle overhaul are most successful by starting off small, before reaching short term goals and building on from there.

  • Drink water during your workday, have a water bottle on your desk
  • Eat breakfast every day for a healthy metabolism
  • Exercise in the morning if you can to start off the day
  • Ask for healthy options at meetings
  • Eat lunch away from the computer if possible
  • Bring in healthy snacks like nuts, fruit, carrot sticks, hummus, etc. and encourage others to do the same
  • Create a bulletin board or shared folder to share healthy recipes with co-workers
  • Try a new vegetable or fruit this week
  • Share a healthy recipe with a co-worker
  • Take phone calls when standing for energy
  • Use the stairs
  • Re-think meeting locations, try to be outside as much as possible
  • Face to face contact – talk directly to a colleague if you can instead of emailing them
  • Meal prep your lunches and other main meals if possible to avoid starvation and poor planning
  • Take a short stroll during the day
  • Find a colleague, friend or family member to be a training ‘buddy’ with you. even if it is a 30 minute walk once a week to talk and de-stress
  • Train for a competition such as the Townsville Tri-Festival which is an ultimate goal that you are aiming to achieve (even just entering and participating is an accomplishment)
  • Join a sporting club or enter a social competition with your colleagues or by yourself
  • Make a commitment and diarise it to remind and dedicate time to looking after yourself

Be as creative as you like and do not push yourself too hard or feel guilty when if you are unable to commit to your goal that day or week. Our lifestyle is hectic and never ending, there will always be another day to do it and get it right. Your journey is personal and your situation is unique; there are many methods and ideals for a maintaining a healthy work and life balance, what works for one person may not necessarily work for the next. Find what works for you and you are sure to adhere to it and even enjoy it.

NB* Please remember to always consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, particularly if you are overweight, over 40 years, haven’t exercised in a long time or have a chronic medical condition.