As someone who is interested in sport, staying healthy and having participated competitively in sports for a number of years, I feel it is always good to incorporate some sort of physical activity into your working day.
Most people are in a working environment where stress is a factor. Did you know that physical activity can help alleviate some of that stress! There are numerous things you can do to help reduce your stress levels at work. We will discuss a few of these here.
1. Corporate Team Sports
If you work in a large company then you may have the opportunity to participate in corporate sports like basketball, soccer or netball. All team sports are fun and when you are competing with people you know (and hopefully like) you will get great enjoyment out of it and your endorphin levels will rise, reducing your stress.
There is always the option of participating in Corporate Games. If you can find enough people in your workplace who are happy to participate it will give you an avenue to play as a team, support your company and have a lot of fun in the process. I have participated in the Corporate Games as a team captain of our netball team and it was a lot of fun, very rewarding and we had the support of senior managers who came out and cheered! We had a ball! If you would like further information on Corporate Games click here.
2. Desk Exercises
If team sport isn’t your ‘thing’ or you don’t feel you have enough time to play in the corporate team then you really should think about the things you can do at your desk to ensure that you are moving and not sitting at your desk feeling nothing but stress. Here are just a couple of simple things you can do while at work:
- take a walk at lunchtime;
- take the stairs instead of the elevator;
- do some leg extensions under your desk;
- regular shoulder and neck rolls; or
- desk push ups.
Of course, these are just a few examples and there are many more things you could be doing. Click on this Body & Soul article for a few more ideas.
Even if you aren’t someone who enjoys exercise then you should at least be stretching at your desk to relieve some of the tension in your body and keep you moving. Try these stretches which are
simple and effective – effective desk stretches.
4. Take regular breaks
Taking regular breaks means that you have a chance to walk away from your desk (even if it is just walking to the kitchen to make a cup of tea), breathe and clear your head before taking on the next task. It will help you to focus on what needs to be done and will help keep your stress levels under control.
5. Have a laugh
The best thing for stress is a good laugh! Share a laugh with a colleague, it may be ok to add a bit of humour to the office, here are some fun ideas:
- fill an unused conference room or office with balloons and watch how much fun everyone has;
- bring in a fake dog and tell everyone to be quiet because the dog’s asleep (how many people will you fool);
- organise a dress up day and have a theme; or
- have a cartoon caption contest.
Most offices will be ok with some office humour but that may not be possible in every working environment. If you are in an office that frowns on a bit of fun then you may have to create your own fun, in your own space, to make you smile.
Keep active and have fun doing it!