Business Stress Cool Tool #15: Move More

Do you have a file where you keep the instruction manuals for equipment your business owns?

Go ahead and pull out the manual titled “Business Owner’s Manual.” On page one you’ll find a list of “Do’s.”

Check out number one. “For optimal functioning business owner must move on a regular basis. Lack of movement will decrease effectiveness and life of business owner.”

Too much butt in chair time?

If you perform work that has you sitting on your butt, then this article is for you. Even if your work has you moving most of the time, there are still times when your butt is the chair or car seat for prolonged periods. Working on your business plan, creating marketing materials, emailing clients or colleagues… They’re all typically done with butt in a chair.

The human body is not meant to sit for long periods of time. This is not news to you as your body has already provided notice of this information anytime you’ve ignored this rule. Ask anyone who’s ever made a transcontinental flight.

Fitting it in to your day

One thing I help people with is finding ways to incorporate more movement into their days. Personally I’m challenged by sitting for long periods of time. Had ADHD been a popular diagnosis when I was in grade school I probably would have acquired the label. (Instead I got notes on my report card like “Doesn’t work up to potential” and “Talks too much in class.”)

The upside for me is that I have sought out ways to incorporate movement into my life. Long before we were told to move more on airplanes to keep from getting blood clots I was doing “plane yoga.”

Worth the move

But don’t take my word for it. The advantages of moving (look back at your owner’s manual if you don’t believe me) are many.

  • More energy
  • Better focus
  • Less anxiety
  • Enhanced sleep
  • Decrease stress
  • Improve immune function
  • Decrease high blood pressure
  • Burn more calories
  • And more!

You can keep it simple. Some people I’ve worked with have incorporated a single stretch paired with a regular activity into their day. A client I talked with the other day has started doing standing yoga poses while talking on the phone.

Treadmill desk

You can also get equipment that will help you in your movement quest. Treadmill desks range from the high priced ($1000’s) to the self-constructed. I tried to rig up a treadmill desk with our treadmill, but given the configuration of our treadmill I couldn’t ever get the ergonomics right. My arms fell asleep after about 15 minutes.

Here’s a link with from a blog post about how to make your own treadmill desk for $39. http://www.treadmill-desk.com/2007/12/49-treadmill-desk.html

My favorite at Amazon.

 Google treadmill desk and you’ll find more info.

Saying goodbye to the treadmill

I gave up on the treadmill desk with the treadmill we owned. But I’m not easily deterred. I tried a small stair stepper. That works okay, but it takes more focus than the treadmill.

Enter Fit Desk

Now I have a Fit Desk. Think spinning bike with a computer tray. It’s an affordable $220, folds up, and is lightweight. The seat is pretty comfy for a bike seat. Assembly was easy.  While it’s a low-tech piece of equipment (large rubber bands hold your laptop in place) the bike feels really sturdy.

Now it’s your turn. How can you incorporate more movement in your workday?

  • Michelle

    It’s fun to know somebody who actually has one of those bikes. I’ve seen them advertised. I didn’t know they used rubber bands to keep the computer in place.

    I survived my 150-pg master’s thesis because of the DVDs called 10-minute solutions. They’re a series of workout videos and you can find them online or sometimes even near the checkout at Fred Meyer stores. Each DVD has several 10-minute workouts. It can be programmed to play just one, a couple, or all – in any combination. When I feel stuck, or sleepy, or achy, I do a 10-minute workout. Then I return to the keyboard with more oxygen and serotonin and whatever else I need to get back to work. Now that I’m doing more writing, I’m digging out those DVDs again. 10 minutes isn’t long enough to get sweaty or need special clothes or shoes or anything. But it’s just long enough to stretch and get the heart rate going and maybe work in a few minutes of some strength training. It keeps me going.

    • sharon

      I haven’t heard of those Michelle. Love the idea. Thanks for sharing it. I’ll check them out.