Why is walking so great? Research repeatedly tells us that prolonged periods of sitting are bad for us, but when you’ve got hours of work to get through maybe, you feel like you’ve got no choice but to remain sedentary. Worse still, when combined with travelling, sitting can feel like an involuntary action which you have little choice but to partake in.
But what if you knew you’d actually get more work and better quality work completed if you learn to step away from your desk on a regular basis and especially during transit.
Benefits of walking
Your mood will improve
Regular walking has been shown to modify your nervous system, reduce stress and mitigate feelings of anxiety to help you cope with overwhelming and hard deadlines.
According to a 2014 study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, Learning, Memory, and Cognition, going for a walk can spark creativity. Researchers administered creative-thinking tests to subjects while seated and then while walking and found that the walkers thought more creatively than the sitters.
When we walk, we think. And because walking is a low-difficulty endeavour, you can direct your brain power function to more internal matters. Work through problems, come up with ideas and discover solutions.
A study at Harvard suggested walking meetings support cognitive engagement and those employees who participated in walking meetings are 8.5% more likely to report high levels of engagement.
Enjoy your retirement
Research presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress found walking to be a trigger for an anti-aging process and even help repair old DNA. Getting up and walking around for two minutes out of every hour can increase your lifespan by 33 per cent.
Walking as part of your day
Walking doesn’t have to take up huge chunks of time. The micro-walk is a new trend simply involving taking several short walks throughout the day. Set your watch to remind you to stand up and move every 60 minutes whether you’re in the office, attending a meeting or on a long haul flight.
Walking meetings work really well where colleagues are conferring on decisions or exploring possible solutions. Groups of 3 – 4 work best. However, don’t surprise your team with the idea of a walking meeting. Notify them in advance, so they know to wear comfy shoes!
Fitness walking is the ideal activity to get you back into the habit of taking a lunch break. The right shoes are the most important component of a fitness walk. Walk tall and pull your belly button towards your spine to stabilise your midsection and allow your legs to move with more power. Mix up the pace for added fitness benefits.
Given the amount of time people spend at work and on the road it makes sense to incorporate health and fitness into the working day and walking is one of the most inclusive ways to do that.
For employers, it’s a low-cost activity with high returns in staff engagement, commitment and productivity. For employees, it’s a gentle, no pressure activity guaranteed to promote personal health, wellbeing and job satisfaction.
© 2016 Extravitality