A new approach to workplace fitness

From the Courier Mail, Brisbane, Friday 22 February 2012

TREADMILLS in the office, seats that beep after 30 minutes of use and adjustable standing-sitting desks are the latest weapons being deployed in the battle of the bulge.

With the negative health effects of prolonged sitting making it the smoking of our generation, bosses are now encouraging walking meetings and even installing treadmills in offices to get their staff literally thinking on their feet.

Treadmill

National treadmill distributor Workout World Camperdown general manager, Steven To, said there have been a number of companies calling on them to install treadmills in office spaces.

“We have found it is law firms and offices located next to industrial sites that have asked for them,” he said.

“Most of the time they are asking for two treadmills at a time instead of just the single ones.”

A range of studies has found sitting for prolonged periods increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer because of increased blood pressure and sugar, excessive body fat and abnormal cholesterol levels.

 Employers are also becoming increasingly aware of links between better health and wellbeing and improved productivity.

Australian company Get the World Moving, which runs the Global Corporate Challenge to get sedentary office workers off their backsides, last month installed two office treadmills facing each other so employees can have walking meetings.

Appliance giants Miele Australia are another company conducting some of their meetings while walking.

Global Corporate Challenge marketing manager Jayne Foot said they are already seeing the benefits.

“We decided to install the treadmills to cater for bad weather and facilitate the opportunity for staff to take a walking meeting, rain, hail or shine,” she said.

“It’s also great for individual employees who want a quick energy charge, as they can jump on and get active whenever they feel like it.

“We find walking meetings especially helpful for brainstorming sessions or meetings later in the afternoon, when energy levels can naturally slump.”

The University of Queensland late last year developed a device dubbed the “sitting pad”, which emits a loud beep when its occupant should get up and move around.

Google, Commonwealth Bank and Macquarie Bank are also providing workers with both sitting and standing desks.

For more information on walking for fitness, see our previous blog post https://mansfieldphysioworks.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/an-easy-way-to-keep-your-aches-and-pains-at-bay/ or visit us at http://physioworks.com.au/Bulimba/bulimba.htm or  http://physioworks.com.au/Mansfield/mansfield.htm

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“An easy way to keep your aches and pains at bay”

Walking improves your health and fitness and is suitable for most people. Walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, and can be done at any time of day, at your own pace.

Almost everyone can do it. Some of walking’s main benefits include:

  • Increased heart & lung fitness
  • Decreased blood pressure and cholesterol
  • Decreased joint and muscular pain
  • Stronger bones and improved balance.
  • Increased muscle strength and endurance.
  • Reduced body fat.

How long should I spend exercising?

Olympic athletes use a system of a ‘hard day’ of training followed by an ‘easy day’ that allows their body a partial recovery. You can use this system too! Refer to the table below. First, select your current fitness level from the green column. The blue column will tell you how long you should exercise on your hard and easy days. You can allow one day per week for a complete rest.

Time and pulse rate data

Time and pulse rate data

How hard should I exercise?

Taking your heart rate is an ideal way to gauge if you are exercising with the correct intensity. Locate your age category in the yellow columns on the chart. The numbers below indicate the pulse rate that you should aim for during exercise., depending upon your fitness level. For example, a sixty year old with intermediate fitness should walk for 20 minutes on an easy day, 30 minutes on a hard day, with a pulse rate of 112 beats per minute.

Others ways to encourage yourself to walk include walking with friends, family or pets. Most large shopping centres have walking groups, where you can walk in air-conditioned comfort with like-minded people. With so many beautiful walking tracks around the Brisbane area, you can be sure to always enjoy great scenery.

As your fitness improves, you’ll find yourself covering greater distances in shorter times and becoming less puffed when walking at speed or up hills. Don’t stop there! Keep setting yourself new goals and enjoy all that new found energy.

walking

Walking – a great way to get fit, spend time with family, and get those stiff joints moving. And it’s free!