Exercise in the workplace: Getting started [exercises on video]

Exercise in the workplace is healthy. Especially if your work is very sedentary.

Sitting in front of the screen or at the desk for extended periods of time can be very exhausting – even if you do not necessarily notice it in the same way as if you have a more physically demanding job.

By exercising during working hours, you can:

  • Lower the risk of “office injuries” – such as pain in the neck, lower back, and back
  • Get more oxygen to the brain – so you are more efficient and have fewer headaches
  • Reduce symptoms of stress
  • More job satisfaction

In short, there are many benefits to taking just five minutes out of working hours to exercise. Despite this, many workplaces have a hard time finding the time – and the right exercises.

Are you looking for a specific exercise that you can perform in the office or at the desk?

Then start the video below – and watch a small selection of our best breaks for exercising in the workplace.

Exercises in the workplace

With Pleaz you get access to a large range of exercises on video that are specifically designed for workplaces. They give you a short respite – and help keep you going. We have over 60 videos with different exercises to help you get more exercise in the workplace.

Each exercise can be performed in minutes and requires no additional equipment or preparation.

In addition to the physical exercises, you will also find guided exercises in mindfulness, yoga, and team building.

Why is exercise important during working hours?

Sedentary work is often detrimental to one’s health.

By introducing a fixed format of physical activity, you as a workplace can prevent the lifestyle diseases and injuries that often occur when employees sit a lot in front of a computer or at a desk.

According to a study from the University of Southern Denmark from 2015, a weekly hour of physical activity and training had a measurable great effect on employees – and the workplace as a whole.

Physical activity minimizes sick leave and injuries

The healthier the employees, the lower sickness absence.

According to the study, short-term sickness absence fell by 56% after just one year. This is because the health of the employees, including their condition and blood pressure, improved significantly.

Fewer sick days are not only for the benefit of management. It also leads to less hustle and bustle as one does not have to catch up on the lost time later.

Less physical exercises during the break help to give employees a chance to stretch – and become more aware of their own body and posture. We tend to collapse a little if we sit for extended periods of time. If we do not vary our posture or take breaks at regular intervals, it can over time lead to low back pain or neck pain.

Active breaks can therefore have a lasting positive effect on employees’ health.

2. Exercise and well-being are linked

Exercise also creates well-being.

Job satisfaction and general well-being can also be increased by exercise during working hours. Your physical well-being also contributes to your mental health, as movement and exercise can counteract symptoms of stress.

In addition to the actual effects of physical activity, an in-house exercise break also helps to show that the workplace is genuinely interested in the well-being of its employees. Over time, it can provide happier and more loyal employees.

3. Exercise contributes to socializing

Exercise can also be made into a social activity.

Even if all or more employees work from home, joint exercise can create a space for coziness, community, and socialization. New employees get to know everyone faster. A single team becomes more cohesive. Different departments get to know each other better.

By combining social activities and exercise, you get both the health benefits – and the opportunity to talk together in a way that your busy everyday life may not allow.

4. Exercise in the workplace is good for your productivity

The study from SDU also showed a measurable improvement in employee productivity.

Over a year, productivity increased 10% – compared to the control group who did not exercise during working hours.

That productivity is partly due to the lower sickness absence. But healthier employees also become more productive because they get renewed energy, more oxygen to the brain, and better focus on the task ahead of them.

5. Healthy breaks throughout the working day frees up time

It can be difficult to find the time to move or exercise.

The general explanation for why many workplaces – and people – do not exercise enough is because they have difficulty finding the time.

But if you sit very still in your work, it can make you more tired, less productive, more ill – and therefore actually cost you time.

When the body does not move, the flow of blood to muscles and organs decreases. The ability of muscles to absorb and metabolize sugar or fat also decreases. Fat and sugar need to be stored somewhere – and it often stays in the belly fat stores or over the years.

In addition to the fact that lack of exercise increases the risk of a number of diseases, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, it can also make you lethargic.

Taking five to ten minutes out of everyday life for a short physical exercise is, therefore, an investment. You get more time to do the actual work by exercising.

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