Sitting too long can kill you. Did you know this? It’s a theory posited by many in-the-know, and as a knowledge worker, I sit a lot. Conventional wisdom tells me if this theory is correct, I will die sooner than my more mobile colleagues. I ain’t going out like that. So what’s a guy to do?
I think I found the answer.
It’s called taking a walk. No, that’s not some jargon or slang. It’s not a witty acronym. I literally get out of my seat, leave the office, and take a walk.
My mentor in college turned me onto this and it’s been a part of my life off-and-on since then. In his book, Makings Ideas Happen, Scott Belsky talks about the productivity power of taking a walk, specifically when you face creative challenges. Getting some fresh air allows us to stop thinking logically and engages our imaginations. Or, put simply, walking helps us get out of our own heads.
Here’s what my afternoon walking routine typically looks like:
- Take a stroll. Our offices connect to the legendary Des Moines skywalk. It’s miles of above-ground walkway, connecting major buildings across downtown. I go exploring and make a point to go down one new hallway each day.
- Grab a juice. Sometimes I’ll swing by Natural Thirst, one of the only places in Central Iowa where you can grab fresh-squeezed juice–and we ain’t just talking orange, either. My favorite, the Crimson Cleanser, has beet, kale, celery, apple, and carrot. Win.
- Stretch. Take a quick stretch break before heading back into the office. Something to re-orient my muscles while giving my legs a chance to loosen up.
- Back at it. 15-20 minutes later, I’m back at it. Refreshed and ready to go!
What’s one way you stay active during your work day?