Stepping towards a healthier lifestyle

By Ashley Theobald, Greater Than One

At the beginning of February, Greater Than One participated in a Health Challenge to promote good health across the New York, San Francisco and the Madrid offices. Participants tracked their steps with a Misfit wristband and competed on leaderboards provided by mobile app MatchUp. The Health Challenge encouraged employees to be active throughout the week and lead a healthier lifestyle.

As many companies have found, encouraging employees to a healthy lifestyle promotes office well-being. Most people with office based jobs sit more during the work day and move less. According to Newsweek, an average person with an office job spends 7 to 10 hours in a chair. That’s around 50 hours a week or 40% of your day. When you think about this in the long term, we’re hurting our health.

Here are 5 ways to jumpstart your fitness with a busy work schedule.

1. Set weekly goals

Each week, take 10 minutes to write down your weekly short term health and fitness goals. Dr. Gail Matthews, a psychology professor at the Dominican University in California did a Goals Research Summary with 267 participants and found that people are 42 percent more likely to achieve their goals just by writing them down. The most important reason to set a goal is to attach a clear action plan to a desired outcome. Most importantly, congratulate yourself on your achievements.

2. Make a schedule and commit to it

While you’re in the goal mindset, look at your calendar to see when you’re available to workout or take a class. Find classes at a local gym, through ClassPass or just go for a walk or run. Mark it on your calendar and send a reminder, so you’re more likely to take action.

3. Track your activity levels

Wearable devices now make it easy to track your daily activity, and give you the hard numbers on how active you actually are. If you don’t meet your daily fitness goals after the work day, you’ll be motivated to be active in the evening.

4. Use the buddy system

Group up with your colleagues or friends. Forget making excuses of why you shouldn’t go to the gym or take a yoga class, if you’ve committed to working out with someone, then you’re more inclined to stick to the plan. Plus you’re workout will be more fun and you’ll push yourself harder.

5. Get up, stand up

Desk-based jobs have become overrated. Companies are moving towards standing desks to promote are need to stand at least four hours per day. Whether you walk to get a glass of water, take a lap around the office or stand at your desk, it is important to get up from your chair and walk around.

Ashley Theobald is an Assistant Account Executive at Greater Than One, based out of the San Francisco office. She enjoys yoga, painting and happy hours with co workers and friends.