I have a desk job, and I’ve noticed over the last few years, my ass has been obtaining that sad phenomena known as “secretary spread”.
It ain’t pretty.
One of my 2015 goals was to be more selfish, and tied to that, I decided to not spend 8+ hours a day with my butt in the seat. Thankfully, Troy’s aunt got me a Jawbone Up for Christmas, and it has made my efforts very “in my face” if I don’t stay active throughout the day. Nothing more embarrassing then checking your steps at day’s end, only to see you walked well below your goal. And ate 15 Milky Way dark fun size candy bars, because dark chocolate is FULL of antioxidants dammit.
You don’t need a Jawbone or a Fitbit or a pedometer to get moving, but personally it keeps me accountable. For people with an iphone, there is a step counter on there, but the downside is you have to keep your phone on you at all times for it to keep track of your efforts.
My Jawbone is a slightly older model (why it is so much cheaper than the most current options), because it is not linked automatically to my phone via bluetooth. I have an app on my phone, and I have to plug the Jawbone in to my phone and it updates my dashboard with the steps. At first I found it annoying, but now it’s about 45 seconds a day. I think I can spare that to track my steps. 45 seconds for my health. Sure.
As I mentioned before, I have a desk job and if it weren’t for sheer willpower to get up and move, my butt could stay planted in that seat all day. Since getting my Jawbone and deciding to be a selfish employee, I have found crazy simple ways to get my move on.
Before reading the list below, please note that I am one of the world’s faster natural walkers. I’m sure that is statistically accurate. People routinely will yell “where’s the fire” when I am taking what I assume is a leisurely stroll. People will tell me “oh I saw you at Target the other day and was going to say hi, but you looked like you were on a mission”. Nope, just my normal walking.
In high school, my best friend was on our JROTC Orienteering Team. Yes, we were both nerds. Thanks for asking. For those of you who don’t know what orienteering is, it is a mix of cross-country running and navigation courses. So my friend would routinely run 5-10 miles while trying to find “flags” and barely break a sweat. One time for his birthday, I took him to Seattle for a concert (Creed…what were we thinking?). After about two hours of walking around, he stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, put his hands on his knees and begged “can we please slow down? I am exhausted“.
So yes, I am fast. That’s what she said.
- I have a printer in my office, but I now send printing jobs to a copier on my floor, and then I take the long way to get there.
- My employer has a few buildings clustered together. Instead of using inter-office mail, I’ve been getting up to deliver stuff in-person. And I take the longest route to get there. My speed walking of the longest routes is everyone’s normal speed on a direct route.
- Instead of sending someone an email, I get up and walk over to speak with them face to face if the discussion can be a simple “yes” or “no”. While taking the longest route on my floor.
- Instead of reading during my fake smoke breaks, I get up and take a brisk walk outside of our complex. Yeah, a lot of times it rains and the weather is meh, but this isn’t the frozen tundra of Wisconsin, and a walk in the crisp air keeps me awake and alert.
- If I finish up my lunch, I will some times take a quick walk around the building to avoid the post-meal coma.
- If I’m sitting in a long meeting, I’ll get up and stand if it can be done without being disruptive. This past Monday, I was at an-all day job fair. When there were no potential applicants in the room, I went and took a fast walk outside of the meeting room. I went every 3o minutes, and at first, all the other vendors gave me weird looks. By lunch I had at least two to three other vendors walking with me. It was great to get up and move, and I had some wonderful two-minute conversations with people I wouldn’t have spoken with had we remained seated behind our tables.
- My friend who has a Fitbit holds “walking meetings” with her team, and does performance reviews while strolling with her direct reports.
When I am at home, I try to keep moving and not park myself on the couch (except to write blog posts about how to stay moving. Obvs). If my step count is low for the day, I challenge Jack to a dance party, or we run around our fireplace (relax, it doesn’t have a fire going at the time). I also either do a 30 minute workout video in the morning via Daily Burn on our Roku, or I ride our stationary bike. I was so annoyed when after 35 minutes on the bike, my Jawbone would only report 80 steps. I get that many steps a night just getting up to pee. I was whining about this one day, when my genius mother-in-law suggested I put it on my ankle. Now, a 35 minute bike ride gives me almost 5k steps!
The Jawbone will also track your sleep if you activate that feature. I do use it, but don’t put a ton of stock in it because it says I fall asleep a lot faster than I know I do. It does however show that I wake up WAY too many times throughout the night, so no freaking wonder I’m always tired. Troy complains constantly about being tired, so I made him wear it one night and it totally backfired on him because it tracked that he slept over 9 hours while only waking up once.
Vengeance, thy name is Jawbone.
Do you have step counter, or somehow track your movement throughout the day? Any tips for getting up to move throughout during day even with a desk job?