COVID-19 has changed many people’s exercise habits. Some of us are getting outside more with the kids, taking walks, hiking, and cycling. Others miss the gym and group exercise classes, finding it hard to get motivated to move on our own.
Even if you’re exercising regularly, it’s also important to sit less and move more throughout the day. Working from home probably impacts this type of movement. Maybe you’re not walking from the bus stop to the office building anymore. Maybe you’re not leaving your desk for meetings. And taking a break could mean just walking a few steps to the kitchen or bathroom.
Our Workday Workout Poster provides tips to help people sit less and move more during the workday. Here’s how to tweak the message for those working from home due to COVID-19:
Turn your commute to a workout: If you no longer have a commute, take a walk or ride your bike around the block before you start your workday.
Hit the gym at lunchtime: If going to the gym isn’t an option, plan on doing a workout video when you break for lunch. Or schedule three 10-minute exercise videos throughout your day. YouTube has plenty of choices for all levels and time constraints.
Walk while you talk: You can still do this! Walk around the house while you talk on the phone. Take a walk outside if you’re on a longer phone call or virtual meeting when it’s appropriate.
Work standing up: Ask your boss about getting a standing desk for home. If that’s not an option, try putting your laptop on the kitchen counter or an ironing board. Make it a habit to stand up during conference calls or virtual meetings.
Meet, don’t just text: When you’re in the office, you can walk over to a co-worker’s desk instead of texting or sending an email. When you’re working from home, you’ll have to be more creative, unless your co-worker is your neighbor! One option is to think about who you could walk to see if you were in the office. When you’re ready to send them a message, get up and walk around the house or up and down a flight of stairs just before (or right after) you hit send.
Some of these tips might seem small, but getting into the habit of doing lots of smaller things will ensure that you’re moving more throughout the day no matter where you’re working.
The human body is not made for sitting, yet many of us sit for eight or more hours a day at work. Even if you exercise regularly, sitting for long periods of time is not good for your health. The US Physical Activity Guidelines recommend regular physical activity.
To encourage people to get up and move more during the workday, we created the Workday Workout poster. With graphics and text, it presents five ways to get a workout during the workday.
When it comes to workday workouts, everything counts! A workout can be anything from five minutes of stretching to an hour of step aerobics.
Here are nine teaching tips to go along with the Workday Workout poster:
Set the example. Plan a walking lunch-and-learn or a walking counseling session. If that’s not possible, fit in some short movement breaks. People will notice how good they feel after they get up and move.
Count steps. You can’t change what you don’t monitor. Track your steps during the workday using a pedometer, fitness tracker (like FitBit), or your smartphone. Work on increasing this number by using some of the strategies on our poster.
Log it. Keep a log of when you choose to move at work. This can be as simple as putting a checkmark on paper every time you stand up to talk on the phone, walk to a co-worker’s office instead of sending an email or take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Find a buddy. Get a co-worker to join you in moving more throughout the day. Meet to walk during lunch, send each other reminders and encouraging messages, share successes and talk through challenges.
Identify obstacles. What one thing seems to be holding you back? A new headset so you can stand up and move around when talking on the phone? An extra pair of sneakers to keep under your desk?
Set reminders. Use your watch, phone, computer, or an old-fashioned timer to remind you to get up and move once every hour.
Share ideas. Ask your social media friends and followers to share how they get moving during the workday. Someone might see an idea that would work for them, too.
Find a way. If you can’t walk to work, could you walk around the block before leaving for work? If you can’t go to a gym during lunchtime, could you do a YouTube video in an empty conference room or your office?
Have fun. Close your office door, put on your favorite song, and move!
Have you seen our Salad Mandalas? Yes, you read that right – but you have to see it to believe it, so take a look at the bottom of this page and then read on!
We know you’ll love these beautiful works of art as much as we do! Eye-catching and discussion-generating, they will brighten up any area and remind people to eat their fruits and vegetables every day.
Not sure what to do with our Salad Mandalas? Whether you choose the floor or wall decal, they’ll stick to most clean, smooth surfaces and are removable. Here are some ideas on where to put them:
In a hospital… A Salad Mandala on the floor or wall is the perfect way to identify dietitians’ offices, the nutrition department, kitchen, or cafeteria – wherever you want people to know that healthy eating is a priority here!
In a nursing home… Hang one up the dining area or other common room where residents and visitors can enjoy the beautiful colors.
In a school… Students and staff will get a kick out of seeing Salad Mandalas on the wall or floor of the cafeteria or gym, the nurse’s office, food service director’s office, health classrooms, and hallways.
In a fitness center… Brighten up the locker rooms or aerobics studio.
In a doctor’s office… Patients will appreciate having something unique to look at while they wait, making the Salad Mandala a good choice for exam rooms.
In a library… Use one as part of a display for nutrition month in March, salad month in May, or farmer’s market week in August, along with selected cookbooks or children’s books that feature fruits and veggies.
At a health fair… Attract a crowd with the Salad Mandala decal – on the floor in front of your booth or on the wall behind it.
In a vending machine area… Remind everyone about the healthiest snacks of all!
And here are some activities to go with our Salad Mandala decals:
Preschool/early elementary class… Use the Salad Mandala to teach colors, practice counting, or learn the names of fruits and vegetables. Have a special Salad Mandala Snack – everyone can make their own mandala on a paper plate with cut up fruits and veggies.
Caught eating healthy… Put the Salad Mandala on a wall in the school cafeteria. Ask parent volunteers to come in during lunchtime once a week to snap pictures of kids who are eating a fruit or vegetable that day. Then post the pictures around the mandala. Watch the circle grow bigger every week!
Salad day selfies… Let adults in on the fun in your workplace or hospital cafeteria! Build a salad from the salad bar, then take a selfie in front of the Salad Mandala decal and post it to your social media page.
Salad Mandala search… Put the mandala in a different classroom, hallway, office, or other location every week to generate interest.
Be sure to let us know what YOU do with our Salad Mandala decals!
My team and I have created tons of posters over the years, and some of my very favorite ones teach lessons that are important to showcase in the workplace.
We have posters that are designed to bring “better numbers like blood pressure, cholesterol, and BMI” or to motivate in a fun way like the food art posters. There are also ones that teach great nutrition lessons and promote positive reinforcement and education.
Let’s take a tour through some of the best options, shall we?