What does well-being really mean?
Doctors and researchers define well-being as positive functioning at the mental, physical, and spiritual levels. We need the energy to do things that make us happy. But energy is not a consistent resource for us. Think of a time when you were mentally or physically strained. Your energy levels were probably lower. And that’s life. You won’t always have high energy levels.
You can’t pour from an empty cup. And yet, I see people do this all the time, especially these last three years. People forget to devote energy to their well-being. And now we are seeing the highest levels of stress, anxiety, and burnout in the workplace. Our well-being has never been lower.
One of the simplest ways to improve our well-being is to start incorporating more movement in our lives. The Journal of American Medical Association found that regardless of whether or not people did moderate or vigorous exercise if they sat for long periods of time, they were two times more likely to be diabetics, have heart disease, and at risk for early death. And with over 26% of people sitting for more than 8 hours a day, it’s time for some change.
Here are four tips for you to consider adding more movement to your life:
1. Have a walking meeting
Incorporate walking into your work meetings or social hangouts. Walk to grab a coffee with a colleague while you chat about work, or try to go for a walk in the park with your friends.
2. Make walking a (fun) competition
We’re all competitive by nature. Rally your coworkers, friends, or family to join you in a competition to see who can meet their walking goal first. There are even phone apps that can make it easier to track everyone’s progress. Add more fun by introducing enticing rewards for the winners, like a free lunch or movie tickets.
3. Find ways to stand while working
Standing desks have become all the rage and for good reason. These desks allow you to stand and keep moving while you work. So, if you can afford it, see if you can invest in a standing desk, treadmill desk, or an add-on that helps raise your current desk. You could also create a taller surface with things you have nearby (just make sure it’s sturdy enough to support your laptop!).
4. Find small ways to make yourself walk more
See if you can find moments in your life where you could encourage yourself to walk more. This can include parking your car further from work, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking to the grocery store.
These little changes to our daily movement can help us prioritize our well-being and put ourselves first again which will bring more happiness into our lives.