There are Three Powerful Reasons for Getting Off of Your Duff
- Your physical health--sitting is more dangerous than you know—read on!
- Your mental productivity
- Your leadership and impact on those around you
I got a big surprise the other day! I am disciplined when it comes to my eating and exercise. In fact, I fast jog at a 13.5 degree incline for 50 minutes, 6 days a week most of the time. I thought I was covering my bases for good health.
I was wrong!
Research shows that even if you workout daily but sit the majority of the day you are at the same risk as if you were smoking:
“If you think that you’re doing your body good when you fit in an hour-long workout before or after a long day at your desk, think again. Even two hours of exercise a day will not compensate for spending twenty-two hours sitting on your derriere or lying in bed.
No matter how much you sweat it out during a daily hardcore workout (or, God forbid, save it all for the weekend), if you’re routinely sitting for hours at a time, you may as well be smoking.”*
I don’t know about you but I find myself sitting at my desk a lot—meetings, phone calls, email, writing, etc. That is risky behavior!
Given the research on the negative effects of sitting (and there is a lot of research on this topic), I decided to make a simple change. Here is what I do:
- I work for 50 minutes and then go for a walk through the school for approximately 10 minutes. I do this daily every hour unless a meeting goes longer than an hour.
- I talk on the phone standing up.
- I try to have as many walking meetings as possible. Here is a link on the benefits of a walking meeting.
There is a Bonus!
Health was my motivation for taking the walking breaks. After a week of following this routine, I discovered two additional benefits.
- I found myself less tired and more mentally alert. This increased my productivity. The amount of time I “lost” by walking around was more than made up by my alertness and ability to focus and think.
- But there is more! Although not a new concept, I rediscovered the power of “Managing by Walking Around.” I have been far more visible to students and staff, I interact throughout the day with everyone on the campus, and I notice things to praise and things to be addressed.
Yes, There is an App. for That!
To help hold myself accountable I began searching for an inexpensive computer application that would reside in my menu bar out of the way, that would remind me to take breaks, that I could customize for how much time to work and how much time to take for a break, and that could be reset when needed. I found it.
I am using the app. “Healthier.” This is a Mac application but I am sure there is a comparable application for a Windows PC.
For a well written, non-technical guide to good health, check out A Short Guide to a Long Life.
So, get off your duff! It will be good for you and for your leadership!
- Excerpt From: David B. Agus. “A Short Guide to a Long Life.” Simon & Schuster. iBooks.