There are Three Powerful Reasons for Getting Off of Your Duff

Walking Meeting Health.jpg
Walking Meeting Health.jpg

There are Three Powerful Reasons for Getting Off of Your Duff

  1. Your physical health--sitting is more dangerous than you know—read on!
  2. Your mental productivity
  3. 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.