If your job involves moving around, then you have no idea how lucky you are! I currently stretch myself to simultaneously building two careers – none of which give me the body-flexibility advantage. By day, I’m a financial analyst in an investment banking firm. In simpler terms, I submit myself to a nail-biting experience of building endless financial models on excel, spend long hours digging into Google’s archives for information, and building PowerPoint presentations one slide at a time.
The formula has to sit perfect or the model won’t work, and you have to check the right sites for data or your presentation – which is the output – would suck. As a breath of fresh air, I write by night – or any other time I’m not crunching numbers. Writing is beautiful, it lets me explore my imaginative side and it gives me the opportunity to bleed my heart out on paper – or preferably my laptop. Unfortunately, neither of these jobs require my movement.
We have an office assistant at the office, so I do not even have to walk to get food. The person goes out to get lunch for us and we sit in our seats watching Family guy during lunch break. What initially seemed like the perfect life of luxury and comfort, in no time became a death wish with a serious call to action from my doctor. My eyesight was getting bad because of the hours I spent behind the screen – day and night, as it was.
I had constant headaches and migraines, and I developed this intense pain on my upper back because of how I sat almost every hour every day. My doctor’s take was that I moved around for ten minutes every hour. Absolutely not. Not because I didn’t like the idea of taking occasional strolls, but because it wasn’t viable – it didn’t seem like it anyway. I wouldn’t remember, and what on earth was I supposed to be doing for ten minutes in every hour?
But, when it started to seem like I was really trying to kill myself, I decided to simply find excuses to move around. I stood up to stretch my body, instead of doing it on my seat as I’ll usually do when I was tensed. Bathroom visits became a little more frequent – don’t ask me how I do it. (Lots of green tea and water.) Standing up to pick a piece of paper from the printer instead of waiting for somebody to pass it across.
Going to take my phone calls in the board room where I had to stand or just walking around. I even started fixing more lunch dates instead of dinners. Anything that makes me break the work flow every once in a while is a friend. In truth, certain deadlines ground you to your seat and make it hard to move, but if the things you are moving to are still in line with work, you still win.
Asides the few health issues I was starting to develop, there are many other disadvantages of staying in one position, no matter how comfortable it seemed. Not moving, is just your way of losing out on the advantages of being healthy. For one, while sitting in one position, it is easy for the law of diminishing returns to get you on lockdown.
You get stressed and there’s no way of regaining strength because you’re just sitting there. When you move around, laugh a little, dance when your boss isn’t looking, you are not just getting on the advantages that come with exercise, but you are also making yourself more efficient. Try it out…trust me you’ll be glad.