If you haven’t seen it, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) recently put together an Express Request about the pros and cons of standing desks. It’s worth checking out. And the reason I say it’s worth checking out is because while the debate continues about standing desks, one thing is for certain, there’s some truth to the saying “sitting is the new smoking”. We need to find ways to be more active and keep fit at work.
As someone who works from home, I’m very empathetic with the balancing act that office workers face. Organizations want employees to be productive while they’re at work. And for many, that means sitting at a desk.
Cubii Allows Us to Keep Fit While Sitting
It’s one of the reasons I like my Cubii. Even though I’m sitting I can move and get some activity. If you’re not familiar with Cubii, I’ve written about them before. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled under the desk elliptical. But I will admit, that one thing I found missing with my Cubii was arm movements. Cubii realized this too, which is why they’ve created a new one-hour video on the Cubii YouTube channel with a certified fitness instructor that shows us how to get more of a total body workout when using a Cubii.
Now if you decide to watch the video (and I hope you will), you’ll notice that the way Cubii is stepping up our workouts is through the use of Theraband resistance bands. Cubii very graciously sent me a set loops in beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels to test drive and share with you. I must say, these aren’t your typical resistance bands – they have built in loops – which really helps me keep fit when doing activities!
But, back to the video. The video is broken into six sections and each section ranges from 3-8 minutes. There’s a warm up, cardio arm reaches, cardio feet, arm work with the Cubii bands, standing exercises with the Cubii bands, and lastly, cool down stretches. Just to be clear, this isn’t an intense sweaty cardio workout like you might see with some exercise bikes (you know which ones I’m talking about). These are small activities you can do throughout the day.
In fact, as I was testing the bands, I found myself doing the total body workout over the course of the day. Five minutes here and ten minutes there. Would it be better if I did an entire hour at once? Oh, I’m sure. But I think the point is some movement is better than no movement. And personally, I found developing a regular habit of small stretches and workouts throughout the day still provided a result of not feeling achy or tense. Your result may vary.
One word of warning as you’re watching the video. You’ll notice that the participants aren’t sitting behind a desk. I was initially a little concerned that I wouldn’t really get a good feel for the workout since I have my Cubii under my desk and I have an office chair with arms. While I wasn’t able to do all of the activities and work at the same time, I was able to do a lot of stretching, which can totally be done at my desk. In addition, I liked the constant reminders about posture, which makes my back feel happy.
Keeping Fit Involves Remembering
While I was watching the video and doing the exercises, I found myself saying, “You know, these activities aren’t difficult. I can totally do them to keep fit. And I feel good after doing them.” You know what my problem is? That I’m often so focused on my work that I forget.
So, I decided that not only do I need to add these extra activities into my workday, but I need to think of a couple of ways to create prompts or reminders. Here are a few things I’ve done.
I put my Cubii Therabands on my office doorknob. As I walk in, I grabbed a band, completed an activity, then started my work. I particularly enjoyed doing a quick set of bicep curls. And the punches! You can just image how great those feel when you’re having a particularly frustrating day…ha.ha.
I saved the video to my browser bookmarks. I have the internet open almost all day and saving it as a bookmark created a regular reminder that I need to watch it. A couple of times, I had the video playing (without the sound) as a reminder to do the activities. In case you’re wondering, I didn’t find it distracting to have the video playing without the sound.
I learned something new – desktop stickies! Whether you’re a Mac or a PC user, you can create a stickie for your desktop. It’s perfect for when you’re on a conference call or listening to a webinar. Get a couple of stretches in. Here is a picture of “My Office Workout” stickie. It’s not a long list, but this little bit of stretching makes me feel wonderful.
Small Activities Can Create Big Results
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have issued reports talking about the importance moving has on our health and well-being. I’m not a doctor but it does seem logical to me that small movements can lead to more overall activity. Especially, if you haven’t been exercising in a while.
Organizations realize that healthy employees are productive employees. A big part of being healthy is movement. But let’s face it, we can’t just take the day off and workout. We all have jobs to do. The idea of having an elliptical and a couple of resistance bands nearby is great – making the Cubii a well-rounded piece of exercise equipment. Now it’s up to each of us to look for moments in the workday to get some extra activity in.
Speaking of getting extra activity in, our friends at Cubii are giving away two Cubiis to HR Bartender readers. All you have to do is register on their website no later than Monday, April 1, 2019.13