Small Physical Changes with a Big Impact

by Health, Productivity

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When it comes to behavior change, especially movement and exercise change, people tend to set goals so high they injure themselves or burn-out and fall back into their old routines. Small physical changes can have a big impact, as I state in my book  WORK WELL. PLAY MORE! Productive, Clutter-free, Healthy Living – One Step at a Time.

For those who need levels or think that a small change won't make a difference, I challenge you to consider the changes in this article and their impact.

This is post two of a three-part series on small changes in nutrition, physical health, and productivity.

Using a standing desk two hours a day

Sit stand desk photo

Depending on your age, sex, height, and body mass, standing burns anywhere from 100-200 calories per hour. Sitting burns 60-130 calories an hour. With just two hours a day, you are doubling your calorie burn for those two hours. In a five-day workweek 50 weeks a year, you're burning an extra 10,000 calories. Imagine if you stood more often! Plus, standing increases focus, blood sugar control, and decreases back pain (as long as it is ergonomic).

Counter push-ups

Instead of standing there waiting for your microwave to beep or your Keurig to finish filling your cup with that caffeinated goodness, do counter push-ups. My client Deb McMurray thought I was crazy for telling her to do them, not thinking it would make a difference. Within months, she moved from push-ups from the counter to the stairs and on the floor. Her upper body strength increased, and it all started with counter push-ups!

Take three deep breaths 

We are all developing screen apnea, where we hold our breath from looking at the screen. This apnea can result in upper body tension, poor digestion, headaches, and eye strain. It also activates our fight or flight response, which over time, can lead to chronic mood issues. Before you switch to a new task, take three deep breaths from your belly. It will help you relax and increase mindfulness and focus on what you are about to tackle next. Have kids in virtual school or that play video games? It's even more critical for them to develop good breathing habits.

What small change can you incorporate today that could make a big impact?

Check out the rest of our series of small changes in the areas of nutrition and productivity.

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Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects