Aristotle, Charles Dickens, Sigmund Freud, President Harry Truman and Steve Jobs all swore by it.
A quick, cheap and easy way that improved their thought processes and working life.
Perhaps today, their formula is needed more than ever.
If you’re sat at your desk scratching your head and wondering what magic blueprint they could possibly have found, I’ll help you out. All of them swore by the myriad of benefits by taking walks during working hours, whether to ponder ideas on their own or thrash out debates with peers. If you’re at your desk while reading this, when was the last time you moved from your chair? An hour ago? Two hours? Three?
The internet and emails means we are more sedentary in our office jobs than ever. This is catastrophic for our health if we drive to work as well. We don’t even get up to have lunch, just sit at our desks munching on a sandwich and doing our internet banking or checking FaceBook.
In some American companies pedometers are even being distributed to employees in a bid to encourage them to become more active during working hours. Staff are also being urged to take the stairs, eat more healthily and drink more water.
These big firms are seeing the workplace as an ideal place to spark a fitness revolution so their staff are more productive and less likely to have time off. And it might not be long before the involvement of your employer arrives here too. But would you want them to know just how fit – or unfit – you really are?
Entrepreneur Nilofer Merchant swears by holding walking meetings to really get to the crux of an issue. The essence of her theory is fresh air = fresh ideas. Steve Jobs was renowned for holding walking meetings outside the office, rather than sat around a table. Even the age old Privy Council meets standing up. The Queen by tradition remains standing, so that no other members may sit down, thereby keeping meetings short.
A change of environment can give you a new perspective on a concept and help you to think ‘out of the box’. The obvious health benefits are increasing your fitness, improving your cardiovascular health and reducing your weight. But in addition to that, regular exercise releases endorphins which trigger positive feelings in the body.
If it was good enough for Aristotle, Dickens, Freud, Truman and Jobs, then maybe I should start building it into my working day. Standing for meetings or the simple walk away from my desk has tremendous benefits and there aren’t really any good excuses not to.