The 40-ish hour work week & you

Ok, so I’ve started on a contract job requiring full time hours – at a computer. I’ve done 4 days so far, and I can tell you that the sore neck muscles and stiff body came right back, after years away from dedicated work like this. Yes, even though I’m a trainer and know tons of exercises and methods for dealing with The Desk Life. The body remembers. So I’m using myself as an experiment in getting enough movement into a typical desk-worker’s week, to see what’s possible.

It’s my objective for the next 3 months to make this work, to make it as ergonomically pleasant as possible, and to get my exercise hours to stay as constant as they were before this job. Here’s what I’m looking at:

I use an Apple Watch, and the rings feature works nicely for me to keep track of my activity. It tracks 3 things: Move/Exercise/Stand. Move is all activity (based on a calorie burned metric, which I don’t expect accuracy from, btw), Exercise is minutes of activity above a certain brisk threshold, and Stand is…that you stand & move around for at least a minute in each hour (this is paraphrased from the information on the Apple website). I’ve got my settings at Move: 550/Exercise: 60/Stand: 12. That’s a bit aggressive for many folks, who might just have 30 minutes on their Exercise circle, for example. So far, for my 4 work days, I was able to close my rings each day. This is a trend I’m looking to continue, because it forces me to remember physical movement on days when I just feel like a brain, a pair of eyeballs, and typing fingertips (and a sore neck). I’m highly motivated to move, though – don’t compare yourself to me. I’m not a real big fan of sitting still.

Week of October 3-9 is going to be a testing ground for how to add in tiny snippets of movement while stepping away from the laptop, where I might be pondering a solution to something, or just taking a few deep breaths. Which reminds me – I’m making mindfulness a large part of this experiment, with mindfulness exercises nearly every day (I’m working on making it daily, without beating myself up about it – no sense in trying to de-stress if you stress over de-stressing, if you know what I mean!

I’ll post next week with my progress & talk a little bit about the tactics I use to try and keep desk-bound muscles from getting too stiff and sore. Whatever you do that requires you to sit still for awhile, there can be some useful ideas in there.

Have a lovely week, and move, move, continue to move.