A hundred and fifty minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity is what is recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Yes, we know that the benefits of physical activity on physical and mental health, as well as to organizations in terms of worker productivity and fiscal health, are well documented. Workplace fitness programmes improve stress levels, psychological mood, mental wellbeing, physical health, job satisfaction, job performance, and absenteeism (Atlantis, Chow, Kirby, & Singh, 2004; Coulson & McKenna, 2008; Daley & Parfitt, 2011; Parks & Steelman, 2008). Yadayadayada.
But the workplace aerobic-resistance training programme during protected time will stop at some point. The perceptual message in your inbox insisting that you come and join in the fun at the weekly in-house Zumba workout will cease.
Perhaps one day, your boss and peers won’t have running fever. You won’t find yourself being egged into the August 25th paper run in the most fashionable neighbourhood next to Coney Island. You won’t feel compelled to run like a zombie on October 26th past the Merlion and Universal Studios. And the prospect of a delirious climb up some 2,116 stairs on November 24th to earn a well-deserved Singapore Sling and bird’s eye view of the city won’t be so appealing.
What then? Perhaps you might consider some more banal calorie-burning activities.
For a low intensity workout:
- Brush your teeth for 2 minutes
- Do your groceries
- Sit in for a few 30-minute meetings
- Make your bed
- Bake some muffins
- Water your plants
- Feed your chinchilla
- Take out the rubbish
- Shower 3 times a day
- Use an umbrella in the hot sun
For a moderate intensity workout:
- Go shopping | The Great Singapore Sale
- Go see the sharks, jellyfish, and manta rays at the S.E.A. Acquarium
- Go visit the manatees, piranhas, and pandas at the River Safari
- Take your clothes in before it rains
- Use the stairs at work
- Talk to colleagues instead of using email
- Walk to the furthest away restroom
- Bathe the dog
- Iron some school uniforms
For a high intensity workout:
- Wash/polish your car
- Vacuum your car
- Shine your shoes
- Scrub the floor
- Paint your house
- Rearrange your living room
- Tend your veggie patch
Finally, at the risk of appearing a bit off kilter to your colleagues, you could try burning extra calories by fidgeting during a staff meeting, pacing while on the phone, taking the longest route to get to the staff canteen, filling your water bottle at the water cooler several times a day, betting your colleagues that you can beat the lift to the ground floor by using the stairs, and waiting in line for half an hour for a cheap teh halia on this side of Central Business District. On the same note, quidditch can also be a good way to meet your weekly quota of physical activity. If only you knew how to get to places on your broom.