It is a fact that anxiety has increased significantly since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. People are suffering from high levels of stress, partly caused by the uncertainty of workplaces.
The Woman Post | Catalina Mejía Pizano
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Altering between remote work, going back to the office, and a hybrid model, have generated uncertainty and induced stress worldwide. According to a Gallup poll, 80 % of Americans suffer from some type of work anxiety.
Those who exercise constantly, know that physical activity is vital to achieving productivity and balance. According to the World Health Organization, physical activity enhances thinking, learning, and judgment skills, and up to 5 million deaths a year could be prevented if the global population was more active. But what is physical activity? Physical activity can be defined as any movement of the body produced by skeletal muscles that demand energy expenditure. Physical activity includes all movement, during work or leisure time and transportation. As mentioned by the WHO, regular physical activity helps to avoid hypertension, maintain a healthy weight, and to improve mental wellbeing.
A recent study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry quantified the effects of regular exercise on mental wellbeing. Swedish researchers studied approximately 400,000 people and found that people with an active lifestyle were 60% less prone to develop anxiety when compared to more sedentary individuals over 21 years.
So if you’re thinking of working on your mental wellbeing, and decreasing your anxiety levels, now is a great time to start. According to the Mental Health Foundation, "even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy, and positive mood." While there are many factors of our work that we cannot control, we can always become better managers of our stress levels. For instance, just moving around can lower our risk of sudden cardiac arrest by 92%. Our moods can also benefit from physical activity. It is worth highlighting that a recent study found that low-intensity aerobic exercise for 30 minutes, 3 -5 days a week significantly increased positive moods.
Let's explore some great tips on how to get physically active when we have a work overload:
1. Chair Yoga: Chair yoga is a gentle type of yoga that can be practiced while we are sitting on our desks. It helps us to focus on our movement and breathing. It promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and improves our moods.
2. Take Breaks: Various studies have revealed that taking mini-breaks of 5 minutes, can help to improve our moods and increase our wellbeing. A good idea to take a break is to walk out of the office for 10 minutes and breathe fresh air.
3. Go for High-Intensity Intervals: If you have time before lunch, it is always a good idea to run to the gym. Some of their benefits are burning a lot of calories in a short time, enhancing fat loss, reducing heart and blood pressure, and improving our mood.
4. Take a Walk: Taking a walk is always a good idea to exercise and boost energy. If your agenda is very tight, try to walk to take your lunch at a park. Exposure to green spaces reduces anxiety and improves depression.
5. Go Upstairs: It is worth noting that climbing the stairs burns more calories than walking or running, and it engages several abdominal muscles. It also helps you release endorphins to make you feel good without having to wear special gear or find a specific time of the day to do it.
So what are you waiting for to add these simple activities to your daily routine?