A field hasn’t truly arrived until its core concepts can be described as a Venn diagram. Office fitness is here to stay, and here’s how I diagram it:
Office fitness integrates and optimizes:
- your long-term health, mostly by preventing “sitting disease” but also by promoting a generally healthy lifestyle,
- your near-term comfort, reducing your risk of injury and keeping you free from pain, and
- your productivity, helping you continue to crank out the work that keeps you happily employed.
At the intersections of these areas are the activities that span them.
- Where health meets comfort are exercise regimens and other self-care practices that build your body and stave off disease and injury.
- Where comfort meets productivity are ergonomics practices and posture self-awareness that let you gracefully interact with your office furniture and computer equipment.
- Where productivity meets health are wellness programs (typically created and administered by employers) that promote healthy lifestyles at work.
How You Fit in the Office-Fitness World
Anyone who works in an office, at a desk, and/or with a computer all day is at the center of this diagram looking out.
Like all of us, you’re concerned about your long-term health and do the best you can to eat right, exercise regularly, and otherwise take care of yourself.
You care about your comfort at work and do your best to maintain a good ergonomic set-up, and you may have even cultivated some awareness of your posture and how to improve it.
You want to do your job as efficiently and productively as possible, and you appreciate your employer’s wellness programs and other efforts to keep you healthy as you work.
Your “office” may be a conventional place with individual or shared spaces, or it may be your home, or a co-working space, or a string of coffee shops and public libraries. Your conception of the word “fitness” is likely biased toward the athletic exercise model espoused by most personal training programs, but you may also be starting to wonder if there’s another “office fitness” model that might better serve you. That’s what I’m working on.
How I Fit in the Office-Fitness World
My interest in office fitness grew out of my massage practice, which is still going strong. As I have developed this field over the past eight years, I have written a book on office fitness and added to my list of service offerings:
- personal training sessions for individual office workers,
- small-group training for organizations of all sizes,
- talks and speeches for associations and companies, and
- consulting services for startups, small/medium businesses, and corporations.
Here’s how my subject-matter expertise and my business and clinical activities line up with the office-fitness Venn diagram:
To this point, I have helped hundreds of individual massage and training clients develop better office fitness habits. I have shared my clinical insights – as well as several years of research into “sitting disease,” exercise, posture, and ergonomics – in my office-fitness book, which has been read by thousands of office workers. Right now I’m working with both individual office workers and small- to medium-sized companies to design an office-fitness program to help even more people cultivate better office fitness habits.