There are many benefits of walking during your workday. While most of them are physically health-related, a few have some mental health benefits too. Below is a sample of 6 of the more important benefit of walking:
1) Improve Your Circulatory System
When walking, your heart rate increases, thus moving more blood over a given period of time. More blood to the cells means a better transfer of oxygen in and carbon dioxide and wastes out. By strengthening your circulatory system, you reduce your risk of heart disease, along with lowering your blood pressure.
2) Lower Your Total Cholesterol Ratio
Walking also has another effect on your blood – it raises your good HDL while at the same time lowering your bad LDL. A better cholesterol ratio means less chance of developing plaque that narrows your arteries and causes a stroke.
3) Improve Lung Capacity
When you walk, your lungs have to work harder to get air in and out. In the process, your lungs will not only gain capacity, but get more efficient. More capacity and better efficiency helps with carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange.
4) Manage Your Weight
As a form of exercise walking burns extra calories. A 15-minute walk after lunch at 3 mph will burn around 60-70 calories depending on your weight. While this doesn’t seem like much, it amounts to 300 calories over a 5-day work week.
5) Improve Mood
The benefits we talked about up to this point have all been physical, but walking also has a mental health benefit to it too. A mid-day walk after lunch can relieve stress from the morning’s work and better prepare you to handle what’s coming in the afternoon.
6) Boost Your Brain Power
With your blood flowing faster while walking, better oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange, and reduced stress, the brain functions better than it would if you had not walked. And the positive effects carry over for hours after you are done walking. This translates to you being able to get more work done with less stress.
There is a way to walk while working if your boss will spring for it – a standing desk with a walking treadmill built into it. While not cheap – around $4,000 – many companies are looking into buying these for their employees as a way to keep down healthcare costs, which in the end cost companies more than if they would have done more to keep their workforce healthy.
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