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Maija Laurikkala-Dewes | 16.11.2020

Simulation exercises to collect steps

Mars kaamos! step campaign

Heltti’s Mars kaamos! step campaign is well under way. If you have just joined the campaign, welcome! Now it is a good time to start to collect steps. Today’s outreach of the campaign is about how steps can be accumulated throughout the day quite easily when them are consciously added every time.

Back then, in February, when we were still living in old normal, we woke up in the morning, took care of the morning activities and went to work. The transitions went either on by walking, by bike, by public transportation or by a car. In the afternoon, the same shift was ahead in the other direction: from work to home. During the working day, many went to lunch somewhere outside the workplace and walked throughout the day between a printer, coffee room, meeting rooms, to a colleague, social facilities, to post something, etc. In the old days, there could be breaks in meetings, so you could walk, go out or go to the bathroom. Between meetings, you had to move to another space or even to the premises of another company.

In the era of the new normal, that all is replaced by about ten steps taken from the bed to the kitchen table. At worst, the whole day runs remotely from the same point, the remote meetings continue one after the other and there is no need for transitions. The number of steps from daily chores can be alarmingly low if you don’t pay any attention to it and let the work glue your bottom to the chair for all day.

What if you started trying simulation exercises of an old normal? Whatever you come up with to collect steps – your body and alertness will thank you. Here are some examples:

  • Morning simulation or “transition” to the workplace: Walk six times between for example bedroom-kitchen-dressing room-bathroom-coffee maker-dining table-bathroom-kitchen-vestibule-dressing room-vestibule and after that take a short walk at outside to the car, bus stop or a bit longer loop at forest or around the block.
  • Workday transitions simulation: Turn on timer (For example, The Tomato Timer from your browser) and turn it alarm as often as it was necessary to get moving at the old normal. Simulate a walk to a printer, a coffee room, to a colleague to ask / answer something, meetings in different rooms, etc.
  • Pause exercise simulation: In the absence of co-workers, tell your houseplant or your dog what you did at the gym yesterday, show a few moves and highlight how hard the set was and show where you feel now. If you’re at workplace you can also use your coworker for story telling – if he or she runs away, you can cleverly increase their steps at the same time. Running after will increase your steps as well.
  • Brexiting simulation: Develop your motor cortex and walk backwards or in the advanced version sideways. In the old days, in every office was that one person, that was always in such a hurry that was constantly leaving the conversations, but still remained hanging out and chatting while taking steps away – either backwards or sideways. Maybe a little far fetched, that it has something in common with the word brexiting. The step count of the day still clicks forward from every step.

Summa summarum: Pay attention to how much unnoticed steps were taken in the old normal during the day, and try to increase the steps in the new normal by at least the same amount. If you double the number of steps, you also double their health benefits. So take steps here and there, everywhere. Also encourage your colleagues to move.

Maija Laurikkala-Dewes: Toimin Heltissä työfysioterapeuttina. Olen aikaisemmalta koulutukseltani diplomi-insinööri, ja oman liikunnan rakastamisen myötä lähdin kutsumukseni perään opiskelemaan fysioterapeutiksi. Tavoitteeni on auttaa ihmisiä jaksamaan arjessaan paremmin, niin työtehtävissä kuin työn ulkopuolellakin