Over the past year, I've found myself doing something I never imagined: walking to work. And strangely enough, the more I walk, the more it becomes an essential portion of my day. It all started when I transitioned from working at home to working at an office.
At the time, I wasn't sure I was going to like working from an office due to increased distraction from coworkers and increased commute time. After all, I felt like I was getting in a work-from-home groove after having done it for over a year. But as I quickly found out, the office ended up being just what I needed to boost productivity. Some of the reasons are outlined below:
- Physical separation of home life and work life
- Mental separation of home life and work life
- Interaction and collaboration with coworkers
- Improved productivity
Today though, I'd like to focus on points 1 & 2 because I see them as being the most important on the list.
Mental and Physical Separation
When I worked from home, the office was mere steps away and always beckoning…. "Just one more blog post, Steve," or "Check your email again, you probably received a really important one." The basic idea was that because my office was so close, it made work that much more difficult to get away from.
As a married man, I've found it increasingly important to separate my work life from my home life, and having an office away from home was what I needed to make it happen. But the physical separation wasn't enough. After all, I could have just shot my computer off and not looked at it.
Walking To and From Work
I live one mile away from the office and started walking to and from work 2-3 times per week several months ago. Because we only have one car, which my wife takes to work, walking was actually done more out of necessity than strategic planning. As it turns out, walking was the perfect way to mentally separate myself from work and reconnect with home.
The 20-or-so-minute walk also has similar benefits in my morning commute. Rather than attempting to shift my mind quickly, I am able to ease into the day by thinking about and prioritizing my daily activities before I get into the office.
Even though my anecdotal story has been very beneficial to my daily activities, walking to work or during your workday can play an important role in maintaining one's overall health and wellness. Some of these include:
- Reduced risk of obesity
- Reduced Body Fat
- Improved Mood
- Reduced Fatigue
Walk to Work Day
If you didn't know, the first Friday of April each year is Walk to Work Day. If my personal evidence hasn't convinced you to walk to work, read what the organizers of the day believe about walking–and just try to say no.
"Walking for 30-60 minutes a day greatly reduces your risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. By finding a way to make walking part of each day, you are giving yourself proven health benefits far beyond any promised by herbs, vitamins, or prescription drugs."