Calls-ercise is a term I made up. It refers to the miles of walking I used to do on phone calls when I’d get up from my desk, put on some headphones, and start moving. I would easily put in 1,500 steps this way. If you look at that lifestyle and add in the time standing at my old standing desk, I was easily up and about over half the day.
Calls-ercise was great for the days when I may have been unable to get a workout in, and it made the day go by faster.
Video is great, but my video calls require me to be stationary. I’ve seen the stationary bikes and other fun solutions that are out there, but essentially you have to be seen to be heard, so most of those are not feasible.
I tried callsercising my way through a video call on my mobile phone, but it’s just not the same. It’s awkward to be walking down the street, or around your house, holding your phone up and trying to watch the call and where you’re going at the same time. My shins can easily explain if you have any questions. They have the bruises to show.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers spend 42.2% of their day sitting, and 57.8% standing. Tech jobs probably skew higher than that on the side of sitting, and video calls skew that number even further.
Sitting is not good for us. Sitting too much can raise your risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and more. Studies show that you should get up and move around consistently throughout your day. Ideally that moving is more than just to the fridge to get a snack.
At my previous job, we sent our customers a set of stretch bands and a list of at-their-desk exercises they could do when on video calls. We had built an AI assistant to take notes, so you could put down the pen and engage your hands doing something else.
I would love to see more employers encourage their employees to find ways to get up and about during their day. We all discuss the “future of work” quite often, but most often that discussion revolves around the balance of office vs. remote or the flexible work schedule. We aren’t talking enough about the balance of moving around vs. sedentary positions.
I don’t know if callsercising is the next big trend. I don’t think that guy from Beachbody is going to be jumping on the bandwagon anytime soon. But I encourage you to take at least one call per day on the traditional phone, go outside, and talk while walking around. Studies show that moving your body encourages your brain. The flow of blood increases stimulation to the creative parts of your brain, and the results are positive all across the board.
I hope you’re able to get out for one call per day. I think you will see it works wonders for your outlook on life!