Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Scenic Route

Ever since I received my fitness (smart) watch, I've tried to make myself better. I've climbed stairs even when I wasn't going anywhere, I've tried to be active for at least 10 minutes a day, and I've paid attention to how much (or little) water I consume.

I know: these are low fitness goals, but when I consider how sedentary my life was before this device was strapped around my wrist, my levels of activity were relatively non-existent. 

One of the most-noticable activities I've performed over the past couple of months is walking, and considering the deterioration in the condition of my feet, that's no small task.

Every day, I have tried to walk as close to 6,000 steps in the office. If I can accomplish this number before I go home for the day, any extra steps are gravy.But walking in my office is no great accomplishment, if I simply walk from my desk to the kitchen, to grab a cup of coffee, or head to the washroom.

In a straight line, it takes me exactly 99 steps to get from my desk to the water cooler. I will walk about 10 steps more to get a coffee. Using a simple floor plan, here's the direct path from my desk to the kitchen.

Heading to the men's room, this is the path that I took. At the most, it is a 90-step journey, including a stop at the sink to wash my hands.

Since I've started using my smart watch, I no longer walk in a straight line to the kitchen or washroom. I zig-zag around cubicles and loop around offices. Just like this:

The path is similar for either destination. You can see where my path deviates. If I'm carrying a full mug of liquid, I take the straight path from the kitchen back to my desk. But if I go to the washroom, I take the same long path back to my desk.
Where these journeys were once 90 to 100 steps, the long path now takes between 418 and 432 steps. That's more than four times as far as a straight line.

Of course, people in the office are starting to notice that I walk past them more often—sometimes, twice in one trip. But I don't care.

If these trips get me up, get my blood circulating, and give me a little bit more exercise, it's worth the odd looks.

And soon, when the weather improves and the snow disappears, I'll take to lapping the outside of the building.

Now, if only my office had stairs...

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