Annual Check-Up: A Grant Writer’s Quest to Move

It’s that time of year again…many take time to make New Year’s Resolutions or follow a similar practice to Chris Brogan and select three words to describe their year ahead. Last year I literally was swimming with sharks to start off my new year and find inspiration. This year, in addition to setting work goals and looking at my professional habits similar to what Bethany outlined last week in New Year, New Habits, I also revisited my annual quest to move.

It has become an annual tradition to write about my treadmill desk and talk about the ways that I work to involve my quest to move into the typically sedentary career of being a grant professional.

This year, the post has taken a different turn due to a running injury.

A running injury has had me sidelined since late September and I was instructed I needed to stop walking on the treadmill while I’m healing. Swimming and biking are my two workout cardio buddies. So while the treadmill desk has felt a bit lonely, we moved two new friends into the office.  The first, a huge monitor where I have my SCRUM board constantly on display for following our projects that I can use from the treadmill desk or my traditional desk. The second? My bike on an indoor trainer. Now instead of walking on treadmill during conference calls where I am on mute, or walking on the treadmill desk while I read/respond to emails, I do so while pedaling on my bike.

The past few months have taught me that working movement into our daily routine as grant professionals is TOUGH. Having something force a change in whatever routine you have established for yourself might force you back to the drawing board. This might not be an injury as in my case, but rather a new job and therefore new office environment and organizational culture.

Here are 3 tips to help you think about ways to move during your workday:

1 – Schedule walking meetings

Colleague Beth Kanter is a huge advocate for walking meetings. These can be indoor, these can be outside, they can be at conferences.

2 – Explore options that don’t take up office space

If space is a factor for what you can consider incorporating into your day, purchase an under the desk bike pedal set to keep your legs moving during the day, an exercise ball office chair to keep your core engaged all day, or small handweights to use while listening to a conference call.

3 – Schedule time onto your calendar

Make moving during the day a priority. Schedule lunch/yoga/walking/meditation into your daily calendar. Show it as time that is busy that your colleagues can’t claim via your shared calendars. Set reminders for your 5 minute walk breaks that you schedule every hour to get up and stretch your legs. Get creative in finding what reminders you need as you create this new habit.


What ways have you incorporated movement into your work day? What tools or tricks have you used in establishing new habits for yourself? We’d love to hear! Share your experiences in the comments section below on the website or via social media.

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