10 Ways To Stay Active At The Office
If you’re one of the many workers with a “desk job,” that doesn't mean you have to stay glued to your chair for 40-plus hours per week.
The good news is that you can easily incorporate physical activity into your workday.
Here are 10 office health tips — solutions that take minimal time and yield maximum results:
Take the Stairs
If your office building has stairs, use them and skip the elevator. You’ll raise your heart rate, strengthen your legs and burn extra calories.
Get a Standing Desk
There are a lot of desk models designed with the option to sit or stand at your convenience. You’ll expend more calories, improve posture and combat fatigue.
Swap the Chair for an Exercise Ball
Back pain is commonly associated with sitting for extended intervals, especially in an unsupportive chair. Opting for an exercise ball helps keep your muscles active: In order to maintain balance, you have to engage your core, which in turn helps strengthen your back.
Park Farther Away
If you drive to work, do you really need to park as close to your office as possible? The next time you park, choose one of the farthest spots to incorporate more walking into your day.
Take the Long Route
Along with parking farther away, avoid the shortest route to your desk. Maybe there’s a longer path you can take instead.
Get your heart rate pumping with short cardio bursts. Do jumping jacks or jog in place at your desk for 60 seconds every few hours, for example. If you want more privacy, try these in an empty office room.
Many experts recommend taking brief breaks and moving (two minutes or so) every 30 minutes. Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of sending an email to him/her, fill your water bottle or take a lap around the office. Over the course of the day, those little breaks will likely help you feel more alert and engaged.
Incorporate work exercises at the office. Here are a couple to try at your desk:
- Leg lifts. While sitting in your chair, straighten both legs in front of you so they’re parallel to the floor, engaging your abdominals. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat three to five times.
- Desk pushups. Make sure your desk is stable and place your arms shoulder-width apart, with your hands at the edge of your desk. Push off your desk and aim for 10 pushups.
Stretch at various times throughout the workday to combat muscle tension and feel re-energized. Try some basic yoga poses to stretch your muscles and help relieve stress.
If you have time, take a brisk walk during your lunch break, even if it’s only 10 minutes. Taking a break — away from the computer screen — will do wonders for your productivity and energy levels when you return to the office.