If you haven’t heard, our desk jobs are killing us. And while finding time for exercise during the week helps, it’s important to also make small changes during the 9-5 to keep your body moving. Here are my 5 favorite ways.
1. Don’t Sit; Stand
There’s a reason standing desks are becoming so popular, but even if you don’t officially have one in your office, you still have options. If you’re on a laptop, seek out a spot in the office where you can stand and work, or consider a standing desk converter. Not looking to drop a couple hundred dollars, how about the very affordable ORISTAND (just $25)?
However, don’t overdue it. Standing in one place for 8 hours a day isn’t great for you either, so alternate between sitting and standing, and make a point to move a little while you stand. Also, ensure you’re standing upright and not slouching over your computer.
2. Have a Ball
When you are sitting, swap your desk chair for an exercise ball for 20-30 minute spurts. While a chair does all the work for you, an exercise ball requires core strength to retain your posture and balance, resulting in a contribution to your muscle tone of your core, hip and leg muscles.
Like with anything, the key is not to overdue it. It’s not all or nothing when it comes to sitting — alternate between the chair and the ball to see the best result with minimal risk.
3. Take Walking Meetings
Walking meetings are my absolute favorite! Anytime I have a phone call or an in-person meeting that doesn’t require the use of a computer, I make a point to turn it into a walking meeting. And while I tend to be a pacer while on the phone regardless of my location, I’ve found the most success being outside for walking meetings.
In addition to being great for your physical health, I’ve also found walking meetings to be beneficial mentally. Without devices to distract us, they’re more productive, and I’ve also found them to increase my cognitive abilities and creative thinking.
4. Take the Stairs
Becoming more active in the office is as much about small changes as it is large ones. Make a point to take the stairs instead of the elevator whereever possible. My office is on the first floor, but I’m trying to get better at parking on a higher floor in the parking garage to encourage myself to take the stairs a few more times each day.
5. Use Your Lunch Break
Instead of eating a sad desk lunch or using your lunch hour for a sit-down meal, take this time to be active. Eat a quick and healthy meal, and then spend the rest of your lunch break being active: take a walk, go on a run, find a quick hike near the office, even find a place for stair runs or lunchtime lunges in your building.
The activity options will vary based on where you work, but there’s always something you can do to get a little more activity in your workday.
What are your favorite ways to stay active during your 9-5?