Time to Move: Getting Active at the Office

Sitting in the office day-after-day can get tedious (been there, done that). Do that for 8-9 hours and you are drained. Forget having the energy to hit the gym for another 45-60 minutes. It happens. There is nothing wrong with that, but that can have negative health effects. From expanding your waistline to tight hips, what are some exercises that can be done to help burn a few calories while you’re sitting in the office? Check out these office tricks you can implement right now to help keep you office healthy.

Get Moving with These Office Activities:

1. Stay on top of your water

This used to happen to me all the time. You get in the zone and forget to stay hydrated. This happens to us when we are writing or creating content. Here’s a hot tip: set multiple alarms on your cell phone and periodically sound to remind you to grab some water. This will get you up, moving, and stretching while helping you stay hydrated and running at full capacity!

2. Take a walk

With all those water breaks you will need to visit the bathroom. One way to get your blood flowing and you burning a few extra calories is to make sure to take the long way to the bathroom. Use the bathroom on the 3rd floor instead of the one on your floor. Or take a long walk on your way there to help you get active and stretched out! I’m not saying slack off and go to the bathroom on the 23rd floor when you are on the first but take the long way next time.

3. Sit on a stability ball

You might have a coworker who does this already – the popularity is really taking off! Having a stability ball instead of your office chair is the big craze nowadays. Stability balls make for good replacement chairs because it forces you to sit straight. This works on your posture and core muscles while helping you work on your balance. Plus, you can bust out some ball crunches when you are on your break.

4. Arm circles

Nothing looks more “cool” then sitting in your desk doing arm circles… But if you don’t mind looking like a goofball to your coworkers (I have no problem with it) you can perform arm circles to work your shoulders and arms – it’s a great burn. It’s simple, hold your arms out from your sides and perform small forward circles. Try this for 30 seconds, rest a few minutes and then perform 30 more seconds of reverse arm circles.

5. Calf raises

This is a really simple, great exercise. To perform this effective move as you are sitting in your office chair, apply pressure to the front balls of your feet. You basically lift your heel off the ground while keep your toes down to contract the calves. Use that pressure to get the resistance you lift against with the calf raise.

6. Glute contractions

This is definitely a deep burn! One great exercise to do when sitting there writing TPS reports or any computer work, are glute squeezes (aka butt squeezes). While sitting there, you basically contract your glutes (butt muscles) and hold that for 5-10 seconds, release, and repeat.

7. Bodyweight exercises

These are the ultimate office exercises! If you have an office of your own or a cubicle you can perform bodyweight movements during your free time (or lunch break). Exercises like planks, pushups, squats and lunges make for a great total workout. The beauty of it is that for many of these exercises you can use your chair or desk for balance.

Office Equipment:

Now let’s take your office workouts up a notch. On a recent DIY Active article, expert Rebecca Lee, a registered nurse and founder of RemediesForMe.com, had a few tools you need to try:

8. Office stepping machine

“An office stepping device easily slides under the desk and can stay hidden. It is inexpensive, near-silent, and can be used while sitting. The device replicates exercise movements similar to walking. One study shows that a stepping device can cause a weight loss of up to 44 pounds per year if sitting is replaced for just 2 hours each day. It also found that office-place stepping and cycling increases worker’s energy levels more than walking does.”

9. Standing desk & walk-and-work

“A lot of companies are now switching to standing stations where desks are elevated to a standing height. Studies show that 2 hours of sitting time that is replaced by cycling, walking, or stepping at a desk, could increase energy expenditure by 100 kcal/hour. It could also cause a weight loss of 44-66 pounds per year. There are inexpensive standing desks, desk steppers, ellipticals, and treadmills that are available.”

Wrap-Up

Well, there you have it! Honestly, there really are no limitations when it comes to staying active at the office. Just use your imagination and build your own office routine. When it comes down to it, just remember to stay active every day. Every day perform some task that makes you break a sweat and you will be on your way to achieving your fitness goals.


Josh (M.S.) is the founder and editor of DIY Active. He enjoys blending the latest science and expert advice with health practices to help you exercise smarter. He enjoys providing as much free content as possible to help you get fitness results at home! Did we miss any ultimate health tips? Let us know!

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