I can’t even tell you how many articles I have read over the past year or two about the dangers of sitting and how those of working at desk jobs are at risk of long-term health problems. As someone who sits at a desk for 8 or 9 hours per day, that’s slightly terrifying to read. Luckily for me (and you), there are plenty of ways to stay active anyway, whether it be by taking advantage of the time you aren’t at work or incorporating a little physical activity into the time you are at work.
Take Frequent Breaks
If you’re sitting at a desk for 8-9 hours per day, taking frequent breaks is crazy important. At the very least, get up once in awhile to do a lap around the office. If you can manage it, take even longer breaks and get a good walk in. While the weather is nice, a coworker and I use our lunch hour every day to walk around the block for half an hour. I love knowing that even if I skip my workout that evening, I still did something active. Plus, I always return to my desk totally refreshed and even more productive.
Watch What You Eat
If you’re sitting at a desk all day with very little physical activity, the last thing you need is to eat foods that are going to make you even more sluggish. I try to avoid anything too heavy, or large meals in general. I also try to stay away from desserts or too many carbs. For lunch, I usually bring a wrap or salad. My snacks are usually string cheese, fruits, and veggies.
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Work Out at Your Desk
There are so many articles out there about small workouts you can do while sitting at your desk. No, you aren’t going to be burning major calories or training for a marathon this way, but something is better than nothing!
You can also turn work-related activities into exercise when you’d normally do them sitting at your desk. If you’re having a meeting, see if your meeting partner would be open to a walking meeting (assuming you don’t have to take notes during). Also, next time you’re thinking of calling or emailing a coworker in the same building, walk to their department or desk and have the conversation that way. Finally, start taking business calls on your cell phone and walk while you’re talking.
Extend Your Travel Time
Extending your travel time is an easy way to stay active a bit more during your workday. One way to do this is to park further away than you normally do to incorporate a little extra walking. You can also skip the elevator and take the stairs.
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Have Active Hobbies
When you’re sitting at a desk all day, it’s mega important that you get physical activity in after work hours. Many of us aren’t fans of exercise, but one way to do this is by picking up hobbies that will help you stay active. Whether it’s checking out some trails in your area or just running errands, anything to get some extra steps in. When I moved into my new apartment last year, I started going for walks in the evenings to get to know the neighborhood. I found I enjoyed it so much that I just kept doing it, and that’s when I listen to my favorite podcasts.