Staying fit at work can seem difficult when working 40 hours a week in an office environment. It takes a dedicated mindset to stay fit at work when your job requires you to be sedentary to get things done. However, there are strategic ways to incorporate healthy lifestyle habits into your work routine without taking away from your daily productivity. In fact, there are ways to stay active at your desk that will increase your productivity long term. Research shows that sitting in one place for too long can reduce concentration, cause chronic inflammation, and affect your overall wellness in a negative way. These tips on staying fit at work can change your outlook on office life and have you feeling healthier in no time.
One of the best ways to stay fit at work is to incorporate fitness into your daily commute. We spend so much time driving back and forth to work when we could be using this time to improve our health. If you live within a reasonable distance to the office, consider walking, running, or biking to work. Many office environments are encouraging this commuter lifestyle, because it’s both healthier for the individual and for the environment. You’ll get to the office feeling refreshed each day knowing that you’ve already completed a full workout. Then, once you’ve been sitting for eight long hours, it’ll feel great to get your muscles moving again on the journey home.
One of the best ways to stay active at your desk is to try using a standing desk. Many companies have begun providing these for employees, because they are so beneficial for overall health and wellness. Standing up while working will help your posture, strengthen your core muscles, and make you feel more active and energized throughout your day. Other desk options to try include treadmill desks and replacing your desk chair with a workout ball.
Whenever you get a break from your desk, it’s essential that you use this time to move around. One of the key tips to staying fit at work is being dedicated to your fitness goals. If you have a 10-minute break, do a mini office workout to get your heart pumping. Walk around while you’re on a long phone call. At lunch time, go outside and get some fresh air. All of these small choices will contribute to your fitness goals as well as your overall happiness and fulfillment.
Many people in the office will take the elevator as an easy excuse because their hands are full or they’re running late for a meeting—or maybe the stairwell isn’t air conditioned and their office is on the 13th floor. Well, when your goal is to stay fit at work, the stairs could be one of the best ways to hit that goal! Be the person that stops making excuses and take the stairs from now on. Your legs and your heart will thank you for it.
One great way to hold yourself accountable to your fitness goals is to set an alarm on your phone once every hour. Whenever the alarm goes off, take five or 10 minutes and force yourself to get up and walk around. Do some squats or jumping jacks—whatever you choose—but regardless, make it a rule that you’ll move around no matter what. This will keep you out of that sedentary slump. It’ll keep you from looking at the clock at the end of the day and realizing you haven’t moved once. You’ll stop feeling guilty about your office job and start feeling better in mind, body, and soul.
Company culture is an important part of any office environment, and one of the best ways to stay fit at work is to combine company culture with your office workout. Instead of just getting together with your co-workers for lunch-n-learns or happy hours, consider setting up a boot camp or a softball team. Your coworkers may be stressing about their fitness routine as well, and it could be nice for you to all get together and try something new.
Lastly, one of the easiest ways to stay fit at work is to wear comfortable shoes. If it isn’t feasible for you to wear comfortable shoes, then at least bring some and put them under your desk so you can slip them on at lunch time or for a quick office workout when necessary. No one wants to take the stairs or use a standing desk in heels!
Staying fit at work doesn’t have to be complicated, it just takes a dedicated mindset and, possibly, some time management. With these fitness tips in your back pocket, your body will benefit and you may be surprised how much your mind benefits, too.