How To Remain Active Despite Your Office Job
Nowadays, about a quarter of all Americans work in an office in some capacity. If you work behind a desk most of the day, you probably find it difficult to remain active. However, if you want to maintain an active lifestyle, there are ways to do it despite working eight hours behind a desk.
Learn Activities You Enjoy
If your goal is staying active in the office, you don’t want to start with activities you hate. Most people find it challenging to go from a sedentary to an active lifestyle; you don’t want to make it more difficult by engaging in activities that make you more miserable. You are less likely to stick to the activity if you don’t enjoy it.
Explore different options for physical activity. For example, if you love spending time at the gym, then consider hitting the gym before or after work. If you’d rather take relaxing walks, integrate a morning or evening walk into your daily routine. Other options to stay active include:
- Measuring your steps
- Stretching behind your desk
- Utilizing a standing desk
- Cycling to work
- Using a treadmill desk
If you begin a routine but don’t enjoy it, don’t be afraid to change it.
Create an Office Space That Encourages Activity
If you have control of your office space, try to make it more workout-friendly. First, think about the type of furniture you have. While many offices have chairs on wheels, consider a stationary chair. Stationary chairs can be ergonomic, allowing you to perform chair dips and other exercises.
If you have small weights, keep them on or near your desk to encourage your use throughout the day. If possible, find a compact piece of workout equipment like a small stationary bike to use throughout the day.
Design your office with movement in mind. Keep a space around your desk where you can stand up, walk around or stretch. Consider setting an alarm throughout the day to remind you to stand up at least once every hour.
Counteract Sitting Throughout the Day
Sitting for eight hours straight can be detrimental to how you feel. People who sit for prolonged periods tend to experience more fatigue and are more likely to develop high blood pressure and diabetes. Even with a desk job, odds are you can find time to stand.
First, try to stand while you work. Standing desks are becoming more popular, allowing you to elevate the desk comfortably. Many office workers experience a boost in productivity when allowed to stand while working.
In addition to standing while working, take advantage of any breaks you have to get away from the office. Take short walks during your lunch break or encourage clients and colleagues to walk during meetings. You can also swap out less active habits like taking an elevator or parking near your office.
Take Advantage of Your Off-Time
Sometimes it’s impossible to work out or stay active while at work. If this is the case for you, there are still options before and after work. Try to integrate walking or cycling into your morning commute. If you take buses, drop off a few stops early and walk or cycle the rest.
After work, try not to sit down and relax right away. It can be tempting to crash on the couch and binge on your latest TV obsession, but your body will thank you if you put it off. While going to the gym for an hour or two after work can be a great way to stay in shape, there are more simple routes too.
Consider an afternoon walk before or after dinner. A productive walk should take about 30 minutes to complete and it doesn’t have to be a challenging workout either. The point is to get your blood pumping.
Learn To Stay in Motion
When you sit for long periods, it can have adverse effects on the way you feel. Additionally, the more sedentary you become, the more likely you are to stay that way. Breaking up your day with physical activity can help you maintain an active lifestyle despite working at the office.