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Stay Active While Working



A woman working on a treadmill desk

Author: Michelle Mamerto


Everyone knows that getting exercise is an excellent way to relieve stress, get better sleep at night, stay healthy, and keep burnout at bay. However, with the demands of modern work life, it can be challenging to find the time and motivation to stay active. Here are a few practical tips to keep active even during work hours:


1. Plan Your Day with Exercise in Mind


Start by planning out how much time you have during the day for small bursts of exercise. Set realistic goals based on your schedule and workload. By identifying pockets of time, such as breaks or the lunch hour, you can create a plan that incorporates physical activity seamlessly into your day.


2. Embrace Mini Workouts


Breaking up your workout into a few 15-20 minute mini workouts can be just as effective as one 45-60 minute session. These shorter bursts of exercise can fit into your day more easily and still provide significant health benefits. For example, you could do a quick cardio session in the morning, some strength training at lunch, and a relaxing yoga routine in the evening.


3. Move Regularly if You Sit at a Desk


If your job requires you to sit at a desk for long periods, make sure to stand and move around every so often. Aim to get up and walk around every hour. This not only helps to break up the monotony but also reduces the risks associated with prolonged sitting, such as back pain and poor circulation.


4. Utilize Hand Weights and Resistance Bands


Keep hand weights or resistance bands nearby and learn how to use them properly with good form. These tools are perfect for quick strength training exercises that can be done at your desk. Simple exercises like bicep curls, shoulder presses, and resistance band rows can keep your muscles engaged throughout the day.


5. Take Advantage of Breaks and Lunch


Use your breaks and lunch period to get some physical activity. Going for a walk during these times can help clear your mind, reduce stress, and improve your overall mood. Whether it's a brisk walk around the block or a leisurely stroll in a nearby park, make the most of this time to get your body moving.


6. Invest in Ergonomic Furniture


Consider investing in a standing desk, an adjustable desk, or even a treadmill desk. These ergonomic options allow you to alternate between sitting and standing, or even walking, while you work. This can significantly reduce the negative impacts of prolonged sitting and keep you more active throughout the day.


7. Opt for the Stairs


Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator. This simple choice can add a surprising amount of physical activity to your day and help strengthen your legs and cardiovascular system.


8. Don’t Forget to Stretch


Stretching throughout the day is crucial for maintaining flexibility and preventing muscle stiffness. Incorporate stretching routines into your daily schedule, especially if you’ve been sitting for extended periods. Focus on areas prone to tightness, such as the neck, shoulders, back, and legs.


9. Make Your Commute Active


If feasible, make the most of your commute by walking or cycling to work instead of taking the bus or driving. This not only increases your daily physical activity but also reduces your carbon footprint. If you live too far to walk the entire way, consider parking further away or getting off public transport a few stops early to walk the remaining distance.


10. Always Aim to Break a Sweat


Regardless of the activity you choose, always try to break a sweat. Whether it’s a quick jog, an intense workout, or even a vigorous walk, sweating is a sign that you’re pushing your body and reaping the benefits of physical exertion.

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