Simple Tips to Stay Moving and Active During Your 9-5

This post has been featured on the online publishing network BlogHer, and on the fitness & lifestyle website, The Body Department.

A lot of us, myself included, work in an office environment and are sitting at desks all day, Monday through Friday.  Staying sedentary during the workweek can wreak havoc on your body over time, even if you are finding time to fit in a workout.  That said, there are so many easy ways to stay moving and active during your 9-5 (or whatever hours you find yourself in that desk chair).  I hope you can utilize some or all of these tips to help you and your coworkers combat the sedentary lifestyle that offices and cubicles can sometimes foster.  Here are some of my favorite ways to keep your body moving:

Simple Tips for Staying Active During your 9 to 5

1 | Set a timer

Might be obvious, but setting a timer either on your watch or computer will help remind you to get up, stretch your legs, and move throughout your day.  If you can, try to set it to go off every hour once you get into work.  Getting up out of your desk chair will not only help keep the blood flowing, but it will also help you maintain focus on your work and allow for small, frequent breaks. 

2 | Take the stairs

This is one you probably hear a lot, but that’s for a good reason.  Make a conscious effort to take the stairs instead of the elevator every chance you get.  Work on the 8th floor of your building?  Great!  Work those quads and glutes on the way up to and down from your office.  This goes for life outside the office, too.  Take the stairs at the mall, the airport, your apartment building, etc.  Take ‘em any and every chance you get - it’s a mindless way to work your legs more than you would have otherwise.

3 | Use your lunch break to your advantage 

Your lunch break can be used for so much more than just eating.  Do you have some officemates that want to get active during their workdays, too?  Multitask and grab ‘em to go for a walk around the building or block.  You can catch up while you move.  Going out for lunch?  If you can, walk there instead of driving.  Also see tip #5 for more ideas on multitasking during lunch.

4 | Deliver memos in person

Instead of shooting off emails that discuss quick topics, try getting up out of your chair and walking to the person’s desk/office to deliver the message in person.  You’ll get a chance to talk face to face with someone you might not otherwise have talked to.  This also goes for intra-office phone calls.  Go chat with the person face to face and add even more steps to your day.  Added bonus if the person works on another floor (refer to tip #2)!

5 | Try a few exercises in your office  (No, really!)

Think those push ups or planks need to be saved for the gym or fitness class?  Why's that? There’s nothing stopping you from doing a few reps during your workday.  Need some ideas for what exercises you can do?  Check out the Fitness Friday series here on the blog for mini workouts you can do absolutely anywhere – office included.  Even better if you grab a friend and do them together!

My hope is these tips give you a good idea of some super easy ways you can combat a sedentary workplace lifestyle.  I also hope this post serves as a reminder of the importance of moving your body frequently throughout the day.  Try adding a few of these tips into your routine each day and stick with it for a few weeks.  You just might be surprised to see your mood improve, your focus become more acute, and your overall attitude change for the positive.

Readers: chat with me!  What do you do combat the sedentary lifestyle of working in an office?  Any tips you have that I didn't mention here?  Share them below!