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3 Easy Ways to Stay Active at Work

Woman running on an outdoor track
Setting your sights on realistic goals can create a snowball effect of good habits.

It’s not hard to get a little sedentary when your job involves sitting at a desk all day. But it’s actually pretty simple these days to put in just a little bit of activity and keep those aches and pains at bay. Here’s how to stay healthy and a little active while at a desk job.

  1. Make a Plan

What’s bothering you about your lack of activity or unhealthy habits at work? Are you snacking too much from the office bagel tray or a coworker’s candy jar? Do you not get enough steps? Are you going home sore from “just sitting” all day? You can fix it!

Make a list of the potential problem areas with your activities at work. If you can, propose solutions for yourself and how you’d like to see change happen on day 1 and day 30. Set yourself up for success by telling a friend or coworker what you’re working on so they can hold you accountable when you’re going in for that third bagel, or sitting all afternoon without a break.

  1. Enlist Help

Speaking of getting a hand, you can let your officemates in on your plan and get a group together for some increased activity. Maybe plan a lunchtime walk around the block together, or get outside and enjoy the warm weather when those afternoon cravings set in. Having a buddy can help you stay on track, but also makes it fun to bond with your teammates while doing something that isn’t spreadsheets.

You can also get some electronic help in the form of reminders or fitness trackers:

  • Set your step goal with a wearable tracker, or even your phone in your pocket. If you’re meeting your goal easily, make it a bit harder for the next day. Invite friends to new fitness step challenges to get online support.
  • Plug in activity reminder “meetings” to your office calendar. You could set a 10am reminder to do something on your healthy list, like drink more water, go for a quick walk or just get up and stretch. Don’t hit snooze! This is your health we’re talking about.
  • Finding your activity has TOO much screentime? Set a timer on your Instagram settings or other apps to let you know when you’ve hit that limit for the day. You’d be surprised how much “one quick look” adds up and can take away from just enjoying being present in your surroundings.
  1. Find what moves you… literally.

If you’re looking for new ways to get a little active in the office, look no further than a bit of stretching and “desk yoga.” There are  a lot of videos online that can offer you up a 10 or 15 minute break to get your back, neck and even your legs moving and all that blood circulating again.

Want a bigger challenge? Start using your legs by taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work. (Don’t worry: we all wheeze when we first start doing stairs.) Or park further from the door to force yourself to take more steps and squeak out just a little more cardio into your day.

Looking for some more fitness? Pack that gym bag and schedule a gym visit before or after work. If you have your supplies, you’ll be much more likely to head to the gym instead of the couch after work.

No matter what you choose to do to get a little healthier at work, and no matter what your journey looks like, just remember you can make some good choices every day.

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