8 Ways to Sneak a Little Exercise Into Your Day

Woman stretching Woman standing in office

If you work an office job, you probably spend a lot of time sitting. Here are 8 ways to get moving just a little bit more while at the office.


1. Take the stairs instead of the elevator/park at the back of the lot

We’ve all heard this one. And yet… we still take the escalator or the elevator, we still drive around the lot for 10 minutes until a closer parking spot opens up. Those extra few steps won’t take any extra time (they might even be faster!), you’ll get the blood flowing and you’ll probably feel better for it.

2. Have a glass of water at your desk – drink it and refill it

Drinking water is good for you. Moving during the day instead of just sitting at your desk for 8 hours is good for you. So, have a glass of water on your desk, sip it throughout the day, and when it becomes empty (which it will), get up, walk over to the break room and refill it.

Many people have water bottles at their desk, that’s good. But a water bottle holds a lot more than a standard glass. So use the glass and you’ll get a few more steps on that pedometer of yours.

3. Sit up straight

We all remember being told not to slouch by our parents or teachers. It’s time to take that advice and bring it back into our day. Sit up straight, with good posture – back straight, shoulders down and back, core muscles engaged. Your back, shoulders, and neck will feel better throughout the day, your brain will be more responsive, and you’ll be working on that six pack just by sitting.

We often forget the impact that just engaging our core abdominal muscles can have. We often forget those muscles are even there. So practice finding them and engaging them (gently pull your belly button in to meet your spine). When sitting, standing, walking – you’ll improve your posture and your balance. You’ll look and feel better.

3. Go talk to your coworkers instead of phoning or emailing them

Email and phone are convenient, easy, and don’t require you to get up and search for someone. But when someone sits 10 feet from your desk, walk over and ask your question. Conversations flow, questions are answered and decisions made a lot faster when you are talking face to face with someone. And if they’re not at their desk the first time you go look, you’ll get the added benefit of getting to walk over to their desk a second time later in the day.

4. Stand while you talk

If you do need to make a phone call, stand with your feet shoulder width apart while you speak. You’ll wake up your muscles and your brain. You’ll think and speak a little more clearly, and get a bit of exercise too.

5. Set an alarm to stand up

Sitting all day is being compared to smoking as one of the worst things we can do for our health. Set a timer on your computer or cell phone for an hour and when it goes off, whatever you’re doing, stand up. You can go for a walk, you can simply stand and slowly move and stretch your muscles a bit.

Your body will feel better. Your muscles will be less tight and sore. And you’ll be more productive when you sit back down.

6. Balance while you wait

Do you find yourself waiting beside the printer for your reports to print? Or waiting in front of the kettle or coffee maker for your brew to be the perfect temperature? Take turns standing on one leg and balancing for a count of 10. You’ll engage your core muscles and the time will pass a little bit faster.

7. Try a walking meeting

Planning on meeting with someone to discuss a new endeavour?  Walking meetings are becoming very popular. Instead of sitting in a board room or coffee shop – meet a colleague or two on the park trails and have your conversation while walking side by side.

8. Get a standing desk

If you can, incorporate a standing desk into your office space instead of a seated one. Sure, it’s good to still have a chair nearby so you can sit when you need to. But typing, and most ways we use a desktop computer, don’t require us to be seated. A standing desk will force you to utilize a lot more muscles. Just make sure you have proper footwear so your feet don’t get sore.

Man laughing by stairs