The average adult sits for 6.5 hours a day — yes, even those who consider themselves to be active! So, even if you’re crushing a daily workout, you probably fall into this category as well. But don’t be so hard on yourself — it’s not always for a lack of motivation or effort. Between work, school, technology, and the convenience of drive-thru’s, an overwhelming number of adults spend the majority of their day sitting. And we get it — you have responsibilities and a busy schedule. Sometimes that means fitness and exercise fall to the side. But, even if the majority of your day is spent at the office, you don’t have to sacrifice your health and fitness goals for a sedentary life. The good news? There are simple ways to add more movement to your workday, and we’re breaking them all down.
The Importance of Moving Throughout The Day
If you crushed your daily workout, that’s great! You’ve taken a huge step toward benefiting your physical and mental health. Plus, completing a morning workout means you’re more likely to make healthier decisions throughout the day when it comes to diet and food cravings.
But that doesn’t mean you have to call it quits on movement for the rest of the day — even if you’re at the office! Daily exercise doesn’t negate the effects of too much sitting. While it can, of course, benefit your health, moving throughout the day (outside of your workout) is extremely important. To put it simply, our body is designed to move.
Plus, on a happier note, adding more movement into your workday promotes a healthier mind and body! Aside from reducing your risk of illness, you’ll be more productive, energized, and focused. And who doesn’t want that? And it doesn’t take much to get the benefits — it can be as simple as stretching or standing up!
So, let’s keep you active with these simple, seamless movement hacks.
How to Add More Movement to Your Workday
#1 Offer to do a Coffee Run For Your Team
We’re not saying the coffee tab needs to be on you… (unless you’re feeling ultra-generous)! But why not offer to do the office coffee run? You’ll get some extra steps and a bit of fresh air while securing some major brownie points from your boss and co-workers. Sounds like a win-win-win.
#2 Park Further Away
Looking for a simple way to start and end the day with extra steps? Park further away! If you have a designated parking spot, use the furthest entrance from your office to enter the building. If you work Monday through Friday, these extra steps add up faster than you realize!
#3 Take Your Lunch Break On-The-Go
If you feel that afternoon slump creeping in, your lunch break is the perfect opportunity to boost your energy and clear your head. If you didn’t pack a lunch, walk to a nearby cafe or grocery store and grab a healthy bite! Need some store-bought snack inspiration? Try these tasty ideas.
#4 Schedule a Walking Meeting
Whether you’re in person or on zoom, use your meetings as an opportunity to move. If you don’t need to be at a desk, put your AirPods in and take your call on the go! If it’s an in-person meeting, ask your co-worker or team to join you for an outdoor stroll while you walk and talk. Aside from the physical benefits of moving and grooving, new research from the University of Miami suggests that you’ll also be more attentive and productive while boosting your mood!
#5 Instead of Texting or Emailing Your Question, Get Up & Ask
How often do you text or email a question when your co-worker is standing feet away? We’re guilty of this too!
Ditch the technology and use this as an opportunity to move your body. Plus, after all that WFH time, it’s nice to connect with others face-to-face. And honestly, you’ll probably get a response much faster!
#6 Set An Hourly Timer As a Reminder to Move
Set an hourly timer as a constant reminder to keep moving. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant or time-consuming — even 2-3 minutes of movement is great! Stretch, get water, even hit the restroom for a bathroom break. Whatever you have to do to move!
#7 Take the Stairs Whenever You Can
Skip the elevator and take the stairs as much as you can! Does your building have a bathroom on the second floor? Maybe a coffee or break room downstairs? Use it as an opportunity to increase your steps! You burn an estimated 3-5 calories per flight of stairs — if you’re adding in some extra steps throughout the day, it adds up.
#8 Start a Movement Challenge with Your Co-workers
For extra motivation and added accountability, get the office involved! Start a movement challenge with your co-workers and make it fun. Everyone has smartwatches nowadays — use the technology to your advantage! Have each employee keep track of how many steps they walk per day. At the end of each day, record your steps. Tally it up at the end of each week and announce the winner! Who knows, maybe your boss will treat the winner to a coffee or lunch to support your efforts to stay active and healthy at work!
#9 Designate Movement Stations in Your Office
Designate certain tasks or areas of the office with a specific movement or exercise and get your co-workers in on the fun! Every time you go to the printer, do 10 air squats. Each time the phone rings, do a set of calf raises. When you stand up for a bathroom break, do an extra loop around the room or hallway. Asking your co-workers to join in on the action not only adds an added layer of motivation but also makes for a healthier office environment!
#10 Keep a Resistance Band in your Desk
By keeping a resistance band in your desk, you could be sculpting those inner and outer thighs all day long (without anyone knowing)! Grab our new FitOn Sculpt Resistance Bands and tone those leg muscles. While you’re seated at your desk or chair, slip the resistance band around your thighs. With your heels pressed firmly into the floor, pull the band apart, engaging your abductor muscles — simple, right!?
#11 Make Your Lunch Break Sweaty
Ok, it doesn’t have to be sweaty (unless you have time for a shower). But, can you squeeze in a workout during your lunch break? Even a long walk or simple bodyweight workout! Ask your office bestie to join you for some friendly competition. Eat a light lunch earlier in the day, or grab a filling shake on your walk back to the office!
#12 Walk to The Trash Bin Furthest Away From Your Desk
It might sound silly to walk across the office every time you recycle scrap paper. But think about all those extra steps you’re getting! It’s a fast and efficient way to increase your movement throughout the day and send blood flow to your lower extremity. Goodbye, tight, sore hips!
#13 Volunteer to Do The Heavy Lifting Tasks at Work
Does the water jug need to be changed? Did you get a UPS delivery for office supplies? Maybe a bulk Amazon order? Offer to do the heavy lifting! Try deadlifting the water jug before squatting down to place it on the stand. Or, instead of carrying all the packages at once, take several trips to carry them inside. It all adds up!
#14 Use a Standing Desk
Aside from strengthening your leg muscles and improving your balance, simply standing up can help you shed some extra calories! According to Harvard research, simply standing can benefit your health. You’ll burn more calories compared to sitting and reduce your risk for obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease!
And if you don’t have access to a standing desk, simply stand at your desk. You’ll get the same benefits.
#15 Sit On An Exercise Ball
Speaking of getting creative at your desk, try on other movement hacks like swapping your chair for an exercise ball. The benefits? You’ll improve your posture and engage your stabilizer muscles — a simple way to activate your core!
#16 Bike to Work
If it’s feasible, opt for an eco-friendly commute and bike to work! In addition to burning some extra calories and reducing your carbon footprint, biking to work is an easy way to boost your daily movement. Plus, you’ll support your mental health with the brain-boosting benefits that come with cycling (and other forms of physical activity).
#17 Stretch It Out
Take a break from your screen and stretch it out. A simple stretch can reduce fatigue, improve posture, reduce the risk of shoulder, neck, or back pain, and even reduce your risk for carpal tunnel from all that typing.
The best part? You can do this anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re working from home or at the office, these simple work stretches can help!
You can also browse the At-Work category in the FitOn app for some quick, guided classes you can do during your work breaks!
Our Body Was Made to Move!
There you have it — seventeen simple movement hacks to sprinkle into your workday. From walking meetings and office challenges to desk workouts and movement reminders, staying active in the workplace is easier than you think. Get the office in on the fun and build a healthy work environment! Aside from benefiting both your mental and physical health, you’ll be more energized and productive at work. So, why not give it a try?