7 Ways to Be More Active at a Desk Job
By Cailee Cox | HealthCorps Coordinator 2017 – 2019
We all know that sitting around all day can take quite the toll on your mind and body, especially at work. You can become sleepy, sluggish, and unproductive. You may find yourself distracted, bored, or irritable during and after a long day of working at a desk. Here are a few tricks to get in some extra activity and help avoid that 4:00 o’clock slump.
Park farther away
If you’re anything like me, you may feel like some sort of animal stalking its prey when it comes to looking for a parking spot. We slowly creep down the aisle, stopping at the sight of lit up tail lights. “Are they leaving? Did they just get here?” We’ve all done it: driving behind that person walking towards their car, waiting to see if they parked close enough to make it worth your time. It’s funny, though, with all that time spent driving in circles, you likely could have parked and walked into the building already. Let’s be honest: we don’t do it to save time; we do it because we don’t want to walk. This may not be the case when it comes to parking at work, maybe you have a small lot or an assigned spot, but where possible, parking farther away is a simple adjustment you can make to get in a few more steps. If you have many items to transport from your car, consider taking multiple trips. Gasp!
Utilize your restroom breaks
Squeeze in some more active time by taking a longer route to the restroom, or maybe a longer route from the restroom, if it’s urgent. If your office has multiple restrooms, choose to use the one that is a bit farther away.
Get up during phone calls
This is a great way to get your body moving while still being productive. If you are able to, use a mobile phone for your calls, (headphones optional) and take a walk while you talk. If you can’t use a mobile device, but have your own office, put the call on speaker and walk around your desk!
Talk with a person face-to-face
Ah, another great way to be active while still being productive. If you have a quick question for someone in your office, take a minute to walk over to their desk rather than picking up the phone. If they are a bit farther away, maybe send an email or phone call to check that they are present and available, and then let them know you want to stop by to speak with them.
Stand up and stretch
Maybe you can’t afford to be away from your desk for very long, no problem. At least try standing and stretching out your legs every 30-60 minutes. Your body will thank you for it.
Move your trashcan farther from your desk
This is yet another simple adjustment you can make if you are unable to stray far from your desk. Move items like your trash can or stapler farther from you so that you have to get up to use them.
Use a portion of your lunch break to walk
Make it a priority to dedicate the last few minutes of your break to take a walk, especially if the other items on this list are not feasible for you. Give yourself enough time to eat and relax, but even a five minute walk will do you some good!
It’s paradoxical how time at your desk can seem to pass so slowly, yet, before you know it, you’ve been sitting for 2 hours without getting up at all. Our bodies aren’t designed to sit for hours at a time, so it’s no surprise that being at a desk all day can make us feel exhausted. I have used each of these tips myself, and let me tell you, it makes a difference. So get up, get moving, and get some of your energy back! You won’t regret it.