How to stay active at work

If you’re like me and work a desk job, then I’m sure hours can go by where you’re glued to your desk and you never get up. Or you get up, fill your water bottle, stop in the restroom, and make another cup of coffee before returning for another couple of hours.

I have a love / hate relationship with my Fitbit sometimes because it means I get to see just how little activity I get during the day, especially if I’m not getting in a long walk or a run before work that day. It becomes a lot  harder to achieve my daily step goal on those days. 

We know that sitting all day is not good for our health but with bills to pay, it’s not like I can just quit my job because sitting isn’t good for me. (Some day I would LOVE to get a convertible desk that allows me to switch back and forth between standing and sitting but that’s not in the cards at this moment.) With that said, I’ve been working on other ways to sneak in a little extra activity into my work day and thought I would share with you today. I’m sure some ideas won’t work for everyone or some don’t work for me every day, but take what sticks and leave what doesn’t:


Squats in the bathroom

I get this sounds kind of weird and admittedly, I won’t do it if there are others in the bathroom, but when it’s just me, I’ll do 10 air squats when I get to the restroom. It helps get my blood flowing which wakes me up a bit and helps me get a little more activity in my day.

Get up and walk at least once an hour

This is a lot harder to do, but I’m trying to embrace it. This may include filling my water bottle, walking to the break room for more coffee, or just taking a quick lap around the office. It doesn’t have to be long but the blood flood is sure to help that afternoon slump too!

Stretch it out

There are a handful of stretches you can do without even leaving your chair. Even better, it’s great for reducing stress too!

Run (or walk) at lunch

Unless you have access to a shower, it can be hard to run at lunch when you’re in the office, but this is something I’ve been doing somedays when I work from home. That quick run can be just enough to help me come back and focus for the rest of the afternoon.

Do you have any other ways that you stay active at work?

19 thoughts on “How to stay active at work”

  1. Great tips. I have my GPS watch set, so it vibrates after a certain period of inactivity! Good reminder (just annoying when you just put in your morning workout and have reached your steps for the day already LOL)

  2. I’m also stuck at my desk all day and regret not being active. For me, the worst part is day dreaming about working out when I get home….and then being too tired to do it. It’s amazing how much energy is zapped just from sitting all day. Inertia at it’s finest! Maybe little pops of activity thru out the day will help my drive at the end of the day. Thanks for the post!!

  3. Back when we had actual files I used to grab a stack of them about once an hour and do a lap around the office. Everyone thought I was just working when really I was just getting a little movement in (with some extra resistance).

    I find that if I use my fitbit’s suggestion to get up every hour as a reminder to finish and refill my water bottle then I’ll have to get up from my chair again within the hour for a walk to the bathroom; -)

  4. It was such a huge change when I went from a job where I almost never sat down to where I am now – always sitting. These are great tips. I really do need to remember to get up and move around more.


  5. Great tips, Katie! I have a love/hate with my Fitbit, too. What I DO love about this newer model that I purchased is that it actually vibrates every hour if I haven’t yet made my step goal. It’s a great reminder to just up and jog in place for a bit, or walk around, get coffee/water, etc. Also I would LOVE one of those desks, too!

    1. My FitBit does that too. Though somehow it would always vibrate after I just got back from a trip to the restroom or to fill my water so then I never felt like I could get up again for awhile. haha

  6. Great post, Katie. I take breaks and I tecentlyngot a stand up convertible desk so I can stand whenever pleases me. I also split the day and spend my lunch hours at the gym. Otherwise, I sit for wayyyyyy too many hours a day and it’s terrible for our bodies.

  7. Great tips. I would be the wierdo that does squats at my desk and lunges down the hallway! LOL . Great tips. Just getting up and moving will do wonders for those that sit long hours.

    1. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to be that person! haha My old coworkers though could never get past my eating healthy so they always made me self-conscious enough.

      1. Ive never understood why people are so judgemental towards anyone who eats healthy. I get it all the time. One time a friend joked when I offered her som of our dinner that she would just rather go to chipolte and that maybe another friend of ours would like it instead. RUDE. Thank God for my thick skin, its hard without the support of others!

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