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Easy changes you can make to combat a sedentary job

We all know sitting at a desk for hours every day can have a negative impact on our health and our waist line. That’s why we’re sharing some simple but effective tips for what you can do each day to balance out all that sitting.

Woman taking stairs at work

Talk to co-workers in person

Put down the phone, stop texting and instead of emailing, get up and walk to the desk or office of the person you need to speak to. Every step counts and every person you need to get up to talk to means another few minutes on your feet rather than sitting in your chair.


Take a lunch break walk

Use a portion of your lunch break to get up and go for a walk. Many of us get so accustomed to eating at a desk that we forget we’re supposed to be taking a break to eat and instead continue to check email while polishing off a sandwich. After you eat, use the remaining time you have to go on a walk, whether it’s for five minutes or 15.


Use the stairs

We’re not suggesting starting on the ground floor and showing up sweaty to your 10 a.m. meeting after slogging up 12 flights of stairs, but make a commitment to walk rather than taking the elevator for anything under three to five flights depending on your fitness level.


Go further for coffee when you have time

Skip the coffee place right next door to your office or the one right in your building. If you have the time (i.e. your boss isn’t waiting for her latte) walk a little further for your caffeine fix. Try the place a block away so you fit in a few more steps before, during or after work.


Wear a pedometer

You’d be surprised how motivated you are to take extra steps when you’re counting them. Slap on a pedometer when you leave for work and aim for a certain number of steps every day. Having a goal in mind will likely ensure you do what you can to meet or surpass your goal — whether that’s parking further away, taking the stairs or walking around the block three times at lunch.


Hit the gym right before or after work

If you pack a gym bag the night before and have it in your car, there’s no excuse not to get moving either in the morning or after you finish work. Putting in the extra effort to get moving regularly helps balance out a job that has you in a chair all day. Even if you only go for 20 or 30 minutes, something is always better than nothing.


Start an office walking or running group

Do other people in your office wish they were moving more and sitting less? Take a poll, send out an email query or put a sign up in the kitchen to see who might be interested in starting a fitness group. Then set up a schedule to walk, run or otherwise burn calories as a team. Maybe it’s a weekly sports league, a walking or jogging group or several of you start training for a race together — but whatever you do, doing it as a group will motivate you to prioritize fitness.


Bring a yoga mat to work

Keep a yoga mat (and even some resistance bands or dumbbells) stashed in your office for free moments to stretch, do squats, lunges, crunches or downward dogs. If you know you have the means to add small bursts of fitness to your day you’ll be much more likely to move throughout the day.

Tell us

How do you combat your sedentary job? Share in the comments below!

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