7 ways to stay active at your desk job


Work can be an unhealthy activity, but you can try to avoid that, writes Jessica Foreman

Although we may not like to think about it, we spend the majority of our lifetime at work. This means, if you work in an office, you spend the majority of your lifetime sitting down in front of a screen. It doesn’t sound too great does it?

But, from standing up at your desk to sitting on a yoga ball, there are ways to stay active in a confined office space. Even if your desk chair is on castor wheels, from the likes of Tente, there are still plenty of exercises you can do at your desk. Here are just seven tips to get you moving:

Don’t eat at your desk
When you can help it, don’t spend your hard earned lunch hour in front of your screen. This is not good for your eyes, body or metal health. Instead, take a stroll at lunchtime to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. If you do this for at least 10 minutes each day, you’ll notice that your mood will improve. You may even be more focused in the afternoon.

Wear ankle weights
This is a great option if you’re wearing trousers or jeans to work. Adding a small amount of weight around each ankle will burn more calories when you’re up out of your seat and moving around. Not only this, at your desk you could perform a few reps of leg raises. If you do three reps of 15 every hour on the hour your legs will be toned in no time.

Opt for walking meetings
For casual, internal meetings it could be a great idea to get the team moving and choose to go outside for a stroll, instead of cramming into a meeting room. Not only are you getting the fresh air, but you’re also getting that added bit of exercise you wouldn’t normally. You may find that ideas will pop into your head as you move through a new environment, making it a great option for creativity meetings.

Chair yoga
You can be as subtle as you like with chair yoga. From wide arm stretches to a subtle shoulder raise; stretch out and feel the release. With most of us hunched over our screens, stretching can help loosen our muscles and get rid of painful cramps. Not only this, chair yoga can relieve stress and put you in a more positive mood.

Stand at your desk
For those of you with the luxury of a changeable working environment, choose a desk that lets you stand up. Standing up will mean that you’ll naturally fidget, burning more calories as you do so. Not only this, there are stools and stands you can purchase to help maintain balance.

Take the stairs
This is a common favourite, but it really does make a difference. Put in that extra bit of effort and walk the stairs each day. A study claims that climbing a set of stairs for just seven minutes each day  can reduce the risk of a heart attack by half over 10 years. Even if you’re on the ground floor, go the long way round to your office. This small extra bit of exercise will help change your mindset so you unconsciously want to be more active throughout the day.

Change your commute
If you’re lucky and you work and live in the same city, take the opportunity to switch up your commute. If you drive, choose to bike or jog. If you get the bus, take a walk. Factoring in extra time for a greener commute will help you maintain an active lifestyle.