Admittedly, the hardest place to stay active is at work. You may feel chained to your desk, with no hope for a workout unless that includes typing…’re at an Olympic level. But there are ways you can stay active at work, and potentially even burn a few calories. If you’re willing to give it a try, brave a few strange looks from your coworkers, and keep a good attitude, you’ll see some good results in the long run.

Try the Obvious

Just like with normal workouts, you can’t expect to go from standing up every 6 hours to being a P90X boss. Start with those suggestions you’ve probably heard before: park farther away and take the stairs. Those are a good start because you’ll at least be starting your day off right. Here’s another idea. Rather than email your coworker or your manager, go ahead and walk over to their desk and communicate your message in person. The benefits of merely standing up and moving a few steps away are huge.

Incorporate Coffee-Break Workouts

Obviously, you can’t spend an hour a day at work on your exercise regimen, but if you take 10-minute segments of time (what the average coffee break takes) you can make some good headway.

What sort of things should you involve in that time period? There are many different options available to you, most that can be done right at your desk. Here are a few:

  • Run in place. Doing this for a minute is a quick cardiovascular activity that gets your blood flowing and won’t garner too much unwanted attention from your coworkers.
  • Wall squats. You probably did these in high school. This is the same concept, incorporated into an office. Just make sure that cubicle wall isn’t going to shift.
  • Stapler curls. You’ll need a weightier stapler for this one, but it’s the same concept as normal bicep curls. Do 12-15 reps then switch or until your coworker needs the stapler from you.

Get on Your Feet

Standing has major health benefits. If possible, see about getting a standing desk for your work. It’s been proven that standing is much healthier than sitting and cuts down on many diseases. When you’re on the phone, stand up, maybe even walk around your office a bit.

Walking is also a huge health benefit. Regular, though not obnoxious, trips to the water cooler can help keep you moving. If you have some say in how meetings can take place, see if you can’t recommend a walking meeting.

Be Balanced

A popular option is to buy an exercise ball to replace your desk chair. There are several health benefits that accompany this one, but I wouldn’t recommend tossing your chair just yet. You’ll have to work in to using one of these full-time. Exercise balls can help with your core and keep your posture more aligned. However, it still takes some thought, because you can just as easily slouch on an exercise ball as your average desk chair.

You may not see immediate benefits from these ideas to keep you active at work, but the long term will prove how helpful they are. Just as you’re involved in practices to help your career over the long run, so you should keep an eye towards your health, even in the office.

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