5 Sneaky Fitness Tips at Work

Christine works in a small office downtown. Her workday begins with a 45-minute commute, which could be longer if there is bad weather or a traffic accident.

Christine stays busy all day and usually eats lunch at her desk so that she doesn’t fall behind. She likes staying busy as it makes the time go by quickly and she doesn’t get bored.

At the end of the day, she endures sitting in traffic again, often stopping at a drive-thru restaurant because she feels too exhausted to cook. By the time she gets home, all she has time and energy for is some chores in the house before she gets ready for bed. Then she gets up to do it all over again.

Christine knows that exercise is good for her and she needs to eat better, but when is she going to find any time? Does this sound anything like your situation?

The evidence is increasing that a sedentary lifestyle puts us at risk for several unhealthy conditions. Without enough movement, the risk for obesity increases, blood sugar becomes elevated, blood pressure rises and heart disease risk increases. There is also the danger of developing blood clots in the legs.

Even if you have a sedentary job like Christine, you can sneak some activity into your workday. A little activity can also help improve concentration and lift your mood. Finding just a few minutes here and there can provide health benefits. Any extra movement is better than none! It’s best to engage in some type of movement at least every hour. Be creative and find something that works for you.

Here are five tips for sneaking in activity at work:
  • If available, walk up and down the stairs for a few minutes, or walk a lap around your building
  • Stand up while talking on the phone
  • Do some leg raises under your desk
  • Using your desk, do a few push-ups
  • Do “squats” in your chair, by standing up and sitting down several times

Set a timer on your phone to remind you to get up every hour. Challenge a coworker to join you for accountability and more fun!

By Cheryl DeVine
Cooking Matters Program Assistant, Tarrant Area Food Bank