Tips for Staying Active at Your Desk Job

Physical Therapy


Don’t think you can exercise while at work? Think again! You can find many ways to stay active while seated at your desk. Read on to discover a few.

Sitting has been called the new smoking, and for good reason. Research indicates staying seated for long hours increases the risk of diabetes and cardiovascular issues. It’s also bad for your muscles and joints. Despite widespread knowledge of these issues, way too many of us spend huge amounts of time in our chairs at work and home.

The move toward remote work during the pandemic has exacerbated the problem. A survey sponsored by the Census Bureau found the number of people primarily working from home rose from 5.7 percent, or 9 million people, to 17.9 percent (27.6 million) between 2019 and 2021. Why is that bad? Because when you work from home, you spend even less time moving than you would otherwise since you miss out on the steps you would otherwise take to commute to your office. The good news is that there are easy ways to stay active even at your desk job.

Six tips for staying active and productive at your desk job

Even an intense gym workout goes only so far in counteracting the negative effects of sitting for eight to 10 hours a day. You need to move your body throughout the day no matter your general activity levels, even when in the office. But these six tips will rev up your activity level.

Get an adjustable desk. If you work from home, invest in an adjustable desk that gives you the option of sitting or standing. Or, ask your boss to purchase one for the office. Switching between sitting and standing improves circulation while keeping you focused on proper posture. If you really want to up your activity level, you can buy a treadmill desk.

Perform simple stretches & movements. You don’t need to do a full-scale workout at your desk. Some simple stretches and movements will do. To combat stiff neck and shoulder muscles, stretch your neck and raise your shoulders. At your desk, raise your legs. To get more out of the leg lifts, attach weights to your ankles.

Pedal while you work. Pedaling on a mini-exercise bike stowed under your desk is a great way to get  the blood pumping and work your calf muscles.

Sit on an exercise ball. Maintaining your balance on an exercise ball while you work instead of on a desk chair engages your core (the abs and back muscles) as well as keeping your spine in the right position.

Time your breaks. Buy a timer or an exercise app to remind you when to get up and move around. A stroll around the office every 20 or 30 minutes is a great way to slip in some exercise throughout the day.

Use your lunch break for a workout. If you can, use your lunch break to take a walk around the block or even to go to the nearest gym for a workout. Anytime you’re not sitting is much better for your health.

As you implement these tips, you’ll find that staying active while at your desk is not only beneficial for your physical health, but for your mental well-being as well. You’ll be more engaged and productive at work while at the same time feeling much better. The important thing to remember is if you must sit all day for work, get up as much as possible!

Let us help you be more active

Don’t know what activities are best for you? Or are you looking for help getting active after an injury? The physical therapists at All Sports Physical Therapy can tailor an exercise plan to your specific needs to help you get and stay active. We believe anyone can lead a full, active life, no matter where they work or their age. Contact our office today for a consultation.

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