10 Ways to Get Active at Your Desk Job

business people walking

It’s time to say goodbye to late mornings, long weekends, and half-day Fridays to enjoy the sun, and hello to school supplies and longer office hours. Sad? Yes. I know. But it also can be exciting! This is an incredible time for you to get back into the swing of old routines and get a fresh start on some healthy habits. So cue the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, have a good cry, and then jump head-first back into the routine. To help, here are ten back-to-work ideas to keep you moving at the office, because a busy schedule shouldn’t prevent you from getting in a little burn. Some of these are easy, and some are tough. But don’t worry: when you are in a work environment with office dress on, you aren’t sweating, you’re productively glistening! You may get some funny looks if caught in action, but your mental acuity will thank you—and maybe you’ll inspire others!

Office Exercises

1. Chair Dips

Work your triceps and shoulders with some chair dips! Use the arm rests to left yourself from sitting position, or stretch out and use the actual seat for an even bigger movement.

2. Desk Push-Ups

Take a brief break to place your hands on the top of your desk and drop a set of push-ups. Not able yet, or desk two low? Use the wall.

3. Chair Step-Ups

You’ve probably see or tried box steps, but now we’re talking about a chair. So it has to be sturdy enough (no wheels!) to carry your weight and not move. Raise your opposite leg into high-knee position for greater impact.

4. L-Sits

Place your hands on the arm of the chair and hold yourself up off the seat as long as you can, while raising your knees as well. This is a killer workout for your triceps and abs!

5. Single Leg Chair Squats

Every hour or so, try to do 2 sets of 10 single leg squats off of your chair. If a single leg squat is too difficult for you, try planting one leg in the squat position, and instead of raising the other, place the heel of your opposite leg on the ground 12 inches in front of the leg you are squatting with. This will provide some stability, spot you, and will be less attention-grabbing than a single leg squat.

6. Chair Hover

Try hovering in a squat position just inches above your desk chair while working. See if you can repeat for a few 30-second increments.

Healthy Behavior

7. Drink Lots of Water

This will help your overall health, and naturally make you walk to the bathroom more often!

8. Schedule Walking Calls & Meetings

If you can stand and walk during a phone call, do it! Brainstorming, strategy, and update meetings with small groups are also good on the go.

9. Work Standing Up

Try to stand up for 15 minutes out of each hour. Even if you don’t have a desk that raises, read some emails or do other flexible work while standing. Just moving around will do you some good.

10. Take the Stairs

Always! If you work in an office with multiple floors, be sure to avoid the elevator and get some steps in.

What are some ways that you like to stay active at work? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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Luke Andrus is a certified personal trainer, ACE health coach, writer, folk music drummer, husband, and a father. Most of his writing experience is in poetry and fictional short stories, and he also proposed to his wife with a self-published children's book. He is a Narnia nerd with a degree in History, a minor in English, and a semi-obsession with the French language. He believes that fitness is not just about vanity, but about lifestyle, integrity, and the ability to take control of your life.