Sitting is the New Smoking: 5 Surprisingly Easy Hacks for Staying Active at Work

If you’re like most of us, you have goals of getting in shape before summer arrives. We get it, it’s hard to stay active when you spend at least eight hours a day at work sitting behind a computer. Don’t worry, we have some tips to keep you moving towards your fitness goals and keep you moving…period, because if you haven’t heard, sitting is the new smoking—it will kill you. Seriously.

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1. Arrive by foot. Do you commute to work via public transportation? Save your bus fare, leave a little earlier and walk. If it’s a little outside of walking distance, try biking. And if walking and biking absolutely aren’t options, park at the far end of the parking lot and make your walk into the office just a little bit further. Any way that you can alter your commute to spend more time on foot and less time on wheels will make a difference in your overall health. It’s an easy way to make your life just that much more active, and let’s face it, you have to go to work anyway.

2. Active-Hack Your Workspace. Try using a yoga ball instead of a traditional chair. It’s great for your posture and burns 6% more calories than sitting in a chair. Or even better, opt for a standing desk because sitting down will literally kill you. Arrange your space so that you have to periodically stand up during the day. For example, try putting your printer and phone out of arms reach, so that you have to get up to answer the phone or grab something from the printer. Research suggests getting up at least once an hour. Subtle arrangements like this will force you to move when you wouldn’t otherwise.

3. Make your life harder. Need to ask your co-worker a quick question? Walk over to their desk instead of sending an instant message or email. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Suggest a walking meeting to a nearby coffee shop. Stop leaving documents in the print que in an effort to condense trips to the printer, take every extra trip as much as possible.

4. One word: Deskercise. Yes, there are exercises that you can do without even leaving your desk. Leg raises, push-ups, squats —they can all be done at your desk. The cool thing is, you don’t need any extra equipment or even space (a cubicle is no excuse) to stay fit from your desk. Another thing that can easily be done at your desk is stretching. Who doesn’t get achey sitting at their desk all day? Stretching reduces that muscle tension, increases blood circulation and gives you energy.

5. Recruit fitness allies. This is the final and probably the most effective tip. If you recruit friends and co-workers to get fit with you, you’re more likely to stick to it. Even better, start an office competition of some sort. There are tons and tons of office fitness competition ideas that are a great ways to get others involved. Reach out to your HR department about starting something like this in your company. It’s a win-win, healthier employees are happier, more productive workers. Most companies would be happy to promote these types of initiatives.

Do you have other tricks for squeezing in healthy habits at work? Let us know!

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