Tips to get you moving at work

Just because you're stuck behind a desk doesn't mean your fitness has to goes out the window. Here are some ways to get you moving more at work.

Research has found that sitting for hours on end each day can be harmful to your health, and can increase your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and becoming obese.

To help reduce this risk, a recently published study recommended office workers be on their feet for at least two hours a day during work hours. 

And even better, if you can increase that to four hours a day by using sit-stand desks, intermittent standing-based work, and regular movements, there may be even more benefits for your health.

If you find yourself stuck behind a desk all day, here are some tips to help you get up and get moving more:

1.  Stand at your desk

A good way to reduce the amount of time you're sitting is to stand at your desk.

One study found that when workers used sit-stand workstations, they sat for less time and their moods also improved.

“Standing, in comparison to sitting, [can] burn more calories, contributes to improved tone in your core, back stabilisers, glutes and legs, and [may] even [help] improve your mood,” says Kate Faber, Clinical Director of Exercise Physiology at Precision Physio and an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. 

Just remember to give your legs a break every now and then – about five minutes every hour of standing – to help avoid problems.

2.  Get moving

If a stand-up desk isn't possible, then try to get moving as often as possible, advises Faber.

“Find an exercise class near your work [which] you can do in your lunch break, or enlist a work-mate to exercise with. When you have a scheduled class to get to, or a commitment with another person, you’re more likely to make sure it happens.”
men in suits walking up stairs

3.  Walk while you work

If standing at your desk is too static for you, you might like to try a treadmill desk to help contribute to your recommended daily target of 10,000 steps.

“Or use the office space wisely,” says Faber. “Walk up the stairs rather than the lift, get out into the fresh air at lunchtime, and talk face to face with your colleagues, rather than sending them an email,” she says.

4.  Walk while you meet

If you find yourself sitting in meetings for most of the day, why not ditch the chairs and try standing for the whole meeting? Better yet, leave the office altogether and get outside for some fresh air and have a walking meeting instead.  

“Remember that the majority of your day is spent at the office, so be smart in your choices at work when it comes to your health,” says Faber.
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