Being active is important for good health, but it can also be hard to do when you work a desk job. Even when people exercise for 30 minutes or an hour every day, they're putting themselves at risk for health problems if they spend the rest of their time sitting.
Fortunately, there are ways you can get moving to reduce that risk without losing productivity. Here are some of the best options.
TRY SWITCHING TO A STAND-UP DESK
A stand-up desk, which is also often called a standing desk, can be a great way to reduce how much you sit. A lot of these desks are easily adjustable, too, so you can stand for a while and then sit for a while. You won't need to stand for eight hours while you work, but you also won't be sitting for that length of time.
Since you might feel better on certain days and stand more, you want a desk that can accommodate a lot of different heights. Also, choose one that adjusts easily, so you're not struggling to change the height.
TRADE YOUR CHAIR FOR AN EXERCISE BALL
Sitting isn't good for you, but there are some types of sitting that can still be pretty healthy. If you trade your chair for an exercise ball, for example, you'll have to keep your balance while you work. That engages your core and back muscles and strengthens your legs, too.
It can take a little while to get used to sitting on an exercise ball, but once you adjust to it, you'll just automatically be toning your muscles while you work. Make sure you get a pump with your ball, so you can keep it inflated easily and make sure it's working well.
CONSIDER BUYING A TREADMILL DESK
Whistling while you work isn't the only thing you can do. With a treadmill desk, you can also walk while you work. You don't even have to walk fast, but you can get a big benefit from a moderate-pace walk instead of sitting so much.
You'll burn calories, tone muscles and reduce the health risks that come from spending so much time in a sitting position. There are treadmill desks that can be purchased complete, or you can buy an under-desk style treadmill to use with your existing standing desk.
USE ANKLE WEIGHTS UNDER YOUR DESK
Doing leg lifts under your desk can help you stay in shape and reduce the risk of blood clots. You'll get more of a benefit from those exercises if you use ankle weights at the same time. These small weights usually wrap around your ankles with velcro, and you can wear them underneath your pants if you don't want your coworkers to see them.
SET A TIMER FOR ACTIVITY BREAKS
Working at a steady pace is important for getting things done, but you also need to take some breaks. One of the best ways to do that and stay active is to set a timer. When it goes off, get up and move. Even a five-minute activity break can be beneficial, and it's a good idea to take one of those at least once every hour.
TRY OUT A MINIATURE EXERCISE BIKE
There are miniature versions of exercise bikes that fit under desks, and they're very easy to use. You can pedal the whole time you're sitting there, keeping your legs moving and your circulation healthy. Even though you'll be sitting down, you won't be sitting still, which has the opportunity to improve your overall health.
TAKE A DESK YOGA BREAK
There are a lot of unique ways to get moving and stay active when your job keeps you at a desk most of the day. One of those options is desk yoga. While some types of yoga aren't the best for an office environment, there are a lot of great yoga poses you can do at your desk.
Those poses not only keep the blood flowing and help you be more active, but they also make it easier for you to stay alert so you can get more work done. That's a benefit to you and the company you work for.
STOP AND STRETCH BETWEEN TASKS
When you finish a task, take a stretch break. Even getting up from your chair and doing a few small stretches can go a long way toward making sure you stay active and moving throughout the day. You don't have to do anything fancy or difficult to get benefits.
HAVE WALKING MEETINGS
When the pandemic settles down and in-person meetings are common again, why not walk while you talk? There's no reason to have a meeting around a conference table when having one in a park or other outdoor area could be more beneficial to everyone's health.
Depending on the size of the group and the kind of company you work for, there may also be large, indoor areas you can use to get active. A walking meeting is one of the best ways to help everyone at your company be more active, and you won't be singling anyone out.
MAKE YOUR LUNCH BREAK A WORKOUT BREAK
Instead of taking an hour to eat and check out your social media feed, you can hit the gym instead. It's a good break in the middle of the day and will help you to stay moving and focused. You don't have to take the whole hour to get benefits, either. A 30-minute walk or another workout can do wonders, and you'll still have some of your lunch hour available for a healthy meal or snack.
There are many excellent ways to stay active while working, whether you're in an office with other people or at your house practicing social distancing. Either way, you don't have to spend all of your time sitting in a chair when you could be moving and staying healthier during your workday. Ready to keep moving? Check out these great exercises you can do in your home or office.