Staying Active and Fit at Work

Everyone would like to maintain an active lifestyle, but in an office environment dominated by sedentary cubicle work, how can you improve fitness while you work – even if you work 40 to 60 hours a week? Here are some tips for creative ways to stay active while working:

1. Stretch

The best thing you can do for your circulation and overall tension level is to stretch. The Mayo Clinic has a series of slides where you can learn how to stretch properly at work. Stretching relieves tension and stimulates your brain so it is refreshing for mind and body alike.

2. Get up and Walk Around

Taking the steps instead of the elevator and delivering messages in person are two ways to increase opportunities to walk around. Taking a ten minute break to walk around outside can improve oxygen intake and make you feel refreshed. Walking in place while you are on the phone or sorting papers at your desk is another way to burn a few extra calories at work.

3. Organize a Few Walking Buddies

Eating a light lunch like yogurt and fruit can free up a few minutes for a brisk mid day walk around the block with co-workers. Exercising in a group keeps the motivation going and helps the time pass quickly. You can each take turns mapping out a quick fifteen minute walk or decide as a group to use a full half hour once a week before or after work to help meet group fitness goals.

4. Ergonomically Overhaul Workspace and Upgrade Lighting

To improve circulation and diminish repetitive motion injuries associated with office work, consider ergonomic improvements to your office space including keyboard, monitor arrangements, chair type and position, and lighting. Some people find alternative seating such as an inflatable fitness stability or yoga ball a healthy alternative. While you are updating your physical space, remember to consider desk top lighting to promote eye health. Eye strain can cause headaches and cost you sick days, so pay attention to your body’s needs at work, especially seating and lighting.

5. Take Regular Breaks

Giving your eyes and fingers a break from the monitor and keyboard can do wonders for stamina. Taking time to alternate sedentary tasks with more mobile ones will help promote wellness. Remember to drink water during the day and get fresh air whenever possible. Variation in desk related routines gives your muscles a rest and helps restore circulation.


Everyone wants to be healthy for ourselves and our families, yet the reality for many of us is that to make ends meet we are at work for 40 to 60 hours every week and by the time we get home, deal with family needs, and run errands, there is little time left to tend to personal fitness. Even if you do not work at a company with an in house gym, there ways to keep fit while working that can improve health and stamina. You just may be surprised at how just a few adjustments in your routine can bring about big changes in how you feel at work every day.

Article supplied by Sam Omulligan from Jacksonville University’s Online Nursing Program


Karen is a writer and educator interested in finding and sharing information relating to the education world. Her hobbies include running and photography. You can connect to her on Twitter @Karen_Lederer

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