Hitting those coveted step goals can seem close to impossible if your job means spending 8+ hours glued to an office chair. Even if you aren’t a step counter, studies have shown that sitting for long periods is hazardous to your health and increases the risk of mortality, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer and depression. If you are an active individual, it increases your risk of injury during exercise as well due to muscular tightness and imbalances.
Outside of intentional exercise, like the kind you get a gym membership for, everyone should be active for at least half an hour every day. This means doing something other than going from your desk chair, to your car seat to the couch. It may surprise you to know that getting in some steps and activity at the office is easier than you think — you just have to get creative. Here are seven creative, but simple ways to get moving in the office.
1.) Take walking meetings. If you need to hold a staff meeting with one or a couple of co-workers, consider taking the meeting outdoors, if the weather permits. Not only can the informal environment make the meeting more fun, but you can take a break to get some fresh air while also being productive.
2.) Walk to get your lunch or coffee. Instead of having your food delivered or taking a quick bus, go out on foot! Your body will love you for that extra movement and giving your mind a break from your desk may do the rest of your day some good.
3.) Take a detour to the bathroom. When it’s time to get a little relief, take the few extra minutes to use the bathroom that’s the farthest from your desk or even take the stairs to one on another level.
4.) Take your calls on foot. Come on, admit it. When you’re sitting on a conference call with the phone on mute all you’re doing is scrolling through Facebook or spinning around in your chair until you hear someone say your name anyway. Unless you need to be by your computer or you have a desk phone, it would be a better use of your time to pace around the office or take a walk while you’re on a call.
5.) Skip the email and opt for a face-to-face. We’ve all had those days (for some it’s everyday) where, instead of marching to the next cubicle or the the adjacent floor, we settle for sending an email to a colleague who is pretty close in proximity. Every once in a while, consider getting up out of your chair to say what you need to say in person which can also improve your relationship with your co-workers.
6.) Park as far as you can. Whether it’s parking your car on the floor at the very top or picking the space in the very back, forcing yourself to walk to the office a longer distance is an ingenious way to get in a ton of steps before your day even begins and right after it’s over. And BONUS take the stairs rather than the elevators.
7.) Take the stairs instead of the elevator. We all think about it and never do it, so of course, it needed an honorable mention here!