We know that being sedentary is bad for one’s health, and unfortunately, a majority of working Americans jobs that require them to sit for long periods of time.
Since I have started my career, I have only had sedentary jobs- now don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, I just don’t like how much of my day is spent sitting down. Here are 3 ways to stay active while at work so you can still reach your fitness goals and improve your health:
1. If you have a standing desk, use it!
Today’s office environments are changing for the better. With an emphasis being put on ergonomics, employees are now getting what they need to ensure a more comfortable work environment. One of the major changes has been the introduction of standing desks into the workplace. This allows for employees to stand more regularly while working. This is something that I do on a regular basis and I would say I spend more time standing than sitting every day. There are many benefits to increasing the amount of time you stand throughout the day, one of those being burning more calories.
On average, you burn about 1.5 calories per minute while sitting and about 2 calories while standing. This might not seem like a lot, but you can use this calculator see how many more calories you can be burning each day just by standing! Here is my example:
If I were to spend 3 more hours a day standing for a whole work week, I would burn almost 712 more calories compared to sitting. This is something you normally wouldn’t think about but can have a huge impact.
2. Put down the phone and go for a walk
It seems like over time, Americans are spending more and more time on their phones. This doesn’t apply only to the younger generation or millennials, this applies to everyone. This trend has also followed Americans into the workplace. On average, the typical employee spends about 56 minutes at work on their phone doing non-work activities.
To me, that seems like a huge waste of time and personally, I would rather be spending that 56 minutes doing something more productive. Why are we on our phones so often? I would say most likely it’s out of habit to grab your phone when you have completed a task and use it as a ‘break’ from your work. Studies show that taking a short break every 50 minutes is a great way to stay more focused throughout the day and to be more productive. But what if you went on a walk instead of grabbing your phone?
If you go on a 10 minute walk, you will burn around 40-50 calories. Do this at least 3 times a day, that’s an extra 120-150 calories burned throughout the day. Do this every work day, that’s about 600-750 calories for the week! Not only will this method help burn some extra calories while at work, but it will keep you in a good routine to take breaks throughout the day, resulting in better productivity. For those of you who may think that taking multiple walks a day seems impossible, make sure you’re doing an honest evaluation of how much time you spend on your phone. Whatever that amount of time is for you, walk it out instead!
3. Take an active lunch break
Another great time during the day to go on a walk or do something active is during lunch! Depending on your work situation, you might be able to work it out with your employer to take a longer lunch break so you can go to the gym, fitness class, yoga, etc.
The average employee gets an hour lunch break and it probably only takes you about 10 – 15 minutes to eat your lunch. What do you usually do with the other 45 minutes? Use this time to be active! Don’t waste it by sitting around, we do this enough already.
The average adult spends about 6.5 hours each day sitting down, and depending on your nature of work, it can be a lot higher than that. Just because you have a desk job doesn’t mean you can’t try and still be active throughout the day. Use these 3 tips to stay active at work and see if it makes a difference!