Ten Little Ways To Sneak In Exercise At Work

Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer

Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. You might worry about making a fool of yourself, but it’s easy to put in some exercise even when you wouldn’t think so.

Here are a few ways that you can add exercise to your daily routine in the office.

Ten Little Ways To Sneak In Exercise At Work

This article will give you ten ideas on implementing exercise into your daily routine. While adding a workout to your routine is essential, you should always vary how you exercise to ensure your body won’t get too accustomed to it.

But how can you exercise at work?

Use Your Commute

Depending on how long your commute is to work, you may be able to trade in public transport or driving for cycling or jogging to work. You could also speed walk if that’s preferable. Of course, this is probably only an option if you don’t live too far away.

You could also just walk to work at your normal pace on those nice days. But, if you live too far away from your workplace, try parking a bit further away from the door and choosing the “least” desirable, furthest away parking spot.

This little bit of morning exercise is a great way to start your day!

But remember to dress appropriately if you want to jog to work or cycle, and keep an extra pair of clothes with you or at your office. You never know when you weather might change or when you decide to go a little harder and work up a sweat and might need to change your clothes.

Workout At Your Desk

You can subtly work out at your desk in so many ways. You could flex or tighten your abdominal muscles and hold the position for thirty seconds, then repeat this ten times. You could also lift your legs out straight under your desk and hold this position for as long as you can.

If you don’t want to work on your legs or abs, squeeze your glutes, and hold this position for thirty seconds, and repeat this ten times. If you want to work on your forearms, you could buy a hand gripper to keep in your desk.

You could either hold it for as long as you can each day and see how long these last, or hold and close it as many times as you can with the same amount of pressure.

If you want to work on your calves and have a standing desk, do some calf raises for a whole minute. Or on your way to the bathroom, stop at the stairwell and do some calf raises off the edge of one of the stairs.

Speed Walk Any Errands

If you want to work quickly and get more exercise, you can always speed walk your activities. There are two benefits of doing this exercise.

You can travel quickly between errands and increase your efficiency. You don’t have to use this trick at work, but at the store or around your home speed walking can be very effective. 

Stretch Regularly

Stretch Regularly

You may not be able to get away from your desk, but you can still do stretches at work. You may have aches and pains when you’re at a desk for too long, and you won’t be as productive. Try to do some torso twists and leg extensions, so you don’t get cramps at work.

You could even take moments to stand up and sit down a few times without using your hands to help you. Don’t forget to stretch your arms, neck, and wrist.

There’s nothing worse than your body cramping while you’re working, which can negatively impact how well you perform.

Pace On A Call

Even though your office probably has a wired phone, use your cell phone as often as you can. That way, when you are on a long call, especially if you are just a “listening participant”, you can walk around your office and get some exercise in.

For a fun exercise, write down the number of minutes you are on the phone during a week and multiply this times 4 and this is how many calories you could have burned during the week if you walked during your phone calls.

For example, if you were on the phone for 2 hours per day, each day of the week, for 10 total hours or 600 minutes, 600 X 4 = 2,400. In this example, you could have burned off 2,400 calories in the week just by walking while on your calls!

Using A Stability Ball Instead Of A Chair

Nothing is stopping you from replacing your desk chair with a stability ball, understanding this probably only applies to those that have a home office routine. Using a stress ball can improve your posture as your body tries to balance itself on the ball.

By sitting on the ball with a correct spine and alignment, after time, this will make sitting on the ball so much easier.

You even strengthen your abs as they compensate for any differences in your balance. Stability balls can ensure you’re working out for several hours a day without exerting too much effort.

There may even be a chance that your attention will increase, too, as the stability ball requires that you pay attention so as to not fall off the ball. 

Man sitting on stability ball while working on computer.

Active Breaks

Taking breaks from your desk and your computer is essential to making sure you can concentrate at work. You can take this time to take a break and walk around the building, maybe fetch a cup of coffee or some water, instead of sitting stationary in the breakroom.

Walking around and taking a break from thinking can increase your productivity throughout the day, and you’ll feel more productive when you return to your desk.

Take A Longer Route

If you walk around the office, you may want to take longer routes when you have the time. Instead of using the elevator, you could use the stairs or take a longer route from point A to point B. When you use the bathroom, you could go further away than the one nearest your office.

Taking longer routes and walking more can increase your productivity. That’s because your brain will receive more dopamine and feel less tired than if you just walked for a shorter period.

Lunch Break Workout

You could use your lunch breaks to work out. If you have enough time, do some exercise during your lunch break. Don’t ignore eating altogether, though, as you must keep yourself energized throughout your work day.

You could walk to a restaurant to have your lunch break or head over to a café. You could even head to your work’s gym if they have one. You could spend half an hour doing a workout and then eat a healthy, light lunch during the other half hour.

If you don’t want to work out alone, see if one of your friends is free, or maybe if they’re free for lunch, see if they will walk to the chosen restaurant with you.

By sharing your fitness journey with others, you will find coworkers who are in the same situation as you and that would also love to burn off a few extra calories each day. 

Join A Work Fitness Club

Join A Work Fitness Club

Some of your co-workers may have a sports or fitness club that you could join as well! Ask around to see if there are any company-sponsored teams you could be a part of. And if not, it never hurts to ask to see if your company is willing to start one.

Besides the fitness benefits, this could increase employee morale as well!

If the company does not have an interest in creating a company-sponsored team, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a group together to work on your fitness journeys together. They could be a great way to improve relations with coworkers and fight against isolation.

Put a survey out to gauge interest, and send an email to your coworkers. They may have already wanted to start one but weren’t sure how to approach anyone. 

Final Thoughts

Exercising at work can have a positive effect on your fitness, mental health, and your work performance. By exercising regularly, you could improve the way you do your job and find that you are happier.

You should keep a steady routine of exercising at work to improve your health, and you should keep a record of how much you have done during the day. If you’ve done a certain number of steps, aim for another hundred or so the next day.

Steadily increase the exercise you do at work and you will find a steady improvement as you go.

TJ Daniels, Certified Personal Trainer
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