5 Ways to Stay Active in the Workplace

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Sitting in one position too long at work can affect the mind and body—circulation, productivity and focus can all decrease. But just because you have a desk job doesn’t mean there aren’t ways for you to burn some calories at the office, even from the comfort of your desk.

5 Walk Through Lunch

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That’s right. We said, “walk” through lunch, not “work” through lunch. Take a walk on your lunch break instead of eating—to counter the hunger pangs, eat at your desk before your official lunch break (if your job allows that). Or, if you do go out to lunch, consider an eatery within walking distance. If you must drive, choose a local mall or shopping district so you can also walk around a bit before or after your meal.

4 Take the Stairs

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Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Of course, if you work in a towering building in large city and your building is on the 30th floor, take the elevator for part of the journey and walk the remaining few flights. If your office is on the first floor, consider taking the stairs when you need to attend meetings for visit coworkers on other floors. If taking the stairs just isn’t an option, get those extra steps in by parking farther away and taking a nice little stroll to the entrance. (Don’t worry about getting that employee-of-the-month spot!)

3 Do a Stand-Up Job!

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Standing desks allow you to keep the blood flowing and burn more calories while performing your work. Plus, standing improves your posture, reduces back pain and can even increase your concentration. Many “standers” do not stand the entire day; you can still have a taller chair and sit down when you feel you need rest. Ask your supervisor or human resources office if a standing desk is a possibility for your workspace. (If you work at home, bonus!) If it’s not, consider inexpensive alternatives: Office-supply stores offer desks and workstations designed for standing, there are also desktop products that allow you to convert your existing desk into a standing desk by raising your computer.

2 Get Out! (of your Chair)

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If you and your office mates rely on email and IM to communicate, shake things up a bit. Walk to their desk instead. This not only adds more human interaction to your day, but it also gets your blood pumping and legs moving. You get a break from the glare of the screen and the confines of your chair while accomplishing work-related tasks. Also, instead of brainstorming in someone’s office, consider walking the halls and chatting, or get some fresh air too and take the moving-meeting around the perimeter of your building.

1 Squeeze Your Cheeks and Lift Your Legs

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If you’re sitting as you’re reading this, you can immediately begin these simple seated exercises. Tighten your buttocks, hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat this process for about one minute. Leg extensions also can be done while seated at your desk—just be careful not to trip an intern or, worse, supervisor. Sit up straight, keep your abs tight and lift one of your legs straight out at hip level. Tense your thigh muscles for a few seconds, then relax and lower your leg. Repeat with your other leg. Alternate between legs for a minute or so.

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