If you have a sedentary job, you may find it difficult to get enough exercise during the day. So in your quest to find out how to be more active in a sedentary job, we need to be realistic about what you can actually achieve while sitting down all day.
In fact, it’s near on impossible to sit at a desk for 8 hours per day and get in 10,000 steps per day as well, unless you’re committed to taking long walks before or after work. And by a long walk, we’re talking more than 2 hours out of your day to get those steps in.
For most of us, this just isn’t possible. We’ve got kids to put to bed, evening meals to cook, and let’s be honest, we like sitting down in the evening to watch Netflix. There’s no shame in that.
So when considering how to be more active in a sedentary job, you need to consider how you can make adaptions to your work day in order to get your steps in WITHOUT compromising on your work output and commitments.
First of all, let’s cover some basics…
What is a sedentary job?
According to Workplace Testing, “sedentary work is work that involves very limited amounts of physical activity”. This doesn’t just mean sitting down all day, it can also mean that you’re not lifting things in your job. So in short, it’s a job that involves very little physical activity on you and focuses more on sitting down for most of your working day and using your mind more than your body.
What happens when you’re less active in a sedentary job?
If your job means you are sedentary for most of the day then this can quickly lead to weight gain, fatigue, and other health problems. So to combat this, we’ve got to do what we can to be active during our working day… but we’ve got to somehow do that from a desk.
A couple of months ago, I was adamant this was impossible and just one of the cons of my job but since making some drastic changes to my home office, I can say that I think I’ve cracked the solution. So I want to share with you how to be active in a sedentary job in the hopes you’ll feel confident with making beneficial changes for the sake of your health – despite your job!
How to be more active in a sedentary job
There are several things you can do to be more active while working and make up for the lack of physical activity. Some of these things are more achievable in a community workspace and others are going to be a lot easier to do at home. So hopefully you’ll find some suitable solutions for your own work situation that will help you learn how to be more active in a sedentary job.
Here are my favorite tips:
1. Get up and move regularly
This tip is hardly rocket science but if you get up and move around every 20 minutes or so, you’ll soon notice your daily step count start to creep up. Even if you just walk around the office or do some light stretching, this will help keep your body moving. You’ll notice you’re less stiff during and at the end of your working day for doing this. There’s also the added benefit that if like me, a lot of your work includes problem-solving, you’ll have some much-needed time to clear your head and come back to your work with a fresh approach.
2. Spend time outside
You’ll find this easier to do on your lunch break or if you work from home but getting outside for a small period every day will make a huge difference to your activity levels. Even if you’re just walking laps around your office building, or working in your garden, you’ll find yourself more likely to move your body, or better, stretch your body when you’re outside in the fresh air.
3. Walk while you work
I’ve got a bit of a curveball for you here. If you have access to or can obtain a standing desk, you could invest in an under desk treadmill and walk for miles every day. This is my current favorite technique to stay active in a sedentary job and has made my job a lot less sedentary. You can learn more about my DIY treadmill desk setup here.
If you don’t have this option, you could make the choice to walk around the office every time you’re on the phone because let’s be honest, you CAN take those calls standing up!
4. Cycle while you work
This one is a similar approach to my tips above but involves an under desk cycle rather than an under desk treadmill. It’s a little bit less of an overhaul on your office to incorporate and will keep you moving, so if you’re interested in a cheaper and less cumbersome option for working out at your desk, an under desk cycle may be just what you need.
Tips roundup: How to be more active in a sedentary job
By following these tips, you’ll be making positive steps towards staying active in your sedentary job…
- Get up and move regularly during your working day
- Whenever possible, get outside (even in your backyard)
- Walk while you work
- Cycle while you work
I hope these tips have helped to inspire you to make some adjustments to your own working day so you can combat the downside to your sedentary job because, let’s be honest, if you’re happier in your work life then you’ll be happier in your non-work life too!