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DESKercise! 20 Smart Ways To Exercise At Work

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The average Australian spends 10 hours of their day sitting down. That’s right, nearly half our day is spent with our bum on a seat- which is a real worry, given excessive sitting has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and even poor mental health.

If you’ve got an office job, chances are that most of your sitting is done at work, making your 9-5 workplace the perfect spot to start becoming a little more active. To give you a helping hand, here are 20 simple ways to boost your step count at work.

  1. Head outside during your lunch break and take a walk or jog in a nearby park. If you’re lucky there might even be outdoor gym equipment waiting for you.
  • Ask your employer to consider investing in a standing desk, so you can break up long periods of sitting with standing
  • Arrange a ‘walking meeting’ outside a couple of times each month instead of inside the boardroom.
  • If leaving the office for a walk isn’t a realistic option, organise a ‘standing meeting’ instead.
  • Step away from the desk to eat. Walk to the kitchen or a pleasant outdoor space to mindfully enjoy your lunch
  • Do you email colleagues who are close by? Get up from your desk, walk over and speak to them face-to-face instead.
  • Hop off the bus or train a stop (or two or three!) early on your way to work and walk the rest of the way.
  • Set a mid-morning and mid-afternoon reminder to stand up and stretch. Get your colleagues to join in!
  • Nothing beats a little competitive spirit, so why not start an office step challenge or lunch time tournament
  1. Say sayonara to the lift. Climbing stairs for just 10 minutes burns 500 kilojoules (120 calories).
  1. Stand up to read large documents rather than sitting down.
  2. Keep a small glass of water on your desk each day. As well as hydrating you, it will give you a good reason to walk over to the water cooler regularly.
  1. Divert work calls to your mobile- so you can stand up and walk around while you’re on the phone.
  1. Are you part of a team of coffee drinkers? Why not volunteer for a mid-morning coffee run now and then.
  1. When nature calls, use a toilet on another level. It’ll help you get in a few extra sets of stairs during the course of the day.
  1. Remove the paper bin beside your desk and walk to a communal bin a bit further away each time you have rubbish to dispose of.
  1. If you drive to work, park far enough away so that you have to walk about 10-15 minutes to get to the office. Wear your joggers and change shoes at the office.
  1. Set hourly reminders that prompt you to get up and move about the workplace for a minute.
  1. Need to use the photocopier or to pick up some printing? Walk a lap around the office before you return to your desk.
  • Move those muscles while you type! There are plenty of gentle desk exercises, like seated heel raises, seated crunches, or bicep curls with your handbag!

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