by Chandler Warnick
While office jobs can be a rigorous in terms of mental fitness, physical fitness often suffers when you spend eight to ten hours a day behind a desk. However, improving your fitness at work isn't difficult; with a little dedication and creativity, you can significantly increase the number of calories you burn as well as your overall fitness. Keep reading for five helpful fitness tips for the office.
Improve your posture. An easy way to increase your fitness while you work is to improve your posture. Improving your posture will strengthen your back and help relieve back pain that is sometimes associated with sitting at a desk all day. To improve your posture, sit with your feet flat on the floor (adjust your seat so that your thighs are parallel to the floor). Sit with your spine vertical so that most of your weight rests on your butt. Pull your shoulders back and keep your head erect. Using an exercise ball in place of an office chair can help you improve your posture and strengthen your abs at the same time.
Take the stairs. Simple but effective, taking the stairs is one of the most effective ways to improve your fitness while at the office. Taking the stairs as often as possible will help increase the circulation in your legs, will build muscle endurance and will burn more calories than you would otherwise. If you work on a main floor and don't have many opportunities to take the stairs, make opportunities by using bathrooms and vending machines (for healthy snacks, of course) that are on different floors than the one you work on.
Use a pedometer. An inexpensive pedometer will help you keep track of how many steps you take while you're at work. Once you know the average number of steps you take in a day, try to increase the number little by little. If your pedometer says you take 1,500 steps while you're at work, then try to walk 2,000 steps each day. It may sound simple, but you'll be surprised how motivating keeping track of your steps with a pedometer can be.
Walk while you think. Office work is mind work. While a lot of it has to be done at the computer, there are plenty of times when you can think on your feet as well as you can in a seat. If you and a colleague are planning a brainstorming session, suggest that you have your session while walking instead of at your desks. Not only does this allow you to get more exercise; walking helps restore blood circulation to your brain (blood pools in your legs when you sit for extending periods), which can increase your creativity. If you're on a phone most of the day, buy a wireless earpiece so you can stand or pace near your desk while you're on the phone.
Drink more water. Drinking more water has a number of health benefits, such as reduced risk of heart disease and cancer, reduced number of headaches and increased energy. Also, drinking more water usually reduces your calorie intake by replacing sugary sodas with zero-calorie H2O, and helps you avoid overeating by filling your belly. The average person should drink two to three liters of water a day, and buying a one-liter water bottle and keeping it on hand while you're at work is a simple way to keep track of how much water you drink. Also, when you drink more water, you will take more bathroom breaks, which means more exercise and increased fitness for you.