healthy living

Let’s Get Physical: 5 Tips To Get Moving At A Desk Job

Not physical in that way.  In the physical movement way.  As in, you sit on your toosh all day at your desk job and get little to no activity because you’re tied to the aforementioned desk.  I know when I sit in the same chair, 5 days a week, 8 hours a day, I start to feel a little lethargic.  And I also get that pancake a** feeling.  So, here are my 5 favorite pick-me-ups to help you wake up at your desk job and feel a little less sloth-like.



Just stand up.  Seriously.  Do it.  Especially when you’re on the phone.  Stand up every single time you’re on the phone.  I promise this won’t kill you.  And if you can convince your HR department to buy you a convertible sit/stand desk, make sure they order 2 and then send one to me.  Please and thanks.  But really, the easiest way to incorporate more standing in your day is to stand while talking on the phone.  Other ideas would be to stand when you’re talking to a visitor, stand when you’re reviewing documents, or just stand when you’re doing anything that doesn’t require your fingers to be tied to your keyboard or mouse.


Another simple and easy trick.  If you’re not overly busy, take the time to tidy your desk or office.  File papers that you’ve been meaning to file.  Shake all the gross crumbs and scary things out of your keyboard.  Disinfect the top of your desk because did you know that it’s full of bacteria?  An added bonus is that you won’t be the dirty cube owner in the office anymore.  No one wants that title.


Stairs, that is.  If you’re lucky enough to live in an office with even just one set of stairs, it’s time to make use of them.  A great afternoon pick-me-up is spending 10 or 15 minutes in a windowless stairwell.  I usually drag my favorite co-worker or my iPod with me to keep me company while hoofing it up and down, up and down.  Great remedy for the pancake a** mentioned in the opening paragraph.


It’s time to pair your tennies with your business attire, ladies.  Pair your Nikes with your slacks, gentlemen.  Walking is the best medicine for that after-lunch slump.  An even better way to walk?  Rally your favorite co-workers for some regular quality walking time.  Good gossip bonding time + a great rush of endorphins = one happy office worker.    I usually have one or two walking buddies at work that I hit up when I’m in that afternoon slump or if I’ve just been sitting for too long.  Having a buddy can really help you get out of your chair!


Not beer or wine.  I’m talkin’ water.  H2o.  Agua.  Drink some.  Then drink some more.  If I have any uber-healthy habits at work, it’s that I pound water all day long.  It not only forces me to get up from my chair ever hour or so (which is easy to forget, isn’t it desk-dwellers?), it also keeps me hydrated and makes me feel better.  And it doesn’t hurt that I usually engage in some sort of good old fashioned social interaction on the way to the ladies room.  Ya know … that thing we used to do before twitter and facebook.  🙂

What are your best tips to get moving when you have a desk job?

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  • Amber, I work from home but I can make use of all of these tips. I even have a staircase. I use the cleaning suggestion, only for me it usually involves flipping the laundry or unloading the dishwasher.

  • one of my co-workers and I started walking about twice a week during lunch and I must say it makes your day so much better. It’s nice to get outside and be able to feel the sun on your face and see the blue skies and deep blue ocean. I definitely recommend the walking to everyone.

  • Thanks for the tips (as I type sitting down in my cube). I’m a big fan of walking during lunch. I also prefer to walk to a coworker’s cube or office if I have a question instead of calling or sending an instant message.

  • Every time I take a break I go for a little walk around the building, just to move around a little. I want to get a fit ball and sit on that at my desk. My boss said he is ok with it. I just need to do some research and see if it’s a good idea. Thanks for the tips. All much needed when you are at a desk all day!

    • Those things look awesome! Have you seen the ones that actually go inside a chair looking thing? I definitely want one, too. 🙂

  • This is a great list – the only thing that I’m currently lacking is the standing desk. I had one at my old job, but now that I’ve got a new job no one has one. I feel like i’m too new to start pushing for one, but if they ever re-do my desk i’ll ask for one.
    As far as the walking – I walk to and from work everyday, plus home and back for lunch – it feels awesome. I also work on the 4th floor, so I take the stairs as well. It’s great.

  • Ahh! I am loving this list, especially the stairs tip! That’s especially good if the weather outside is not so great.
    I try to stand as much as possible as well, and sometimes will even squeeze in some calf raises!

    • Calf raises — awesome idea. I guess I could have added body weight exercises and stretching to the list, too! 🙂

  • Nice ideas. I recently switched to a treadmill desk and I love it. I spend about half my day on it and walk about 4-5 miles everyday while working.

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