Sitting at a desk all day at work can make it difficult to burn calories, especially when you’re trying to lose weight.
Even more concerning, a recent study from researchers at Columbia University’s Department of Medicine found that sitting all day can lead to increased risk of death — whether you exercise or not.
The study, which was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in September 2017, followed 8,000 individuals and found that the longer people sat during the day, the faster they aged and risked death by any cause.
But it’s not all doom and gloom: People who sat for 30-minute stretches (or less) decreased their risk of early death, according to the study.
That means getting up and moving every half hour can go a heck of a long way towards your health.
That’s why we rounded up 10 sneaky ways to get up and get moving at work.
1) Drink lots of water or tea.
Gulping down glasses of water during the day not only helps keep you full longer, it’s also a great way to keep active. Think about it! You’ll have to get up to fill your water bottle up regularly, plus you’ll have to get up and use the restroom. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!
2) Breaks. Take them.
How often do you sit down at your desk and start working, only to look at the clock and realize three hours have sped by? Not good. Force yourself to take a break after you complete a task, even if it’s just a quick minute to stand up and stretch. Take a deep breath, then sit back down and get back to it. Do this often.
3) Leverage your tech.
While you’re at it, use all that tech you have nearby. Whether it’s a wearable device or your Smartphone, set an alarm to go off every 30 minutes to remind you it’s time to get up and move around a bit.
4) Keep some weights on-hand.
Who says you can’t have some 10-pound weights handy? There’s no reason not to keep some nearby. Pick them up and get a few reps in now and again. Bonus! They’re also great for stress-relief.
5) Say, “Pick me!” for the coffee run.
Everyone likes the person who brings the coffee. Have your cake and eat it too by volunteering to brew the next fresh pot. You’ll be getting up and taking some steps (yay) and making nice with your colleagues — double win.
6) Host a standing meeting.
Meetings don’t have to be everyone sitting around a conference table. Encourage your co-workers to stand during a meeting. You might even find that the energy in the room is better that way and you are more productive.
7) Pace while you wait.
Think about all the times during your workday when you’re waiting for something — the microwave, the copy machine, a co-worker to meet you. Instead of standing or sitting while you wait, walk back and forth. Pacing can help clear your mind and is a great way to get a few extra steps in.
8) Skip the in-office messaging.
Does your office use something like Skype, Google chat or another messenger system to communicate? Make it a point to stand up and walk over to someone to talk, rather than typing it in the messenger. Face-to-face conversations are almost always better anyway.
9) Pick a trash can far away from your desk.
Next time you need to throw something away, get up and walk to the trash can on the other side of the office to do so. Make that a habit, and you’re guaranteeing yourself some serious extra steppage each day.
10) Stand up during webinars and phone conferences.
Make it a rule that every time you have a webinar or phone conference, you’re going to stand for the whole thing.
How do you make sure you get moving at work? Share in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.