Pain Free Working

How to Start an Office Fitness Routine

One way or another, we’ve all used the “there’s no time to exercise” excuse card. Too many deadlines to beat? No time to exercise. Have to look after kids or do some chores? No time to slip in an exercise? Spent all your energy on other schedules? No time to exercise. These are just a few of the scenarios you’ve probably used that excuse in and while it’s real, we’re not doing ourselves any favors by disregarding our physical and mental health. 

The thought of bringing a gym bag, changing into workout clothes, and then dragging yourself to the gym for an hour or two can seem awfully daunting for most of us, especially when we’re already facing hectic schedules throughout the day. However, neglecting exercise can lead to numerous health risks, and surely, that’s something all of us would rather not deal with. Fortunately, there’s still something that you can do to keep those negative impacts at bay even if your hands are full. 

Research has shown that incorporating physical activity into your everyday routine can improve your health and overall quality of life. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 10 to 15 minutes of light activity a day is just as effective as a longer workout, as long as they total 150 minutes of physical activity a week. 

Even if you’re busy at work, you can still rack up those minutes of physical activity by starting a fitness routine in the office. Here are a few ideas to get you started! 

Incorporate Exercise Into Your Everyday Office Routine

The thought of doing full workouts at the gym may seem exhausting already, especially if your day is packed with work and other matters in your personal life. However, not exercising at all can impact your health negatively. You can still work up a sweat even without hitting the gym by incorporating exercises while in the office. Try out these things to build your exercise routine in the office.

Walk or Bike Your Way to the Office

You can begin your office fitness routine the moment you step out of your home. One of the best ways to incorporate more movement and burn calories while you’re at it is to walk to the office. If you live close to your workplace, you can walk or jog on the way instead of taking public transportation. If you live far away, you can still incorporate walking by getting off a couple of stops away from your building and walking or jogging the rest of your way.

You can also consider biking to work if you live 5 to 10 minutes away from your office. Cycling is a great form of cardio that allows you to exercise your entire body, shed off calories, improve your stamina, and keep health issues at bay. Moreover, biking can save you gas expenses and contribute to the betterment of the planet.

Do Desk Exercises During Breaks

Working and sitting for long hours isn’t good for both the mind and body. Our muscles can get sore and stiff, leading to body aches that can distract us and lower our productivity. Aside from body aches, we’re also at risk of acquiring more serious health issues. Moving more during work hours can help loosen out tight muscles, allow blood to circulate better, and make you feel more refreshed. 

Doing desk exercises even for a few minutes can help a lot in improving your health. The options for exercises that you can do at your desk are endless: you can try stretching, core workouts, aerobics, bottle workouts, and the like. You can even store some portable fitness equipment at your desk. You’ll notice that the more you do simple exercises at work, you’ll experience fewer health problems. 

Workout With Colleagues

It’s very likely that you’re not the only one in the office who wants to work out. Try seeking out co-workers who want to exercise and start a fitness club. This can be as simple as doing a stretching routine before lunch three times a week or doing a walk around the office in the afternoon. If you want to take it up a notch, you can gather up your co-workers to play team sports together once a week. You can also make things fun by organizing a team-building activity in the office in the form of doing an obstacle course with your officemates. Getting fit with workmates is better than being alone, after all.

Alternate Between Sitting and Standing

Your regular office table is good at doing its job as the center of your workstation however, it may be time to switch it out for a standing desk. Research has shown that standing while working allows you to incorporate more movement throughout the day. Moreover, standing while working can also help in burning calories. 

Having a balance and alternating between sitting and standing can help in preventing pressure on the body too. It’s recommended to switch between sitting and standing every half hour or one hour to make the most out of the sit-stand method of working. If you aren’t in the market for a standing desk, you can still do this method by standing up as much as you can. Stretch your legs out when you take your calls or sort your papers while standing. If there are other work tasks that you can do while standing instead of sitting, then always choose to get up on your feet. 

Starting an office fitness routine doesn’t mean that you have to force yourself to hit the gym and do a full workout. The key is to start small by incorporating as much movement as you can throughout the day. Instead of changing your schedule abruptly, integrating these bits of exercise can help in making a healthier and happier version of yourself. 

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.