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Top Tips And Desk Exercises To Sit Less

7 ways to stay active at work

After finding your fitness groove you might start to panic about how to keep it when you start spending hours at work. Fear not, here are 7 top tips for how to stay active on the job that might help you through.

1. Take the stairs

Instead of opting for the lift, take the stairs at every opportunity at work – and when you do, make sure you push your heels down when you’re walking up them. Heels down means you’re switching your glutes on – powering your steps with a big muscle group to burn a good amount of incidental calories throughout the day.

2. Walking meeting

Walking meetings have been a new trend for the past few years and with research suggesting walking leads to an increase in creativity, what better reason to get out of your chair and the boardroom and opt for some fresh air and activity? Being out of your usual office environment can also stimulate your mind. A walking meeting means less stress and more engagement from colleagues.

3. Lunchtime training

If you have trouble squeezing a workout into your busy morning or evening schedule, try a lunchtime exercise session instead and reap the following benefits:

  • More energy for the afternoon

  • Clear your mind and refocus

  • Reduce stress

  • Increase productivity levels 

Goodlife Health Clubs have a convenient selection of lunchtime group fitness sessions to get you moving, from high-energy cycle classes to calorie-burning circuit classes or a range of mind body classes to reduce stress, improve mindfulness and increase flexibility.

4. Pick your printer wisely

An easy way to be more active at work, get out of your chair and onto your feet, is to print to the furthest away printer. Yes, the one right down at the other end of the office, because you have to walk further to retrieve your print out. In a hurry? Walk a little faster to get there and back quicker!

5. Set a reminder to move

A simple trick to get you moving more at work is to set yourself a reminder. Set up an alarm in your calendar for every 1.5 hours throughout the day and no matter where you are up to on a piece of work, stand up, walk around for three minutes and then continue your work. Make a tea, go to the bathroom, walk down stairs and back up again, chat to someone in the office, just make sure you’re moving. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

Recent studies have shown that those who take a break from work every hour or so, perform better then those who don’t. If stepping away from the screen is good for our performance, then an added active break which is good for the body too has to be an extra bonus!

6. Walk that extra kilometre

You can start your day with a little extra activity too – try parking your car 1km away and walking to work from there. Or if you commute on public transport, get off the train or bus a couple of stops earlier and walk the rest of the journey.

7. At desk exercises

If you feel like you’re tied to your desk all day, give these desk exercises a go – you don’t need much space, you can do most of the exercises just sitting in your chair, but it’s a great way to stay fit at work.

Chair squat:

Move your chair away from your desk so you have a little space, stand up in front of your chair, sit back down but as your glutes tap the chair, push your weight through your heels to stand back up again. Repeat 20 times.

Desk push up:

Put your hands on the edge of your desk around shoulder width apart and step your feet back slightly. With your body straight, bend through your elbows to bring your chest towards your hands, then push your body away again to your starting position. Repeat 20 times.


Stand up at your desk with a little space around you. With straight legs and a straight back, tip forward at your hips reaching down towards your ankles – you should feel a pull through the back of your legs. Return to your starting position and repeat 20 times.

Tricep dips:

Turn your chair around so that the back of it is wedged against your desk and it can’t move. Sit down and place your hands on the chair with knuckles facing forward and your thumbs tucked under your glutes slightly. Move your feet away to create 90 degrees at your knees and move your glutes off the chair so you’re holding your weight through your arms. By bending through your elbows, lower your glutes down towards the ground and then push yourself back up again, keep your back close to the chair. Keep repeating for 20 times.

Shoulder rolls:

Sit up in your chair and roll your right shoulder backwards in large circular movements 5 times. Then roll it forward 5 times. Repeat with your left shoulder. 

Back and chest stretch:

Sit up in your chair, put your hands together in front of your body and reach forward as far as you can, rounding through your upper back. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Reach your arms out to the sides and clasp them together behind your back to feel a stretch through your chest. Hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat 5 times in total.


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