The benefits of exercise go beyond maintaining a trim physique. Experts agree that a fit lifestyle that also incorporates healthy eating clears your focus, boosts energy, and helps you deal with stress in a more balanced, positive way. And if you can sneak in extra exercises while you’re at work, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with all the negativity and chaos that’s thrown your way. Here are 100 tips and tricks to stay fit at work.
At Your Desk
These guides and tips will show you that working out at your desk is possible.
- 60-second aerobics: Read this guide to learn how just 60 consecutive seconds of exercise can help.
- Office Workout: Learn the wrist and forearm stretch, lower back stretch and more.
- Exercise while stuck at your desk: Learn about deskercise and desktop yoga here.
- Stretching Exercises at Your Desk: 12 Simple Tips: Sit on an exercise ball or stand up without putting pressure on your hands.
- Workouts for desk jockeys: Say goodbye to "binge computing" and take breaks to work out at your desk.
- Isometric exercises you can do at your desk: Learn the wall push-off, chair leg extension and overhead press here.
- My Daily Yoga: Learn warm ups, RSI yoga and everyday yoga exercises you can do at your desk.
- Do toe-touches: Do toe-touches throughout the day to prep you for an evening workout.
- How to Exercise While Sitting at Your Computer: Learn the types of equipment you can stash in your desk for impromptu workouts.
- Standing Abdominal Exercises: Try out these exercises so that you don’t get messy or caught in an embarrassing position lying on the floor.
Sneak in these work outs during super quick breaks.
- Go to the coffee shop next door for a break: Walk across the street or next door instead of heading the two steps to your office lounge.
- Offer to run extra errands: Become a gopher on your breaks to burn more calories running all over the building.
- Volunteer for field projects: Get out of the office altogether and volunteer for in-the-field projects that require you to move more.
- Use the bathroom on another floor: Walk up or downstairs to find a bathroom that’s farther away.
- Tune out for a minute: Looking away from your computer and focusing on something besides work does wonders for your mental health, too.
- Take micro-breaks every 30 minutes: Take a 30- to 60-second micro-break every 30 minutes for an ergonomic workout.
- Stretch: Use at least part of your break to stretch your neck, arms, legs and back.
- Take a 10-minute walk: Walk briskly for 10 minutes to help your mood and energy.
- Pick up the package deliveries: Make sure you don’t hurt your back while doing so, but offer to pick up packages and carry them upstairs.
- Ergonomic Microbreaks: Here you can learn all about ergonomic microbreaks and how they help.
These videos demonstrate office-friendly work outs, toning exercises and stretches.
- 15-Minute Desk Workout: This workout requires a sturdy wall and a sturdy chair with no wheels.
- How to do Office Yoga: Spine Stretch Exercise: Practice yoga while getting a great spine stretch.
- Desk Workout: This mini desk workout is just over 3 minutes long.
- Office Workout Routine: Sarah from Diet.com shares toning exercises that help you stay tight at work.
- Tricep Dip: The tricep dip tones arms and only requires a simple chair.
- Butt Exercises: These 3 exercises are incredibly simple and can be done anywhere.
- Thigh Stretch Exercise: This yoga-inspired thigh stretch will keep you loose at work.
- Seated Stretches: Learn how to stretch safely and effectively.
- How to get an office workout: Workout at work without looking like a weirdo.
- The Office Workout - Made Fit TV: Jennifer from Made Fit TV demonstrates exercises that you can do inside your office.
- Irene Estry Office Workout: This humorous British video features a workout guru who visits a production office to share her secrets.
- A Quick 10 Minute Office Workout: You’ll need some equipment for this workout, but it’ll get the job done in only 10 minutes.
- Office Workout: Elizabeth with FitFiend.com demonstrates stress-relieving exercises.
- The Ultimate Office Workout: This young office worker demonstrates exercises that can be done with a clipboard, files, a stapler, stamp and coat rack.
These tips will help you discover ways of fitting in gym time during your work day.
- Wake up just 20 extra minutes early: Come in to work 20 minutes early so that you can extend your lunch break or take off work before the gym rush starts.
- Bring your gym clothes with you: If you already have a gym bag with you, you might as well go during your break or after work.
- Eat right all day: Choose energy-boosting foods that will prevent you from feeling sluggish and gross as the day wears on.
- Go during lunch: Eat lunch at your desk and use your hour off for a quick gym workout
- Pick a low-intensity workout: If you’re afraid to sweat a lot before going back to work, choose a low-intensity workout instead.
- GymLocator.com: This site helps you find gyms closest to a particular location, letting you exercise longer per break.
- Office gym: Before paying for a membership, check to see if your office building has a gym that you can use.
- Swim: Swimming is an excellent way to exercise and relieve stress, so find a local pool to use at lunch.
- Box: You can find punching bags at all gyms and workout centers, and it’s also a great way to relieve stress from work.
- Haggle your benefits: If you have an unorthodox boss, find out if he or she would be willing to set up some sort of benefits plan that includes a gym membership.
Teams and Partners
You might be more effective at sticking to an exercise plan at work if you have others to cheer you on.
- Organize the office Olympics: Remember when Jim on The Office organized a mini-Olympics? When your boss is out, make up fun games that also keep everyone moving.
- Bring in a professional: Find out if you can ask a medical professional or workout coach to come in to your office once a week to lead stretches or simple Pilates.
- Organize a fit lunch group: Get officemates to join you for a walk around the park or even the building during your lunch break.
- Play musical chairs: It’s incredibly dorky, but a spontaneous round of musical chairs will give you a surprising work out.
Keep this exercise equipment near by so that it’s even easier to mix up your work out.
- Treadmill: If you can afford it and get clearance for it, bring a treadmill into your office to use when you’re reviewing files or watching the news.
- Dumbbells: Keep a set of dumbbells in your office so that you can do reps whenever you’ve got a free 5 minutes.
- Gym-Ball Chair: The Design Blog features a gym-ball chair that helps with your workout but still offers back support.
- Resistance bands: Resistance bands can be neatly tucked away in your desk and are versatile tools for all types of exercises.
- Floor Mat: If you want to do any stretching or exercises on the floor, get a mat so that you don’t attract fluff or bits of paper to your suit.
- Jump rope: Like resistance bands, a jump rope can be stored very easily in your desk and offers a fun way to work out at work.
- Step: Get an aerobics step to add power to your lunges and squats.
- iPod: Tune out your work surroundings for a few minutes while you work out by turning on your iPod.
Changes of Habit
Stop buying junk food, taking the elevator and letting your work day affect your mood and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
- Walk to the water cooler: Fill up your water bottle from the water cooler instead of reaching for a new bottle every time.
- Take the stairs: It’s an oldie but goodie recommendation: take the stairs to flex your muscles, get your heart rate up, and burn calories.
- Change your mood: Stop thinking of your office as just a place to work: consider it your own personal gym, too.
- Get creative: Just like the guy in the Ultimate Office Work Out Video, start searching for everyday office supplies that can double as workout equipment.
- Avoid the vending machine: Pack healthy snacks that fuel your intention to exercise and live healthy.
- Stay positive throughout the day: Don’t let the negativity of your regular work day be an excuse to avoid working out.
- Learn to say no: If fitting in a micro-break at work seems impossible, start saying no to unnecessary favors that co-workers want you to do.
- Consider office workouts from a holistic perspective: Taking quick breaks isn’t just about losing weight: they’ll help you avoid injury, make you a more energetic, effective worker, and preserve mental health, too.
Use these social sites for extra motivation, health advice, immediate exercise tracking and advice on how to sneak in workouts at the office.
- SparkPeople: Chat with other fitness geeks, trainers and coaches to learn about tricky ways to sneak in exercise.
- Daily Burn: This popular social site helps you track workouts even when you’re at work.
- FitLink: This community features groups, workout ideas, routes to try and more.
- MyPipeline: Watch exercise videos and then do them at your desk.
- Fitizens: Look up new exercises to try and meet other workout fiends here.
- My Fit Tribe: My Fit Tribe is a fun goal-tracking site for social fitness enthusiasts.
- Traineo: Easily record your office workouts and eating habits here.
- Walker Tracker: Track your steps throughout the day using this site. Chances are, you’ll forget by the time you get home.
- Wellsphere: Wellsphere is a community site for healthy living, working out and healthy eating. Get support, recommendations and more.
- FitConnect: This site encourages you to brag about your fitness progress. Get ideas for new workouts, meet friends and find inspiration.
Let these workout guides motivate and train you even while you’re at work.
- No Time to Work Out?: This plan encourages eating right and doing specific exercises that maximize your allotted time frame.
- Finally: An Exercise for Lazy, Horny Workaholics: Jezebel’s found this crazy video featuring the Hawaii Chair - Hula Workout.
- Workout in traffic: This exercise helps you strengthen your core while you sit in the car.
- Sneaking in exercise: This guide recommends parking further away, walking to do your errands and keeping walking shoes on hand, just in case.
- No Equipment Travel Workout: This workout plan is designed to get you fit anywhere.
- Sitting Yoga: This site has 19 yoga workouts you can do in a seated position.
- Exercise in the Airport, on the Plane, and in a Hotel Room!: If you travel a lot for work, in can be hard to sneak in a workout. Let this guide show you how to do it.
- Exercise at Work: Campbell’s has lots of tips for fitting in extra exercise.
- Simple Exercises That Can be Done Even at Work: Learn all about deskercise here.
- How to Exercise at Work: 6 Exercises to Keep You Fit: Here you’ll find plans to work on your butt, abs and more.
These alerts will signify break time so you never forget to stretch.
- Exercise Minder: Download this tool for free to get occasional reminders to stop and work out.
- Workrave: Workrave is a Windows and Linux program that helps prevent Repetitive Strain Injury by sending you alerts to take "micro-pauses."
- Break Reminder: This very simple Windows tool also reminds you to take breaks to relax your wrists, neck and more.
When you let negativity take over and decide working out at the office just isn’t practical, read these articles.
- People who exercise on work days are happier, suffer less stress and are more productive: If your boss grumbles about you trying to fit a workout in during lunch, show him or her this article.
- Exercise ‘must be tough to work’: This BBC news article reveals a report that exercise isn’t supposed to be easy. Read it to get an extra adrenaline rush even when you’re tired or grumpy.
By keeping your energy up at work, you’ll be more inclined to sneak in a quick work out or two.
- Brush your teeth: Brush your teeth after lunch with mint toothpaste for an instant way to feel more awake and confident.
- Don’t forget carbs: Eat complex carbohydrates as well as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to give yourself an energy boost that lasts and promote good digestion.
- Power nap: Doze in your car or in the break room if you can get a few extra minutes to gear up your energy.
- Engage in small talk: Chat with a client for an extra few seconds to boost energy and use your mind in a more fulfilling way.
- Pay attention to your sleep schedule: Make sure you’re sleeping on a regular sleep schedule and doing what you can to sleep the right way.
When all else fails, these no-frills exercises will keep you moving and upbeat at work.
- March in place: Close the blinds and march in place all over your office to increase blood flow.
- Jumping jacks: Do sets of jumping jacks throughout the day.
- Lunges and squats: Lunge around your office or cubicle for a simple toning exercise that really works you out.
- Leg lifts: Sit in your chair and do leg lifts to improve circulation, too.
- Dumbbell curls: Make sure you’re doing arm curls the correct, safe way.
- Crunches: Crunches effectively tighten abs and don’t make you sweat too much.