Office Exercises to Keep You Sharp at Work

If you work in an office all day you can still get up and enjoy a little exercise. Work through some of these exercise tips to help you stay healthy, strong and energetic.

Most of these suggestions are for people who work in an office environment and don't have physically demanding jobs. If you are required to move because of your work requirements you can try to find ways of ramping up the speed and intensity at which you do your job (assuming you are not working a job where this would be dangerous). The extra effort and intensity will make you a better employee and add to the health benefits of your job.

For the rest of us who have more sedentary jobs I hope these tips are beneficial. These suggestions are not meant to replace regular exercise that you should be getting anyway. These are supplements to help you burn a few more calories than normal and help you stay fresh and alert at work. If you aren't already engaged in a regular exercise program then I hope this will help motivate you to doing much more.

Stand Up

Don't sit in your chair all day. Take an occasional break to keep your mind and body fresh. Set an hourly reminder to get up and move. You don't have to waste a lot of your work day doing this. It would only take a couple of minutes each hour to walk down the hall and keep awake and alert.

Take every opportunity you can to stand up while working. When you have to plow through reading material or talk on the phone, you can do these as easily standing up as you can sitting down. Stay on your feet when you drop into a co-worker's office to share information.

Sit Up

The more actively you sit in your chair, the more mentally alert you will be. Good posture will help promote stronger core muscles. The reverse is true too. If you will take some time to work on your core muscles (all the muscles in the trunk of your body) you will have better posture and feel less sluggish at work.

StretchingCredit: kakisky -


Take a couple of minutes to stretch your neck, hands, arms and legs. This will help you feel fresh and less tense. Don't do deep stretches with cold muscles. There is no need to act like you are about to jump onto the basketball court. Do light stretches. Focus mostly on your muscles and joints that you use to do your work. Don't allow a stiff neck to keep you from being healthy and productive.

Use the StairsCredit: kevinrosseel -

Use the Stairs

Consider taking your bathroom breaks on another floor of the office building so you can use the stairs. When moving about the office building, do so via the stairwells. Without wasting time, try to deliver messages in person to your co-workers instead of calling them on the phone.

Get on the Floor

There are many simple exercises you can do quickly with the door closed that won't require you to take a shower afterwards. Your body-builder friend will tell you that if you don't do push ups to a point of fatigue then you aren't getting the benefit you could from them. While that is true from a bodybuilder's perspective, we aren't trying to look like Schwarzenegger. If you can crank out 10 push ups three or four times each work day you will be much stronger (and burn more calories) than you would if you only did push ups once a week at the gym.

Sit ups too can be done in small doses and still be beneficial. Crunches are better for your back and just as effective as sit ups. You don't have to do full sit ups to reap the rewards.

Walk Around the Parking LotCredit: jppi -

Take a Walk

Do you spend half the day with a phone stuck in your ear? If you have a cordless phone, get up and pace through the room while you are talking. When on your cell phone you can go outside and walk around the block. You will be healthier for it and probably get better phone reception.

Take your team around the office complex for a walking meeting. Instead of sitting in the conference room snacking on junk food you can enjoy the fresh air and some exercise doing laps around the parking lot.

Get a Drink

Stay hydrated. Coffee is often the easiest beverage to grab in an office where it flows freely. Though it has been determined that coffee is not as dehydrating as once thought, it still isn't the best choice you can make. When you are at the office make a conscientious effort to drink plenty of water. Air conditioning can be dehydrating too. Water won't fight off all germs, but keeping a well-lubricated body will probably help you avoid a couple of colds each year.

Your Suggestions

What are you doing to stay active at work? I would love to read your comments below.