Within Australia’s modern working culture, many office workers find themselves sitting at their desk for over eight hours a day. With more research being conducted into the health impacts of sedentary lifestyles, we’re starting to see a correlation between sedentary office-life and chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, awareness is on the rise of the importance of regular fitness at work, with many people incorporating regular breaks and movement into their day.

Companies are beginning to shape their office culture to allow more flexibility into their workers’ schedules too; with the end result being healthier workers who are more productive.

Bringing fitness and movement into the workplace is vital if we want to build healthier futures for all Australians. Here are my top 5 tips for getting your blood pumping during the workday.

Top 5 tips for fitness at work

  1. Switch the lift for the stairs: Simply choosing the stairs over the lift can increase your energy output by up to seven times. Stair climbing is a powerful movement that expends a lot more energy than simply heading into the lift. The great thing about taking the stairs at work, is that it’s a simple habit to form. In some offices, you may even find it’s quicker to take the stairs than wait for the busy lift.
  1. Take the long way: Need to get to a meeting, or the printer? Make a mental note to always leave a bit of extra time and take the long way there. Incorporating more steps into your workday is key to reducing the risk of developing a chronic lifestyle disease. Taking a different route or path can also be mentally refreshing and stimulating.
  1. Stretch at your desk: If you’re on a deadline and don’t have time to head for a quick walk, you can use your desk space to rejuvenate your body. Set a timer for every forty-five minutes to get up quickly and do some stretches. Take two minutes to move gently whilst standing and stretching. Choosing to stretch and move every forty-five minutes is crucial for alertness and circulation, not to mention you’ll be working more efficiently if you take regular stretch breaks.
  1. Use your lunch break to workout: As an office worker, it’s common to spend most of your day sitting, so it’s best not to then sit down again at lunch. Treat your lunch break as precious time for fitness, and head to a workout. Joining the local gym can sometimes be motivation enough to get into a midday class. Remember that, even a high intensity twenty-minute workout is going to do wonders for your overall health. Set yourself an initial goal of doing lunch time workouts 2-3 times a week and work your way up from there.
  1. Get walking at lunch: If you’re not heading to the gym or to the park for a workout during your lunch break, the other alternative is to go for a walk. Grab a friend from the office and get walking! This simple habit will refresh your body and mind before the afternoon shift starts. Not only is walking a great low impact exercise, but it also enables us to enjoy the outdoors. Another fit and fun option is to take walking meetings with co-workers rather than scheduling them to the regular meeting room.

Fitness at work doesn’t have to be hard or overly complicated. Simply switch your regular daily habits to incorporate more movement and you’ll start to feel and notice the benefits very quickly.