Health & Fitness, Fitness & Training, Fitness: workout to stay healthy

How to stay active while working at the office: Your 3-step plan

As an athlete, you are particularly aware of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. You exercise in your
free time, but you know that every hour spent sitting at the office will have consequences on your
health. How can you reconcile your desire to move with your work? Depending on the nature of your
job, you can find a way to bring your pace of life more in line with your goals.

Step 1: Treat physical activity as part of your job

sitting desk health fitness cardiovascular

Take the advice of entrepreneur Josh Steimle in his inspiring article ‘Exercise is a Part of your Job’,
published in the October 2014 issue of Harvard Business Review. To cut a long story short, he
suggests that instead of viewing exercise as a hobby that takes us away from our work obligations,
we would benefit from reversing our view. Exercise is your greatest ally for success at work, not a
distraction. It belongs on your to-do list alongside your files and meetings.
According to one study, employees report being more productive and in a better mood when they
have exercised during working hours. Exercise affects memory, concentration, cognition, creativity,
stress tolerance, social interaction and more.
Without necessarily going so far as to imitate Josh Steimle, who would rather decline a business
meeting than cancel a long-planned walk, this perspective could open up new possibilities.
There are two ways to stay active in the office: work on the move or take exercise breaks. Are you
ready for step two? We promise you, your office chair won’t mind!

Step 2: Identify office tasks that you could do without sitting

treadmill running walking heart health

Your goal: never sit for more than 30 minutes. List your tasks and decide which ones can be done
standing or, even better, while moving. Here are some ideas:
● Switch to co-walking: offer your employees a walking meeting for any meeting of fewer than
4 people. Find pleasant routes, for example, in a park, and find a place where you can show
each other documents if necessary. The rest of the time, walk. This technique encourages
exchange and creativity and helps you to be less sedentary at work. Your colleagues may
quickly catch on to this trend!
● Dictate your texts while walking: this can also save you a lot of time, as you will only have to
apply a few corrections (in less than 25 minutes tops). You can activate voice dictation in any
browser or word processor.
● Make your phone calls while walking, ideally outside: don’t walk 100 steps; walk 1000 steps!

● If you work at home, your home fitness equipment is available to you at all times. Switch to
a high desk with a stepper and answer your emails on a tablet while pedalling on your
exercise bike, and so on.

Step 3: Make the office your new training space

workout abs arms man weights

If you work from home or have a lot of freedom in your job, you should not have to sit at your desk
for long. But sometimes, in public spaces or certain administrations, working while seated is
unavoidable. These tips may help you to pace your day:
● Get up earlier in the morning to walk, run, do a few yoga poses, or do some housework to
music. Granted, this won’t reduce the amount of time you spend sitting during your working
hours, but every movement is good for you, and this little warm-up will wake up the athlete
in you!
● If you can, walk or cycle for part of your journey.
● Take every opportunity to go to another floor (via the stairs!) to see a colleague, have a
coffee, go to the toilet, etc.
● Use your experience with interval training and pace your day to take active breaks:
o Easy method: use a Pomodoro application, which is dedicated to productivity at
work. The idea is to take a 5-minute break every 25 minutes, with a longer break of
15 minutes every 4 intervals.
o If you work with music, try a gentler method: create 25-minute playlists.
● If you are lucky enough to be able to do real workouts at the office (or in a nearby gym), look
into EMOM, AMRAP and other short HIIT sessions.
For further thoughts and ideas, read or re-read our articles:
● What if a shorter workout was just as effective?
● Exercise without looking like you’re doing it.
● Cardio: How about a workout in the office?

For more tips and information around your health and fitness – Visit our other articles