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Five ways to stay active at the office

Taking a 15 minute walk each day is a great way to fit in a bit of exercise at the office.

College was a busy time. Between juggling a full class load, internships and professional development groups, it seemed nearly impossible to find time to fit in a workout.

Back when I was at Central Michigan University, I can remember thinking, “As soon as I graduate and get a job I’m going to get fit – I mean, what else will I have to do after work?” I obviously underestimated the intensity of having a career and all the things that come with it.

Having a full-time job, I’ve come to understand that making it to the gym before or after work is just as much, if not more, of a challenge as it was in college. That’s why I’ve been making an effort to stay active at work. Here are five simple ways to help you get up and get active during the workday.

  • Go for a 15 minute walk. One of the easiest ways to stay active at work is to schedule a 15 minute walk each day. Sure, it can be hard to pull yourself away from your desk, but taking a short walk is a quick and easy way to get in a bit of exercise. Working in the Renaissance Center, we (Franco) couldn’t ask for a better walking area than the Detroit Riverfront. And ladies, keep a pair of tennis shoes under your desk to help you avoid using the “I don’t have good shoes on today” excuse.
  • Stand instead of sit. Common sense will tell you that it’s not good to sit in a chair for eight hours a day. If you need further proof, check out this infographic outlining the “truth about sitting”, including the fact that research has shown people with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease than people with standing jobs. It’s time to take stand.
  • Substitute a yoga ball for your office chair. If you’re going to sit, you might as well work out your core. Swapping out your office chair for an exercise ball is a great way to stay active at the office and engage muscles that wouldn’t otherwise be used while sitting. Sitting on a ball requires you to maintain balance and sit upright, which is good for your core muscles and your posture.
  • Take the stairs. This one is pretty self explanatory, but taking the stairs instead of the elevator really does add up. Sure it might tack on a few extra minutes, but getting in this little bit of cardio each day is definitely a good thing.
  • Deliver messages in person. Within the office, we seem to have become so accustomed to emails, phone calls and even instant messaging that we rarely make a point to deliver messages in person anymore. Make an effort to walk across the office to tell your co-worker that important message, or even just stop over to say hello. This brief break from sitting will not only help get your blood flowing, but face-to-face communication is helpful for team building.

Genna Young stays active at the office by opting to sit on a yoga ball instead of a chair.

What other ways have you used to stay active while at work?

Angela Hernandez is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach her at (313) 567-5008 or hernandez@franco.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AngelaHernandez.