Pouring over paperwork at a desk can show your dedication to your job, but it also keeps you seated and physically inactive. It takes extra effort to get yourself moving when your job revolves around a desk. You can make the office a productive environment in more ways than one, though, by adding fitness goals.
According to a 2016 study from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American workers spent approximately 39 percent of their workday sitting, although this percentage is higher for office jobs. Getting up and exercising during your day doesn’t have to distract from work. Check out this list of fitness goals you can knock out during your workday.
1. Bike Your Commute
If you only live a few miles away from your workplace, you can ride your bike to work in the morning. Biking is a fun form of cardio that is low-impact but can still get your blood pumping before a long day at work. You can download an app on your smartphone to measure your distance when you cycle.
2. Jog Half a Mile During Your Lunch Break
You can leverage your lunch break for your health by using a portion of it to go for a quick run. Jogging half a mile, maybe around your office building or down the street, is a quick way to get exercise. Running can strengthen your immune system and relieve some of your stress.
3. Climb 50 Steps
Skip the elevator at work and use the stairs to tone your leg muscles. Set the goal of 50 stairs and try to reach it throughout your day. Wearable fitness trackers, like Fitbit, track the number of stairs you climb separately from your regular steps.
4. 20 Squats at the Coffee Corner
Grabbing coffee or some water can be your opportunity to squeeze in another exercise — squats. When you go to refill your mug or your water bottle, do 20 quick squats. You can keep a notepad on the counter for a tally.
5. 30 Leg Lifts Under Your Desk
You don’t even have to get up from your desk to practice fitness with leg lifts. You can elevate your legs one at a time or lift them together, then hold them straight out for five seconds each time before releasing. Your legs should come about six inches off the ground. Do a few reps of these when you’ve been sitting for a few hours to get circulation back in your legs.
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6. Burpees Before Breaks
Everyone prefers different kinds of exercises to target problem areas, but if you want to tone multiple areas, try burpees. To do a burpee, jump up with your arms extended, then bring your hands to the ground and kick your feet out. Lower yourself for one pushup, and repeat the process again. You can do these right before you take a break. Try to pack as many as possible in one minute for extra efficiency.
7. Lunges on the Way Back From the Bathroom
Bathroom breaks are a given, so why not use this time for your glutes, quads and core? Let your coworkers know what you are doing so they can keep you accountable. Plus, this will keep you from feeling awkward. On your way back from the bathroom, do a few lunges, bringing your knee all the way to the ground if possible.
8. 75 Jumping Jacks When You Finish a Project
Each time you accomplish a workplace goal, stand up and do a speedy round of jumping jacks. If your projects are longer, you can set a timer for every other hour to do 75 jumping jacks. Refresh your muscles and prevent achiness, and you avoid distraction by fitting these in between natural breaks in your work.
9. Stretch for 10 Minutes Before and After Work
When you arrive at work and right before you leave, take 10 minutes to stretch. You can prevent joint pain and muscle damage by practicing regular stretches. It can also help clear your head before starting work so that you can stay on task.
Get Fit at Work
When you set achievable goals like these, you are less likely to burn out. This list of fitness goals helps you break the cycle of sedentary life. Create a healthy atmosphere by inviting coworkers to join in on these exercises in the office. You can introduce a little friendly competition and stay active at the office.
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Also published on Medium.