17th May, 2017 | 3 minutes
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A workplace workout that works wonders

by Shannon Clarke
iSelect Content Manager

Working at a desk-bound job can be a risky business. Why? Because you’re sitting still for so long. And sitting can be a dangerous activity. The good news is that you can easily introduce a workplace workout – and you’ll hardly even know you’re doing it.

The dangers of sitting still

The Better Health Channel claims that “sitting is the new smoking”. Why? Sitting down for eight hours a day can increase your risk of health problems like heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Even if you’re a gym junkie outside of work, you’re still at risk of possibly running into some problems if you sit still for long periods of time, day after day.

So what do you do about it? The Heart Foundation has a simple message: “Move more, sit less”. Sounds easy, right? But how do you break your desk-bound habits? The easiest way to break a bad habit is by replacing it with a new one. Here’s a suggested workplace training plan full of great habits that get you standing and moving much more each day.

Your workplace training plan:

1. Stand up

Got a laptop? Find a high desk or bench where you can work standing up. Not only does this burn more calories than sitting down, but standing will also help you maintain better muscle strength in your legs, glutes, hips and back. Here at iSelect, we love our standing desks, and get some of our best work done when standing up!

If there’s no way that you can do some of your daily tasks standing up, then set an alert on your phone or calendar every half hour that says, “Hey Richie, get up and have a good stretch.”

2. Walk’n’talk

Bye-bye boardroom. Schedule your next one-on-one client meeting in the open air. This way, both you and your client will reap the benefits of activity, and you’re not stymied by the stiff formality of a boardroom environment.

Internal brainstorming meetings are a no-brainer. Hold them with your colleagues around a whiteboard and … you guessed it … on your feet. You’ll be amazed at how much faster the ideas flow when you’re all standing up and on your game.

Some of our iSelectors even have table tennis meetings! Check out some of the health team below while they Table Tennis’n’Talk.A workplace workout that works wonders

3. Use the stairs

This is an easy one (unless you work in a single-level building). Even if you work on the 34th floor of a skyscraper, you can still jump out of the lift a few floors early and climb the rest of the way. Find opportunities to hand-deliver notes or visit colleagues on different floors, too, so you can use those calorie-busting stairs more often.

4. Clock up 1000 steps every hour

Got a pedometer? If you don’t, they’re a great investment. Nothing motivates you to get moving more than watching the numbers edging ever-closer to your daily goal of 10,000 steps. To break up your work-day, try to head out for a quick walk at least every hour. Zip around the block or to a favourite café … you’ll meet your target in no time.

Many of our iSelectors like to get outside with a basketball and shoot some hoops to break up their work day and get some exercise – see them in action below!A workplace workout that works wonders

5. Dress for success

Ladies, consider maybe sometimes leaving the stilettos at home. And gents, swap the polished shoes for something a little more comfy. If you dial down the formality of your workwear, and dial up the comfort factor, you’ll find that you’re more likely to get on the move.

Of course, in some industries and on some days, you’ll have to dress formally. Slip a pair of runners in your bag and lace them up at lunchtime for a walk through the park. Who said sneakers and suits didn’t match?

Stick at it

The secret of the workplace workout is to commit to it, daily. Don’t treat it like the paleo diet you tried last year or your oh-so-brief dalliance with Tabata. Start making changes to the way you work now, and stick at it. The tips above are super-simple to implement – but will have a long-lasting, positive effect on your health.

And, if you’re reading this on the couch at home, stand up now. Your body will thank you for it.


Any advice provided in this content is of a general nature. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice we give you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on our advice or purchasing any product.



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