Tips to Burn More Calories While You’re Working

It can often feel like getting a workout in on a weekday is impossible. With busy days and packed schedules, when is there free time?

The truth is, the time is there, but you may not be currently seeing it as a good time to get a workout in. Whether you are working in an office or working from home, there are quite a few easy ways to sneak in an exercise during your nine to five. 

While these tips will not replace a 1-hour gym session or cardio class, they can help supplement the days you’re not able to work out in the morning or night and increase your overall activity throughout the day. Here are six different ways for you to test out this next week: 

1. Workout During Lunch

Unless you’re going out to lunch, fixing your meal and enjoying it can often take only thirty minutes or so and then you have the other half to do with what you wish. Why not take that time to be active? 

If you can’t work out before or after work, lunchtime may be your best option to fit a workout into your busy schedule. If you’re currently in an office and it has a gym, utilize that opportunity. If not, you might opt to go for a walk around your building or in a nearby park or mall. If you’re curious about the specific health benefits of spending more time outside and in nature, check out this helpful blog. If you’re working from home, you have the convenience of doing an at-home workout. For some great tips, check out our blog, Staying Active While Working From Home

2. Sit on a Stability Ball

Participating in a stationary activity is an incredibly easy way to sneak a small workout in without needing to stop working or being at your desk. Sitting on a stationary ball strengthens your abdominal muscles because those are the muscles that your body uses to compensate for changes in balance. Basically, you’re getting a low-intensity ab workout every time you sit down. 

Additionally, this can improve your posture, decrease discomfort due to sitting for long periods of time and burn a few extra calories each sitting session. When sitting, focus on pulling your stomach in, keeping the ball stable, and keeping your feet flat on the floor. 

If you have the ability, you may consider using a stability ball in twenty-minute intervals where you switch between the stability ball and an ergonomic office chair. Make sure the stability ball you have or purchase has anti-burst technology.

3. Take “Active Breaks” Throughout the Day

Being that it is generally recommended to take a fifteen-minute break for every ninety minutes of work, why not make that important break an active one? 

Taking a short walk during your mini-break is a great way to shake off a little stress, burn a few calories, and help your concentration when you are working. It is also very possible to engage in a fifteen-minute ab, arm, or leg workout; especially if you are working from home. 

4. Walk and Talk

Unless you need to be sitting in front of your computer, you might as well take the opportunity to stand up, stretch, and walk around while on a conference or phone call. As you know, work calls can often last long periods of time, and spending that time walking rather than sitting is hugely beneficial. 

Getting up when you’re on your phone is something that is so simple to do but easy to forget. To help remind yourself, place a sticky note on the edge of your computer or somewhere you look often that prompts you to stand when you talk. 

Walking more frequently helps get your blood flowing and circulate more oxygen through your body as well as burn a few calories. 

5. Try a Standing Desk

Over the past few years, standing desks have become extremely popular, and for good reason! Sitting for 8+ hours a day isn’t good for your overall health and can have a negative impact on your body. For reference, here are few risks of extended sitting as well as some major benefits of incorporating periodic standing into your workday:

  • Sitting can become painful since 90 percent more pressure is applied on your lower back.
  • Extended sitting can lead to reduced spine flexibility.
  • Sitting for long periods of time causes your brain functions due to slower blood flow and this can reduce your ability to concentrate.
  • Periodic standing can reduce back pain and headaches
  • Standing can make you more productive since your brain is getting healthy blood flow which triggers the release of chemicals that sharpen your mind and boost your mood. 

For these reasons and more, requesting a standing desk or standing desk converter from your company or purchasing one yourself is a great idea for increasing your activity during the workday! 

In fact, your heart beats ten times more per minute when you’re standing versus when you’re sitting. This means you could essentially burn 30,000 more calories a year! 

6. Take the Long Way

Any chance you have to take the long way during the workweek, take it. This could mean taking the stairs from your parking garage to the office, going to the bathroom on the other side of the building, walking to get lunch, and so on. 

Did you know that it’s recommended that adults take at least 10,000 steps a day? Taking the long way when you run errands or go places can help you reach that number. Make sure to walk in safe areas and avoid any difficult terrains. As a pedestrian, it’s also important to stay aware of your surroundings and pay attention to passing cars.

Benefits Beyond Burning Calories

While burning more calories is the main goal of engaging in easy desk exercises, there are additional benefits to incorporating movement into your workday more. According to studies from the American College of Sports Medicine and the Journal of Workplace Health Management:

  • 60% of employees said their time management skills, mental performance, and ability to meet deadlines improved on days they exercised.
  • 27% of employees reported higher levels of “dealing calmly with stress” on days they exercised.
  • 41% of employees reported higher rates of “feeling motivated to work” on exercise days.

For additional tips on boosting your mental and physical health during work hours, check out our blog: Creating a Healthy Home Office for Your Well-Being.

Finding ways to be more active in your workday is worth it. While you might not feel like you have the time, there are several hidden opportunities to get moving so that you can improve your health, focus, and much more!

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