Regular physical activity is one of the best things we can do for our mental and physical health. Maintaining a good exercise regime provides many benefits, from helping us maintain a healthy weight and reducing the risk of debilitating illnesses to keeping our bones/muscles strong and improving our ability to complete everyday activities.

To achieve these benefits, health professionals suggest that we engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily. However, for those of us in sedentary jobs like illustration, graphic design, architecture or writing, it can be challenging to meet these guidelines. Despite being enjoyable careers, physical activity is rarely a part of these job roles, and after a long day, we are seldom motivated to go to the gym to get in our daily workout.

And with so many contemporary jobs being sedentary, most UK professionals agree that lack of activity is a common workplace issue. But how can we take measures to improve this? From switching to a more physical role to moving around more on your lunch break, we outline several of the best ways to be more active in the workplace below.

Consider Changing Professions

We understand this suggestion isn’t feasible for everyone. Still, if your current job offers no leeway regarding incorporating more physical activity into your role, consider changing to a more hands-on profession. If you’re willing to start from scratch, plenty of jobs can help you keep fit while earning money from gardening, construction, dancing, retail, and much more.

One of the most popular ways to stay active while at work is to choose a career in a fitness-orientated environment like a gym, which enables you to select from various roles like a lifeguard, fitness instructor, personal trainer and much more. A vital part of these job roles is to perform workouts alongside patrons or other team members. This prevents you from being sedentary at work and makes for an excellent carer choice for those who want to be active at work.

Fortunately, if working in a gym-like environment sounds appealing to you, it doesn’t take too long to achieve the qualifications/skills required for these roles, and the best part is that they can even be completed on a part-time basis so you can learn while earning. For instance, if you’d like to try personal training courses, there are plenty of full-time, part-time, and personal training courses from providers like The Fitness Group, which can equip you with the skills necessary for succeeding in the role. Consider visiting their website to find out more about their personal training courses today, or contact a team member directly for specific inquiries.

Nominate Yourself As The Coffee Runner

If your office is in the middle of town, chances are you and your co-workers run to the nearest coffee shop several times throughout the workday. After all, nothing is more stimulating than a fresh cup of ground coffee to help get you through those long days at work, right? But often, it’s not you or your colleagues that head in and out of those double doors to go and fetch your caffeinated beverages; it’s a secretary or a Deliveroo driver.

If this is the case, consider giving the secretary or the Deliveroo drivers a break, and nominate yourself as the coffee runner. Even if the nearest Starbucks or Café Nero is only a five-minute walk, you can stretch your legs and leave your desk for a few more minutes than you’d usually get. Plus, you’ll have the extra weight of several beverages, adding some resistance as you return to the office.

Even better, if you’d like to try and sneak in more physical activity during your coffee runs, you could consider convincing your colleagues to try out a new coffee spot each week, not just those closest to the office. Or, if you have many coffees to grab, you could consider asking one of your colleagues to tag along with you, which allows you to relax and socialise with your co-workers while being more active at work.

Rethink How You Commute

 Suppose you can’t increase the amount of physical activity in your sedentary job while you’re on the clock. In that case, you could always think about how to get more physical activity into your day before and after your shift. And while very few UK working professionals can be bothered to hit the gym after a hard day’s work, you could rethink how you travel to work and consider switching to a more active commuting method.

For instance, if you’re part of the 68% of the British working population that use their cars to get to and from the workplace, you could consider walking or cycling so long as you live within a feasible distance. Not only does walking or biking to work help reduce the emission of harmful greenhouse gasses, but it also increases your health and fitness efforts while allowing you to arrive at work feeling refreshed, energised, and ready to start your day.

However, we understand that only some have the luxury of living around the corner from their workplace, so walking or cycling might not be a realistic option for you. Still, there are ways you can get around this. From taking your bike on the train with you, getting off a couple of stops earlier and biking the rest of the way, to parking your car further away from the office there are various ways you can incorporate physical fitness into your daily commute.

Put Down Your Mobile/Laptop

The best way to stop being sedentary at work is to take advantage of every opportunity to escape from your desk. A few reasons may exist for leaving your desk bar or going to the bathroom. One way you can get more steps in is by putting down your mobile/laptop and communicating with your colleagues the old-fashioned way, face-to-face.

Like the old ’90s office sitcoms, whenever you need to liaise with a co-worker, get up from your desk and pay their cubicle/office a visit. Although it might be a short distance from your own, making these short trips multiple times a day soon adds up. Not only will you benefit from stretching out your legs, but you will also benefit from the social aspects of the interaction.

Move About On Your Lunch Break

During the coveted half an hour of our lunch break, it can be tempting to do nothing besides sit in the break room, check our social media and comfort ourselves with snacks. However, your lunch break is an ideal time to get active during your allotted free time.

Although you might not be able to get in a proper workout, you can still fit in various activities to help get you moving. From going outside for a walk and doing a ten-minute HIT workout to joining a local gym or jogging up and down the stairs — there are various ways to cram in some physical activity during your lunch break.

If you’re struggling, you could consider involving other people in the office so that you have others to motivate you towards completing your fitness goals. Not only will it help you become less sedentary, but it will also help foster a community around keeping fit and healthy at work.