I can vividly remember the first day of the first internship that I ever had. I don’t remember it because I was nervous or scared, I remember it because that was the first time I was ever required to sit still for eight consecutive hours.
It was hell.
All I remember from that day is being indescribably uncomfortable. I had a headache from sitting idly for too long; I was exhausted at 5:00pm even though I hadn’t moved all day. I was honestly scared I wouldn’t survive the desk-job life. In my mind, I was going to have to quit my internship, change my major, and probably go to a fifth year of school—all because I couldn’t sit.
Considering I’m typing this from a computer (and in a seated position, mind you) you can guess that’s not how things turned out. Once I talked myself off the ledge of changing my major, I found a cure for my idleness allergy: I drank water. A ridiculous, and slightly obscene amount of water.
The kitchen and my desk were on opposite ends of the office. I did laps every half hour on the dot as I marched to continuously refill that same glass of water.
It’s safe to say I was the most hydrated person in that building.
The human body was not built to sit idly for eight hours per day. It was meant to move and to move often. Here are a few ways you can stay active between the hours of 9 and 5, even if you work a desk job:
- Sit on a medicine ball
Medicine balls are great for your balance, as well as your core. Balance on a medicine ball instead of an office chair to burn more calories and improve your posture.
- Always take the stairs
Even if you don’t need to, find a way to get a few flights of stairs into your daily routine. If you find you’ve been sitting for too long, climb a few floors simply to get the blood flowing.
- Stand up during every phone call you make
Keep a pair of headphones or a headset on your desk so you can remain mobile during phone conversations. If you are not required to be looking at your computer, take this time to move about the office.
- Lift your feet off the floor
Even while remaining in a seated position, you can burn a few extra calories by simply raising your feet off the floor. Holding your feet above the ground will activate the core — practice holding the position for a few seconds, then come back to neutral.
What tricks do you follow to stay active at work? Tell us in the comments!