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Ways to Stay Fit from Your Office Chair

Staying in shape tends to get a lot harder once you become a full-time office employee. Long hours at your desk without breaks can make it difficult to get the exercise you need throughout the day, especially if you don’t have much time before and after your work day.

They may not be Olympic lifts, but here are a few tricks you can use to stay fit while stuck in your office chair.

Get A Standing Desk

One of the biggest challenges to staying healthy in the office is how much time you spend seated. Sitting for long periods of time is not only bad for your circulation, it also means you aren’t going to move around as much.

It’s a lot easier to walk around the office and stretch when you’re in a standing position, not to mention your muscles will stay loose and warm throughout the day. It’s also a great way to prevent slouching and promote healthier bone structure.

According to an article on the relationship between exercise and sleep, increasing the amount of time standing during the day can also help promote better quality of sleep — one of the most important components of your fitness routine.

Break Up Caffeine with Water

A good rule of thumb is to do one full glass of water for every drink you have that isn’t water.  Lots of offices come stocked with coffee and tea to keep workers caffeinated and awake – but try not to fall into the caffeine trap. Staying hydrated with water is essential to maintaining your health and fitness goals. Additionally, drinking plenty of water is not only important for hydration and fitness recovery, but it’s a vital component of healthy weight loss. If controlling your weight is one of your office fitness challenges, keeping water in your system is a great place to start.

Take the Stairs

If you work on a floor that’s within reasonable reach, take the stairs for some extra calorie burn. If you’re on the first floor or the 101st floor, there are other great ways to get in those extra calories. Walk to the train station instead of calling an uber. Take a lap or two around the building before you go in. Walk to lunch if you can.

If making time for walks just doesn’t fit with your schedule, studies have shown that fidgeting and moving around in your desk chair alone can help you burn extra calories and keep your heart rate up throughout the day.  

Have a Stash of Healthy Snacks

Office donuts can be a huge threat to your fitness routine. What you put into your body is going to have a huge impact on your fitness outcomes, and office snacks can tempt even the strongest among us. Try and pack yourself some key fitness foods from home to help you stay full and avoid the unhealthy office snacks.

There are also a ton of useful apps that can help you with meal planning during the workday. When you’ve got some downtime at your desk, get a jump on your weekly fitness planning by using fitness planning tech while you’re already at the computer.

Exercise in Your Chair

It’s really as simple as that. Office workers have a tendency to remain tense throughout the day, and stretching out that tension can promote increased flexibility and improved muscle health. The last thing you want to do is go into a post-work gym session with tight muscles and injure yourself.

Whether it’s calf-raises, leg extensions, or chair squats, there are a ton of useful exercises and stretches that can keep you active while you’re stuck at the office.

Break Up Your Day

One of the best ways to make sure you stick to these tactics is to set timers every hour or half hour. Every time it goes off, drink some water, do some stretches, or even squeeze in a few reps of one of your new desk exercises.

This will break up the long hours of sedentary behavior that is detrimental to your health.


Staying active at your desk job can be a challenge, but with the right plan and motivation you can make your busy schedule work for you. One of the most important things to remember is that fitness plans are all about lifestyle change and consistency. You don’t need to see immediate results with your new office routine, you just need to stay the course, have the right mind set, and the benefits will follow.