Sit Less, Feel Better: How to Incorporate Movement into Your Workday

Sit Less, Feel Better: How to Incorporate Movement into Your Workday


Do you mostly sit while working? You are not alone! A study by BMC Public Health states that the average person spends between 6-9 hours per day sitting. This can cause health issues, like obesity, heart disease, and even certain cancer risks. To stay healthy, it’s important to move around during the workday.

You can add activity to your day-to-day routine easily. Taking walks on lunch break, or even exercising at your desk during breaks is a great way to start. This article will discuss some of the methods you can use to have a healthier, more active lifestyle in the office:

Benefits of Physical Activity

Physical activity can give you plenty of perks! With regular exercise, your risk for serious health issues, such as heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes, will be lowered. Furthermore, physical activity helps you manage stress levels and enhances your overall mood. Want to know what other effects exercise has on your health? Let’s take a look!

Improved Physical Health

Physical exercise has many benefits for overall health. It strengthens muscles, bones and coordination, reduces risks of chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke, and burns calories and increases metabolism, aiding in weight control.

Exercising has other advantages too. It lowers stress and anxiety levels, improves sleep, energy and self-esteem, and increases strength, flexibility and endurance.

Finally, physical activity can even prevent mental illness. Studies have found that regular exercise can reduce depression symptoms. Moreover, it releases endorphins that make you feel good and improve mood.

Improved Mental Health

Exercise is not only good for your body’s health, it also reduces stress and anxiety, elevates mood, and enhances mental health. It can dramatically reduce your risk of depression, as it raises endorphins in the brain.

A great idea is to break up your day with physical activity; it helps you stay focused on tasks and is beneficial for both body and mind! Studies have shown that physical activity can lead to better sleep at night. Plus, it’s a terrific way to relieve pressure at work and cope with workplace issues.

Lastly, exercising regularly has been linked to improved mood and self-confidence due to increased self-esteem from meeting goals or doing activities you enjoy. Incorporating movement into your workday could be just what you need to feel great!

Improved Productivity

Physical activity regularly has been seen to help productivity in the workplace. It increases mental and physical health, lowers stress and betters cognitive abilities. Studies saw employees who did demanding activities in their leisure time had more energy and were more productive at work.

People with healthy habits, like regular exercise, had better emotional control and decision-making. This means tasks can be completed faster, with more efficiency and better customer service. Also, exercising regularly can help communicating due to improved focus and alertness.

Strategies for Incorporating Movement into Your Workday

Too much sitting can cause immense health issues. These include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and even death. But, don’t worry – there are ways to stay active while you work! Here are some of the best strategies for getting your body moving:

  • Take regular breaks to stretch or walk around.
  • Set a timer to remind you to move every 30 minutes.
  • Invest in a standing or treadmill desk.
  • Take phone calls while standing or pacing.
  • Stand up during meetings.
  • Do simple exercises at your desk.
  • Walk to a coworker’s desk instead of sending emails.

Take Regular Breaks

Remember to take regular breaks! Studies show it can improve focus, energy, and productivity. For the best break time, make sure it’s both physical and mental. Here are some tips:

  • Set a reminder every hour or two.
  • Stand up and do some stretches, like neck rolls, arm circles, and ankle rolls.
  • Take deep breaths in between tasks.
  • Step away from your desk or screen often. Walk around, greet colleagues, grab a snack or drink water.
  • Get outside for lunch. 10-15 minutes of fresh air and a brisk walk will do the trick!

Set Reminders

Set reminders for yourself to take breaks. Put them on your computer, phone, and other devices. Don’t set too many though, or it will be annoying. A few reminders each day is enough. For example:

  • after every hour (or two)
  • before a Zoom call
  • during lunch
  • at the start of the workday

When the reminder goes off, take 5 minutes to move. Do some yoga or chat with a coworker while walking. Switch up your activity so you don’t stay stagnant. Too much sitting can cause fatigue and muscle soreness. Moving around helps avoid those effects.

Try Standing Desks

A healthy workplace boosts posture changes. Standing desks let you choose when to stand. They burn calories, reduce aches and stiffness, and even help productivity.

Options range from adjustable standing desks to manual models. Tops come in wood, laminate, metal, and more. Some have drawers or cabinets, and some have a large surface for monitors or laptops. Ergonomic chairs and foot rests are great to sit down occasionally. Alternating sitting and standing helps circulation – adding movement to your daily routine.

Utilize Technology

Use tech to stay mindful of being active. Set alarms on devices like phones or computer. E.g. a “start/stop” button on the taskbar will alert when you’re inactive. If no synchronized breaks, set pop-up alerts for movement. Wearables with accelerometers and cardiac monitors track activity levels. Some vibrate when inactivity is too long. These provide personalized goal tracking, reminders or log how much time is spent sitting, standing and being active.

Participate in Active Meetings

Do you want to be more active at work? Participate in active meetings! “Active” means moving or using motion as a method of instruction or collaboration.

  • Start your day with a walking meeting instead of sitting around a table. This keeps everyone engaged and boosts energy.
  • Biking gatherings are also great for communication, and physical health benefits like better posture and cardiovascular fitness.
  • Outdoor team-building activities are also a great way to bond and learn new skills while having fun.


Good health and wellness in the workplace is key for a successful career! Make small changes to how you sit, stand and move during the day to reduce strain and increase physical and mental strength. Set up an ergonomic environment that fits your unique needs and commit to adding movement into your daily routine. This will help you focus and feel better.

For optimal results, it’s important to consult with medical pros who specialize in workspace ergonomics. Everyone has different needs, so taking the time to create a space that encourages movement while still taking care of any aches can make each workday healthier and more productive.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is sitting for long periods of time bad for my health?

A: Sitting for extended periods can lead to various health complications, including back pain, poor posture, weight gain, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, too much sitting has been linked to an increased risk of certain cancers such as colon, endometrial, and lung cancer.

2. How much movement should I aim for during my workday?

A: Ideally, you should aim to move for at least five minutes every hour of your workday. This could include standing up to stretch, taking a quick walk around the office, or doing some light exercises.

3. What are some ways to incorporate movement into my busy work schedule?

A: Some practical ways to incorporate movement into your workday include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, having walking meetings, stretching regularly, and using a standing desk or balance ball chair.

4. Will incorporating movement into my workday affect my productivity?

A: On the contrary, incorporating movement into your workday can actually enhance your productivity by boosting your energy levels, reducing stress levels, and improving your mood.

5. How can I encourage my colleagues to sit less and move more during the workday?

A: You could suggest having standing meetings, organizing group stretching or walking breaks, encouraging lunchtime workouts, or creating a ‘moving workday’ challenge to motivate your colleagues to sit less and move more.

6. What are some other benefits of incorporating movement into my workday?

A: Some other benefits of incorporating movement into your workday include improved circulation, better mental focus, increased creativity, and reduced risk of chronic health conditions.

the back recovery program by alex larsson
Jane Smith is a natural health enthusiast on a mission to uncover effective methods for achieving pain-free living. Through her personal journey with chronic back pain, she has become well-versed in holistic approaches such as yoga, Pilates, and essential oils.

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