How to Burn Calories While You Work

office exerciseOne of the reasons why we gain weight is because we spend eight hours or more sitting at our desks at work.

However, finding the time to workout is difficult for people with hectic schedules. Fortunately there’s a way for the working crowd to get some exercise while at work.

Aside from parking your car at the farthest corner of your office parking lot or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, there are other ways to get some exercise the office. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following "moves" to burn calories on the job.

Take advantage of your commute

Instead of driving or riding the bus, why not walk or bike to work. If you live quite far and really have to take the bus, get off a few blocks from your office and walk the rest of the way.

Find opportunities to stand

Standing burns more calories than sitting. You can switch to a standing desk, a high table or counter. You can also eat lunch standing up. Avoid sitting down immediately after eating. Instead of sending instant messages, e-mails or making phone calls, walk to your colleagues’ desks or to other offices. You may even station your filing cabinet at the far end of your cubicle so you’ll have to stand to retrieve files.

Take fitness breaks

Take brisk walks during breaks instead of hanging out – with snacks – in the pantry or lounge. You can also do some light stretching. You can try pulling your chin down toward your chest until you feel a stretch along your nape. Or you can slowly try to bring your shoulders up toward your ears. You may also try stretching out your legs under your desk and slowly reach for your toes until you feel a stretch along your back.

Switch your office chair for a fitness ball

A firmly inflated fitness ball can sub for your office chair. You will tone your core muscles just sitting at your desk. You will also improve your balance. When you have time, you can use your fitness ball to do crunches, wall squats or other exercises during the day.

Keep exercise equipment in your cubicle

Keep resistance cords or small hand weights or dumbbells in your desk drawer. Do arm exercises during your break or in between tasks.

Go out

Ask colleagues if they would like to have a lunchtime walk. You’d be surprised to find how many people welcome the opportunity to stretch their legs and aching backs. You can suggest making this lunchtime a walk a regular thing. You can hold each other accountable for regular exercise and offer each other support.

Hold meetings on the go

Schedule walking meetings when possible. You can do laps inside your building, or outside if the weather permits.

Step on it

If your job involves walking or if it offers plenty of opportunities to walk, do it faster. Take long, easy strides and breathe freely when you walk.

Traveling and planning

If your job involves traveling, don’t let your exercise routine take a back seat. If your flight is delayed, take a brisk walk around the airport. Check if your hotel has gym or exercise facilities. You can also bring your exercise equipment on trips that are easy to pack, such as jump-ropes or resistance cords. Even without equipment, you can still work out. Do crunches, jumping jacks or stretches in your hotel room.

Try a treadmill desk

If you can comfortably do your work on above a treadmill, do so. You can improvise by placing your computer on a stand, with its peripherals on the table. Or you can go for a specialized treadmill-ready vertical desk. According to Mayo Clinic researchers, overweight office employees who "replace sitting computer time with walking computer time" can lose approximately 44 to 66 pounds (20 to 30 kilograms) in a year. You don’t need to walk briskly or break a sweat. Of course, the faster you walk the more calories you will burn.

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