Your Health

Creative ways to squeeze exercise into a workday

Courtesy of Wavebreak Media Ltd.
Modify the way you work to fit in extra exercise, including swapping out your desk chair for a Swiss exercise ball to strengthen your core and posture.

You may often feel like your workday is so busy that you barely have time to breathe and are utterly exhausted by the time you get home. According to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, daily work stressors and long work hours can have a negative impact on health behaviors.

That’s why it’s important to break up the workday and get in some exercise to counteract the negative impact. Following are four creative ways to squeeze exercise into your work routine, no matter how busy you may be.

• Integrate walking or biking in your commute. Depending on where you live and work, determine whether you can add some walking or biking to your daily commute. It may mean walking or biking all the way to work, walking or biking to and from the train station or bus stop, or simply parking your car farther away so that you can walk or bike a few blocks to the office. This is a great way to get in extra steps, get your heart rate up, burn calories and start off your day with some movement already under your belt.

• Keep a Swiss ball and some light hand weights under your desk. Instead of sitting in your desk chair all day, which can wreak havoc on your back, swap it out with a Swiss exercise ball. Sitting on the unstable surface of a Swiss ball can help strengthen your core, posture and back and enable you to work on your stability and balance while taking a conference call or reading emails. You can also incorporate some strength training through bicep curls, overhead presses or tricep kickbacks with light hand weights in between meetings and calls.

• Find an app or online video with five- to 10-minute workouts you can do at different times of the day at the office. Doing short bursts of exercise activities is better than nothing and can add up when done consistently. Technology has made it so easy to get access to high-quality workouts designed for busy professionals who need efficiency and effectiveness so they can realistically fit them into their day.

• Set up walking or running meetings with your co-workers. Find times in the day, such as first thing in the morning, during lunch or in the late afternoon or evening before heading home, to engage in walking or running meetings with your colleagues, who are also trying to fit in a workout during the day. It’s a great way to get out of a stuffy conference room and get some fresh air, exercise and discuss important projects, tasks or deadlines.

Adding some movement into your workday will help you maintain your health and well-being while also enhancing productivity on the job.

Reena Vokoun is owner of the Los Altos-based Passion Fit. For more information, visit

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