6

votes

Getting off your bum at work...

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 04, 2011 at 6:00 PM

So, I have a desk job and I've become conscious of how easy it is to sit all day unless I make a conscious effort to get up and move. What are your tricks during the workday to incorporate more movement?

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:47 PM

GREAT IDEA on banning the weekly departmental meetings. I hate those.

B9673e4701dbf7017da7d75e9a44da6d

(609)

on February 27, 2012
at 09:05 AM

I work for a not-for-profit technology organisation in Amsterdam. Amazing benefits!

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on February 24, 2012
at 08:00 PM

This, if you play it right when your boss gets tired of looking at the ghetto standing desk you might be able to negotiate for a nice one. It worked for me. :)

Ef31d612a661d9fcb19c8965d3a2bd12

(533)

on February 24, 2012
at 05:22 PM

GREAT IDEA on the walking meetings!!

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:45 PM

What industry do you work in?

5b4fd1d0dcb02b1cc3c666ece9e5983d

(1169)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:06 AM

Thanks guys - the name came from my goofy Yale snob bastardish colleague who started sitting on a ball chair after I started standing up. In my office, I share it with 4 other team members. The Goofy Yale Snob then got a ball chair and has a low IQ smile while he bounces all day mindlessly.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:30 PM

Bummer, ii. I didn't ask permission at my company; I just bought the dang thing and stuck it on my desk. But it's a small company, too, and they seem to think they need me. If it were a bigger company with "environmental assessors" (side note: that's a job? wow...), I'd probably feel the way you do.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:25 PM

I work for a huge corporation and asked today about what it would take for me to get a standing desk approved. Apparently it would cost the company over $1000 just to raise the desk and get me a higher chair. Unfreakingbelievable! They wanted to call in environmental assessors to make sure it was necessary. I said "thanks but no thanks" as I'd really prefer not to be the girl who cost the department that much money when I'd rather see it in my paycheck. :(

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:02 PM

+1 I did this too, with a kids card table that was in the basement. You named it perfectly.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:11 PM

+1 for "ghetto standing desk." I did the same thing using a coffee table, but didn't think to call it ghetto, lol.

21f8dbda55aa7eab2b0cd70e0af9f973

(30)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:06 PM

And with as much water as I drink these days...LOTS of bathroom trips!

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19 Answers

8
5b4fd1d0dcb02b1cc3c666ece9e5983d

(1169)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:09 PM

Build a ghetto standing desk. I took a small table used in our lobby, plopped it on my desk and stand up at it when I do not have to use two monitors.

This reduces the total number of hours that I sit during a given week somewhat and allows me to stay productive.

5b4fd1d0dcb02b1cc3c666ece9e5983d

(1169)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:06 AM

Thanks guys - the name came from my goofy Yale snob bastardish colleague who started sitting on a ball chair after I started standing up. In my office, I share it with 4 other team members. The Goofy Yale Snob then got a ball chair and has a low IQ smile while he bounces all day mindlessly.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:02 PM

+1 I did this too, with a kids card table that was in the basement. You named it perfectly.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:11 PM

+1 for "ghetto standing desk." I did the same thing using a coffee table, but didn't think to call it ghetto, lol.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on February 24, 2012
at 08:00 PM

This, if you play it right when your boss gets tired of looking at the ghetto standing desk you might be able to negotiate for a nice one. It worked for me. :)

5
A03adfdd71be77f20e07d800bc19e3c4

(390)

on February 24, 2012
at 09:26 AM

As a manager at a medium sized organization I am expected to be present at a lot of meetings. Add to that the fact that my office is situated on the management floor, and you'll find that many comforts are available that would lure me in sitting the whole day. I adopted "management by walking around", which annoys my secretary, but ensures that I get movement:

  • every day I do a tour of all my departments and say good morning to them. This gives me quite a bit of exercise, and creates a wonderful tradition. I've even heard coworkers complain if I don't do it.

  • I have banned weekly departmental meetings: if you want to tell me something, just tell me. That reduces sitting time.

  • I do a lot of walking meetings: go outside, walk around in a park and discuss work. 10 minutes is usually sufficient. Much more efficient and get some sunlight. If it rains we walk in the parking garage, coffee in hand.

  • I don't do long emails or telephone conversations with colleagues: if it takes me more than five minutes, I will come over and talk to you.

Ef31d612a661d9fcb19c8965d3a2bd12

(533)

on February 24, 2012
at 05:22 PM

GREAT IDEA on the walking meetings!!

F9638b939a6f85d67f60065677193cad

(4266)

on June 26, 2012
at 12:47 PM

GREAT IDEA on banning the weekly departmental meetings. I hate those.

5
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:25 PM

Never take the elevator. They are totally unneeded.

5
Ca8111fb6e3bac177373a82f5d33910d

(135)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:51 PM

I drink more liquid than I probably should so I have to hit the bathroom a lot.

2
116d23135449332a8bf9106220cf632b

on August 04, 2011
at 07:55 PM

I escape to the stairwell and climb 2 at a time once or twice a day.

2
624cf67bd7d42f26410c2e4bc713d008

on August 04, 2011
at 07:48 PM

Get someone else to commit to a 15 minute lunch time workout. Postive peer pressure!

2
Ef9f83cb4e1826261a44c173f733789e

on August 04, 2011
at 07:31 PM

I work in a huge office building, so these suggestions work for me and could also for others in the same situation.

Park as far as you can from the door.

Use the restrooms at the other side of the building.

Walk during breaks and lunch.

Exercise in your cube, like with pushups or isometrics.

2
60c061f4b024f9ac421b27bf93b40ebe

on August 04, 2011
at 07:08 PM

I also have a desk job but I'm on the phone a lot. When I'm talking on the phone I usually don't need to be in front of my computer so I got a cordless headset for my phone that allows me to walk around while I'm talking.

I have a conference room that is usually empty right by my cubicle so when I get on a long phone call I just go in there and walk around in circles. It's nothing major but it helps me get up and move a bit. I also swing my arms around to stretch everything out a bit.

1
3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:40 PM

Standing desks good. If not that "dynamic sitting" is a good idea. You know what this is, physio/exercise balls. But, they make seat cushions that are the same concept you can take with you called "ergosit". Other trick is to just do random exercises any time given the chance everything from body squats to pushups.

1
3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:11 PM

If you can do it, I totally recommend a standing desk. I've had one for a couple of months now, and I love it. I also do easy exercises during the day: Desk pushups (like wall pushups, but more diagonal) and deep knee bends, and I keep some resistance bands handy too.

And I send documents to a printer on the other side of the building. When people comment on how much walking around I do, I just say I've got a lousy printer at my own desk. It's true enough, and gets me walking dozens of times a day.

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:30 PM

Bummer, ii. I didn't ask permission at my company; I just bought the dang thing and stuck it on my desk. But it's a small company, too, and they seem to think they need me. If it were a bigger company with "environmental assessors" (side note: that's a job? wow...), I'd probably feel the way you do.

16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

(2640)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:25 PM

I work for a huge corporation and asked today about what it would take for me to get a standing desk approved. Apparently it would cost the company over $1000 just to raise the desk and get me a higher chair. Unfreakingbelievable! They wanted to call in environmental assessors to make sure it was necessary. I said "thanks but no thanks" as I'd really prefer not to be the girl who cost the department that much money when I'd rather see it in my paycheck. :(

1
1568416ef28477d1fa29046218d83ddd

(6235)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:01 PM

I stopped using the electric kettle on my desk so I had to get up to make tea.

21f8dbda55aa7eab2b0cd70e0af9f973

(30)

on August 04, 2011
at 06:06 PM

And with as much water as I drink these days...LOTS of bathroom trips!

0
F4d04667059bc682540fdfd8b40f13a7

on February 26, 2012
at 10:25 PM

I drink lots of water from a small glass - lots of trips to the kitchen. And bathroom.

I always book meetings on a different floor.

I use the stairs.

I walk or go to the gym every lunch break.

0
1a0976c846702f549ee4df0d811098be

(972)

on February 25, 2012
at 04:58 AM

Unless I need to create an electronic paper trail, I try to go find people and talk face to face instead of emailing whenever possible. I move around a lot more, and people respond faster and more thoroughly if you're standing right there in their office.

I also have a coworker who is also interested in paleo/crossfit type activities, and we encourage each other to deal with stress and frustration by doing a few squats/burpees/pushups right next to our desks. It breaks tension and feels good.

0
518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on February 25, 2012
at 02:25 AM

There was this group of Chinese exchange students that used to get up every hour on the hour to stretch in unison in the middle of the library- I used to think it looked pretty crazy, but now I join right in. Doing some stretches while seated, as well as tensing and releasing various muscles will allow you to incorporates some movement WHILE you are seated, which I think is important especially since being seated for long periods of time is unavoidable in certain jobs.

Drinking loads of liquids is a great excuse to get up frequently, whether to refill or use the washroom. Standing while taking phone calls is a great way to get a little feet-time in. In my office job I worked last year I would go to the central area where all the counter-height filing systems are to fill out any forms- it's like an impromptu standing desk and everyone just thinks you are just filling it out on your way to somewhere, so they are not suspicious your are blowing off work, which I got the impression some people felt when I walked around the office while reading forms. For seating balls you can buy stands and covers for them, so they are more appropriate for a formal setting, and that helps keep your stomach and back muscles active throughout the day supporting proper posture.

0
246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0

(21430)

on February 24, 2012
at 07:42 PM

I drink lots of water, about 3 quarts throughout an 8-hour day - which means I have to go to the bathroom, alot.

I also sit on an exercise ball, and change position on it throughout the day.

I take the stairs to my parking garage, unfortunately our office stairs only unlock when the fire alarm goes off, so I cannot take them every day.

I work 2-3 days a week from home, where I also have an exercise ball to sit on, but I also take a "lunch break" and walk my dogs or ride a bike for 30 minutes or so.

On days I'm in the office, I eat my packed lunch while working at my desk, then I use my lunch hour as a post-meal walk.

0
Ef31d612a661d9fcb19c8965d3a2bd12

(533)

on February 24, 2012
at 05:28 PM

I have started eating my lunch at my desk and taking 20 minute walks at lunch.

0
B9673e4701dbf7017da7d75e9a44da6d

on February 24, 2012
at 10:41 AM

I'm lucky to work for a company that takes employee health and welfare quite seriously. I have a standing desk (electric, adjustable) and make sure that I go for a walk outside once a day. Sometimes I stand for 6 hours without evening realising it!

1dcfcebc5f36408d121f124a78292d42

(1295)

on February 24, 2012
at 02:45 PM

What industry do you work in?

B9673e4701dbf7017da7d75e9a44da6d

(609)

on February 27, 2012
at 09:05 AM

I work for a not-for-profit technology organisation in Amsterdam. Amazing benefits!

0
2b1af8e22977578e1c6fd69cad75b1e4

on August 04, 2011
at 07:04 PM

Standing desks and sitting balls are good. Some have even done cycling and treadmill desks. What's worked well for me for about the last year has been using the 'Pomodoro' technique. That is, focusing on a task (or small set of tasks) for 25 minutes then taking a 5 minute break that involves walking. Every four cycles, I take a longer break of 15 minutes or so that MUST be outside.

This is very convenient from my office where I can easily walk around the block, etc. But this hasn't been the case everywhere I've worked and you have to get creative. Wall pushups and air squats are good too.

0
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on August 04, 2011
at 06:46 PM

I also use a standing desk, but the main thing for me is going for walks. I eat at my desk while working so that I dont cut into my outside time while easting. This leaves me a full hour outside, in the fresh air and sunshine. I have a loop that takes almost exactly one hour, and its a perfect way to burn off the morning stresses and get invigorated for the afternoon that lies ahead.

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