My busy work schedule prevents me from getting to the gym most days. But, that doesn't mean I'm sedentary by any means. In fact, I burn more calories at work than most people do at the gym.
So, if your packed schedule has you in the same "no-time-for-the-gym boat" as me, here are 7 tips you can take from my playbook to burn more calories at the office too.
Schedule walk-and-talk meetings: According to The Wall Street Journal, meetings, phone calls, and emails take up 90 percent of our work day. By incorporating walking meetings into your day, you can burn twice as many calories as you do when sitting. Plus, researchers at Stanford University say meeting participants are more engaged and lively during walking meetings than they are while sitting. Average Calorie Burn: 56 calories per 15-minute meeting
Switch to a smaller water cup: Ditching your 32-oz water cup for an 8-oz glass forces you to get up four times to drink the same amount of water. If your goal is to drink 8 glasses of water during your workday, that's eight trips to and from the water cooler. Can you see how the calorie burning is starting to add up? Average Calorie Burn: 4 calories per minute walking
Buy a Deskcise Pro V9: This ingenious desk bike from FlexiSpot has been a real game changer for me in terms of burning more calories at the office. Its sleek compact design fits perfectly in my office and it has an adjustable desktop and cushioned seat that makes it easy for me to switch between sitting, standing, and cycling while working on my laptop. It's super quiet and has 8 different intensity levels so I can do light cycling on Level 1 or break out into a full sweat on Level 8. Average Calorie Burn: 246 calories for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity cycling
Ditch Your Trash Can: Getting up to take your trash to trash bins in common areas like the break room or copy room is a smart way to get you up and moving throughout the workday. If your company is in a building that has multiple floors, make it even more of a challenge by opting to throw your trash in a bin on another floor—and be sure to take the stairs. Average Calorie Burn: 4 calories per minute walking
Find Fitness Buddies: Hook up with other active enthusiasts in your office and meet them in the office stairwell to walk the stairs together. Or, instead of taking "smoke breaks" take "walking breaks" together. Average Calorie Burn: 90 calories for walking 6 flights of stairs 3x per day
Get Fidgety: According to a 2015 British study, shaking your legs, tapping your feet, drumming your fingers and another active fidgeting could help reduce the harmful effects of prolonged sitting. In a Health magazine article, Gareth Hagger-Johnson, the study's co-author, said "Our results support the suggestion that it's best to avoid sitting still for long periods of time, and even fidgeting may offer enough of a break to make a difference." Average calorie burns 118 calories per hour of active fidgeting while sitting.
Look for Opportunities to Stand: While prolonged standing can be just as harmful as prolonged sitting, most experts agree that deskbound workers should look for opportunities to stand every hour. Sit-stand desks provide the most productive options for alternating between sitting and standing several times a day. Many electric sit-stand desks even feature reminders that alert users when it's time to switch from sitting to standing.
Average calorie burns 99 calories per hour.