Premise: Winter can leave you feeling confined indoors as it is. If you work in an office, this can only exacerbate the issue. Well, don’t be confined by your cubicle. Here are 6 great ways to stay active if you work in an office.

Winter – a time for chunky sweaters and chunkier bodies, right? WRONG!

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Dropping temps and lack of sunlight may have you feeling lazy and down, but I’m here to tell you that you can keep up with your healthy lifestyle, even if you’re not feeling the great outdoors. Furthermore, if you are like me – you have a 9-5, an 8-6, or a whatever to whenever – that has you sitting on your backside more than you’d like. Your job might not be conducive to staying active, but your choices can be. Here are my 6 tips to stay active when working at a desk all day.

  1. Set yourself hourly reminders (Outlook, on your phone – wherever) to get up and stretch. Familiarize yourself with some common yoga poses and stretches that combat the effects of sitting at a desk all day, and engage in a stretch or two with each reminder. Once you get the hang of it, the stretches will become second nature.
  2. Hydrate! Make it a goal to drink a gallon of water during the workday, or close to it. Even if you are feeling lazy, drinking that much water will make your body (read: bladder) force you to get up, go to the bathroom, and grab more water. As a bonus, your skin and higher energy levels will thank you.
  3. If you drive to work, park your car in the spot furthest from the entrance and walk the extra distance. If you work on any floor but the first floor, use the stairs at every opportunity. Every step logged counts towards your distance walked, and with every minute you walk up a flight of stairs, you will burn on average about 10 calories per minute.
  4. Switch your desk chair for an exercise ball. Not only is an exercise ball better for your back, but you will also strengthen your core and burn a few extra calories, in the process. Also, nothing feels better for your back than a stretch over an exercise ball. Trust me, I know.
  5. Make fewer phone calls and send fewer emails to have your quick work questions answered. Instead, get up and go ask the person yourself, face-to-face. Not only will you have your answer that much faster, but you’ll log some extra easy steps, too!
  6. Speaking of logging steps, invest in a wearable activity tracker. Set a goal for yourself to walk 10,000 steps each day (about 3.5 miles), and keep on top of your step goals hourly. If you find yourself lagging, get up, get moving, and go take a walk! Increase your goals as you go.

Combat the crammed cubicle and get yourself more active with these quick and easy tips.