Stop Using Your Desk Job As An Excuse Not To Move Around

In a Facebook group of which I’m a part, I’ve seen several people talk about how difficult it is to move around when you have a desk job. Without trying to sound too harsh, I’ve decided to call that “baloney”.

I have a desk job. I’ve been a computer programmer since 2002, so not only do I have a desk job, I’m stereotypically a very non-moving creature.

Recently, however, I got a Fitbit (I may write a post about them later, despite being super late to the game), and I’ve been making sure to hit more than 10K steps every day.

I want to tell you it’s extremely possible to be active when you have a day job, and here’s how I do it. Read at your own risk – after you’re done, you won’t have any more excuses:

  1. I park half a block away from the office door. But when I walk to the office, I take the long way and take a really big loop of about 3 blocks. I’m at nearly 3K steps before I even get into the office, without “going for a walk” on purpose.
  2. My desk is on the 2nd floor, but we have 4 floors. Every time I enter the building, I try to go up to the 4th floor and then come back down to the 2nd.
  3. I use a timer (mine is Focus Booster) set to 40 minutes, and I make sure to get up every time it goes off. I’ll finish up what I’m doing at the time, but I do make an effort to get up and take a loop or two around the hall. Sometimes I’ll do another set of floors.
  4. Our office hallways are sort of a circle around the center with the elevators and bathrooms. When I have to go to the bathroom, I’ll go around the circle (the long way) and get to the bathroom from the other direction. When I’m done, I take another lap before getting back to my desk.
  5. I usually eat at my desk, so I’ll take a 20-30 minute walk outside or in the hall while listening to podcasts. By the time I’m done with my lunch walk, I’m between 7-8K.
  6. When the day is over, I go out the front door of the office, which is the opposite door from the direction of my car and take a 2 block loop to get back to my car.
  7. Usually when I get home, I’m around 9K steps, and at most I’ve only “gone for a walk” once, at lunch. When I’m home, my daughter wants to be chased, so we play and I run or walk with her around the house.

I’m twice as active now as I was before with little impact on my life’s schedule.

I tracked for a week when I got it just to see what I was getting before. I’d be lucky to pass 5K before bed.

Since implementing this strategy, I’ve hit 10K every time, and usually I’m headed towards 12K steps, 5+ miles, 15+ floors, and nearly an hour of tracked “active minutes”, without “working out”.

It’s possible, even if you have a desk job!

Do you have any desk-jockey strategies for keeping active? I’d love to see them in the comments!

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  1. Or people can simply schedule time for exercise. There’s all these infomercials on television about 10 minute workouts. If someone says they don’t have time to do a 10 minute workout then they are beyond help. They are ridculously lazy.

  2. I never jumped on the Fitbit bandwagon, but see the value in being conscious about how active you are. I’m a very active person, so I guess I would make 10,000 steps easy, but you never know until you start measuring.

    Kind of similar to point 3, I always take calls standing and walk around my office as I talk.

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