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5 Ways to Exercise at the Office That Target Your Posture, Circulation, and Mental Health

If you’re anything like the team here at GenTwenty, you’re likely a twenty-something with a schedule chock-full of responsibilities.

Whether it’s your day job, your side hustle, school, children, your relationship, owning a home, your pet, or any other number of duties and obligations, chances are high that you’re busy. Managing a full schedule is no simple feat, which is why some of our most important responsibilities fall to the wayside.

Exercise, in particular, is a task most of us are guilty of neglecting. With our days full of seemingly endless emails to answer, assignments to complete, and places to be, it’s easy to forget that exercise is just as important as any other part of our routine.

GenTwenty is big on living a healthy lifestyle, which is why we are here to share five easy ways you can integrate exercise into your work day:

1. Invest in an under-desk bike or elliptical.

Sitting at a desk all day is one of the worst positions you can be in. Not only do you run the risk of slouching, which can form poor posture, but “sitting is the new smoking.”

Dr. James Levine, the director of the Mayo Clinic — Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative, coined this phrase because his research proves that sitting is arguably more dangerous than smoking.

Leading an extremely sedentary lifestyle can lead to some grave health risks, such as muscle degeneration, heart disease, and more. If you find that you have to sit for extended periods of time for work or school, consider investing in an under-desk bike or elliptical to keep your blood flowing.

Amazon sells under-desk bikes from $25–$100+ that are fantastic for burning calories by exercising your legs. Similarly, Amazon sells under-desk ellipticals that you can purchase for starting at $50 bucks, which can help prevent swollen ankles and feet from sitting for long periods.

These affordable exercise equipments are ideal to use during your work or school day to stay active, even while sitting. The best parts? Pieces of equipment like these are easy to store, take up minimal space, and won’t break the bank!

2. Opt for an exercise ball in lieu of a traditional chair.

Have you ever considered using a stability ball or exercise ball in lieu of a traditional chair at your desk or workspace? It’s more common than you might think!

Stability balls are excellent additions to your office or desk because they promote balance, good posture, and exercise. When you sit on a stability ball, you’re engaging your abs, sitting with better posture, and can potentially relieve back pain.

If a stability ball for your desk sounds appealing, do your research. There are so many different types of stability balls you can invest in, from the standard exercise ball to an actual chair with the ball in lieu of a seat.

However, if your approach to relieving back pain includes understanding more about how specialized spine procedures can offer relief and improve your posture even further, exploring various minimally invasive options might be beneficial. These targeted treatments aim at not only relieving pain but also ensuring a quicker recovery so you can return to your active lifestyle without extensive downtime.

Be warned: depending on the type of stability ball you purchase, the absence of armrests or back support could potentially affect proper ergonomic practices. Do your research to make sure you find the right design for your needs.

3. Take your breaks outdoors.

Do you tend to spend the breaks in your day by sitting, scrolling through social media, and/or lazily passing the time? Consider getting up and taking your breaks outside. Go for a walk and get those steps in!

Research proves that we should walk a minimum of 10,000 steps per day to lead a healthy lifestyle. Utilize breaks in your day to catch up on your steps, breathe in fresh air, and soak in some Vitamin D. All of these tips are ways you can restructure your break time to improve your health and exercise efforts.

4. Go to the gym at lunchtime.

Plan ahead by packing gym clothes to workout during your lunchtime break. If you have a mid-day break in your work day or school day, try getting to the gym or going for a jog around lunchtime.

The Lunch Hour Workout has many benefits, from breaking up your day, to energizing your body, to giving you an excuse to eat a piece of chocolate from the community candy bowl in the office because you deserve it after you burned calories during your gym session.

In short, taking your mid-day break at the gym is a super realistic way to integrate exercise into your routine without having to wake up extra early or end your day late.

5. Always take the stairs.

At the very least, opt for the stairs during your work or school day, if possible. Elevators are super convenient, but if you have the physical capability to take the stairs, do it.

Regularly taking the stairs in lieu of the elevator can help you shrink your waist size, lower your blood pressure, and reduce bad cholesterol over a period of time, which are all healthy goals to strive for. By taking the stairs, you’re climbing toward better health and making your cardiovascular health more of a priority.

Our work, school, families, and hobbies consume us each and every day. If health and fitness isn’t normally part of your ongoing routine, it’s easy–too easy–for exercise efforts to fall to the wayside.

At GenTwenty, we’re all about combatting negatives and striving to better ourselves each day. Join us by making small changes in your routine to exercise more.

Whether you invest in an under-desk bike or elliptical, opt for the stairs, gym it mid-day, or simply walk outside during breaks in your day, try any or all of these tips to make small positive changes in your journey to leading a healthy lifestyle.

How do you integrate exercise into your busy day? Share y0ur tips in the comments below!

About the Author

Rachael Warren (Tulipano)

Rachael is a University of Southern Maine graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and a minor in Sociology. She remotely works full-time as a Senior Content Marketing Specialist for Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. In her leisure time, Rachael enjoys traveling with her husband, finding the next Netflix series to binge, and taking too many photos of her dogs Jax and Kai. Rachael is obsessed with chapstick, favors the Oxford comma, and is a proud Mainer. You'll likely find her exploring New England + beyond.