If you’ve ever clocked in a full 9-5 day at the office, you’re probably familiar with a few not-so-desirable symptoms that come along with it: cramping legs, sore back, tired eyes and a slumped over silhouette. I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand coming home after a long day feeling like my body is in disarray. And even though I’m pretty religious about logging in my 6am gym sesh before heading into work, sometimes 30 minutes on the treadmill just isn’t enough to balance out an entire day of sitting.

With this dilemma in mind, I recently researched a few ways to combat the effects of a day spent sitting at a desk. These fit tips are easy to do, and they can become healthy habits if you put in the effort. Check them out…

  1. Walk the block.
    Whenever I start to feel antsy at my desk, I grab a few of my fellow Team LC ladies and we walk the block. Sometimes we grab coffee and sometimes we walk to pick up our lunch instead of hopping in the car. But we will also go on walks just for the sake of moving around a little. Even if you have to walk the block solo, try to take a quick outdoor stroll at least 3 times a day. And if you’re a working girl with a penchant for sky-high heels, bring a pair of flats in your bag to work so you can walk comfortably (and longer too).
  2. Stretch at your desk.
    One of the worst things you can do for your body is sitting still, according to WebMD. It’s hard on your bones, muscles and joints—yikes! So, if you have to sit at your desk, you might as well do a few simple stretches to break up the day a bit. Set an alarm on your phone to go off every hour, alerting you that it’s time to do a desk stretch. WebMD recommends standing up and sitting down with no hands to burn a few calories, shrugging your shoulders to release your neck muscles, or stretching your wrists by doing air circles (clench both fists and make circles in the air with your hands). Click here for more stretching ideas, but just make sure to try one every hour.
  3. Take the stairs.
    Swapping the elevator for the stairs is not only a health-conscience decision, it’s also better for the environment. According to Nature.org, taking an elevator might require the mining of uranium or fossil fuel, which isn’t exactly a great way to minimize your carbon footprint. Save electricity and get moving by taking the stairs each day. You might be surprised to see how it tones your legs and buns too!
  4. Sit up straight.
    Here at the Team LC HQ, were huge proponents of sitting up straight. And improving your posture is actually pretty easy. I recommend that every hour, you squeeze together your shoulder blades to help pull your spine upwards. You can also try adding a back pad or a pillow to your hair to give your lower back a boost. Read more of our posture tips by clicking here!
  5. Have a ball.
    Desperate times call for desperate measures… When we’re feeling particularly slouched and slumped in the office, we take turns sitting on a big workout ball. Not having a back on your seat forces you to sit up straight with your feet flat on the floor. It also gives you a subtle abs workout, and you might even notice your stomach looking toned after sitting on a ball for a few days in a row. An article from Everyday Health says that sitting on an exercise ball keeps your blood flowing and can improve your circulation as well, so go ahead and give it a try.

Speaking of sitting up straight, have you read our posture post? If not, it’s a must read!

Do you have any tips for staying active in the office?

Leave your two cents below.

Team LC
Sources: WebMD, Nature.org, Everyday Health