How to stay active when working a desk job

Posted July 25, 2016 by Paula in Advice / 2 Comments

How to stay active when working a desk job

Hi, my name is Victoria and I’m the blogger at Oh Miss Engineer. If you didn’t get the hint, I am an engineer, a Civil Engineer to be exact. If you don’t know what civil engineers do, there is a lot that goes into it. The different areas are environmental engineering, construction, structural engineering, and transportation engineer. There are others but those are the most general categories.

I work designing construction plans for roadway resurfacings and structure repairs (if you followed this statement, props to you), which is definitely a desk job. When I graduated, I was under the impression that I would get some outside time, but I’ve been here for a year and I go outside about 10% of the time. Not what I expected.

Being the young person that I am, I like to stay fit, but it’s hard when I’m sitting at my desk for 8-9 hours a day. Sometimes I think if I worked in construction, at least I’d be moving around, lifting things, maybe sweating. Then I decided that I could stay fit while working in an office because your desk should not stop you keep you from working out.

My favorite thing to do during the work day is to go for a walk. Not only do I get my steps in, I am also being active. Go for a walk around your floor, or even around the building or property. If you work in the city, walk around the block. No need to break a sweat, but constant walking will get your heart rate up and will also get your eyes off of the computer.

Have a quick break? Here are some ideas of others “exercises” you can do:

  • Walk up and down the stairs a few times. Maybe use the water fountain or bathroom on a different floor to force yourself to move more.
  • Jumping jacks get blood flowing to all parts of your body, so do a couple sets of these to keep yourself awake.
  • If you have an empty wall, use it for a quick 1-2 minute wall sit. This will help with your back posture.
  • If you really want to show off, do some inclined pushups on your desk. Just don’t rip your shirt.
  • If you have a stationary chair or table, try a couple sets of 10-20 tricep dips with your knees bent.
  • If your chair swivels, try holding your desk to keep your upper body still and use your core to swing your legs from left to right and back.
  • For toned arms, forward arm circles for 1 minute and backwards arm circles for 1 minute. Try not to stop!
  • Sitting leg lifts will keep your feet from falling asleep. Just make sure to hold onto your chair if it has wheels.
  • A simple stretch and lean to the side will help loosen tight core muscles. Hold each side for 10 seconds.


How do you keep active while working a desk job? I’d love to know, leave me a comment!

How to stay active when working a desk job

About the Author:

Victoria from Miss Engineer BlogsVictoria is a full-time engineer and part-time socialmedialite. She likes turtles, the color yellow, and isn’t afraid to get dirty (at work, duh.) She also enjoys decorating her planner, hitting her step goals, and baking bacon cinnamon rolls.

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2 responses to “How to stay active when working a desk job

  1. These are great tips and if everyone else was doing them, I probably would too. But I’ve been working in offices for 40 years now and I have yet to see someone doing push-ups or sit-ups at their desk. I’d be afraid people would think I’m crazy ( well crazy-er). I do use a break timer that goes off every hour and then I try to get up and walk around a bit. Using the restroom of different floors is also a trick I’ve used. What I would love is to get a walk buddy or two to walk around the building with me.
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