5 Ways I increased my physical activity while working a desk job

Like most women, I work full time but I also want to work towards improving my health by increasing physical activity. Getting in the recommended 10,000 steps a day or 30 minutes of physical activity is incredibly difficult when you work full time and have a sedentary job. For some, the only option left is to carve out time to head to a gym. While I loathe the gym, I am able to reach my physical activity goals by incorporating little bits of activity throughout the day. Read on to see my top 5 ways to increase your activity at work and hit those goals. increasing physical activity

Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to weight loss. By making small changes and sticking with them, you create habits that last a lifetime.

Tip 1: Get moving!

I take 500 steps every 30 minutes while at work. This means every 30 minutes, I set an alarm on my computer at work to pop up on my screen and tell me to take 500 steps. Walking 500 steps every 30 minutes may seem like a lot of time but its really not. It’s one trip to the bathroom and two or three laps around the office. It takes less than 5 minutes and no one notices me away from my desk.

Tip 2: No parking wars

I park an extra 10 spots away from my usual parking spot. Not only do I have a spot just for me with no other cars around, but this also adds an extra 500 to 1000 steps depending on which floor I’m on in the parking deck. The further away I park, the more steps I add.

Tip 3: Pour up that Drank!

I drink 8-12 ounces water every 30 minutes. Not only does this help me reach my hydration goals (I drink about a gallon of water a day), but it also keeps my bladder full….which in turn keeps me running to the bathroom to pee lol.  This step is actually very important for me, however, because I suffer from Edema (swelling of legs and ankles) and I have to drink more water to pull the excess water off of me. It sounds counterintuitive but it works.

Tip 4: The march of the hungry

I go for a quick 5 – 10 minute walk while waiting for the microwave. I have an hour lunch so I’m in no rush to use the microwave and we have a small office so I won’t be too inconvenienced by waiting.  Once the food is in the microwave, I pace while it warms. Pacing alone adds an extra 300-500 steps.

Tip 5: Optimize commercial breaks

At the end of the day when I come home, I usually haven’t hit my full 10000 and just need another 1000 or so to go. Or maybe I’ve hit the 10k and I’m feeling cocky and just want to add more…so I do. Every commercial break I run or walk in place. This helps me get my steps and I get to watch my favorite programs. If you’re watching on a platform that doesn’t have commercials, set a timer for every 10 minutes and alternate walking 10 minutes and resting 10 minutes until the program is over.


At the end of the day, I’ve met my minimum 10,000 steps for my physical activity goal and I don’t feel overwhelmed at all!

Remember, you don’t have to pour sweat in a crowded gym to reach your physical activity goals. You just have to get moving. By taking the steps above, I am able to reach my step goal and I’m also becoming more active while still working at a sedentary job.

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25 thoughts on “5 Ways I increased my physical activity while working a desk job

  1. Great little tips. None of them seems like it would make much a difference, but then all of sudden you’re doing all of them and it is making a big difference!

  2. Great tips on my lunch break me and my friend walk around the block about 5 time. Its great excersise after sitting at my desk all morning.

  3. Blair villanueva

    Walking is my favorite activity, together with my camera phone, so I wont feel bored. I like walking coz it gives opportunity to appreciate the place and sweat a lot too.

  4. These are excellent tips. I alway use my smart watch to set timers throughout the day. I think I should start taking work breaks too.

  5. These are such great ideas! I love that you suggested setting alarms because I often forget to drink water and go for walks.

  6. These are great tips. I also park further away from the door, but I need to get up more during the day. I’m thinking about getting a fitbit to help monitor that as well.

    Pri | Paint The Town Chic

  7. These are the very helpful tips. I should have drink more water. Being in IT sector i didn’t get much time to exercise but these tips are wonderful, i can do it at my workplace.

  8. I love the timer for 30 minutes. I usually do a dance song every 30 minutes. Granted, I work from home and my two year old thinks I am cool…

  9. These ideas can be easily implemented.One should only make up his/her mind

  10. Drinking extra water and doing exercise is the thing that helps me the most. I know that’s just too easy or hard. But I know when I do more exercise, for some reason I am less hungry and lose weight more quickly.

  11. I’m trying to lose weight too, I will try these tips

  12. I work a 9 to 6 job as well so these tips are so useful! I will need to incorporate them into my daily routine! Thanks for sharing!


  13. I need to work on parking the car further out again. I used to do that. I”m working on my water. I have so much weight to lose.

  14. This is literally amazing. I also have a desk job and def feel like I’ve gained a ton of weight as a result of sitting all day. I have to try some of these strategies!

  15. These tips are so essential for each one of us today defiantly gonna try it out and share it with my few of my friends as well. Thanks for sharing dear.

  16. Neha Saini

    My job is sitting job only. I was thinking about the same but wasn’t able to manage. Thanks for sharing the tips.!

  17. Blair villanueva

    I also love walking! I walk 30minutes going to the office in the morning, and another after work. Plus my other walking trips around the office, haha it helps to firm my legs.

  18. Lakisha

    Omg I need to start taking walk breaks at work because I do have ideal time that I can be using to stay active! Thanks for the tip!

  19. Tip number #3 made me laugh! It so true and it does makes sense. Full bladder equals a few runs to the bathroom. Genius.

  20. Great tips! I try to park as far away as possible when going places. Every little bit does count. Thanks for sharing these great tips.

  21. #3 is definitely something I’ve started to do more of. I just transitioned into a desk job from a teaching job and there is SO MUCH MORE SITTING!
    I also like that my husband has his classes on the first floor of my building so I’ll take the stairs down to visit him during his breaks!

  22. I always park in the back too! I don’t understand the people fighting for front spots. Unless you’re injured, you need to walk!

    I also strive to drink water throughout the day. I usually hit 10,000 steps a day, unless I’m having a lazy day.

  23. These are really effective tips. I will have to share this with my sister. She’s been looking for some suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

  24. These are great tips that got me thinking about how I can incorporate more exercise in my day. I especially like the parking lot suggestion and walking while waiting for the microwave or during TV commercials. Thanks!

  25. Great ideas! I am definitely going to implement these ideas in to my routine! Just what I needed.

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