How to Overcome the Desk Job Bulge and Be Healthier

Posted by on Jun 20, 2012 in Tips and How To's | 2 comments

Aside from writing, I have a passion for fitness. Unfortunately, these two do not mesh very well. Writing usually requires sitting for extended periods of time. Fitness requires, well… the opposite.

For years now, chilling statistics on just how deadly desk jobs can be have made news headlines. Just check out this infographic from Mashable. Scary stuff. Luckily, there are ways to battle the desk job bulge. Now, writers or anyone with a job that requires sitting for lengthy amounts of time, have options to get work done without sacrificing their health.

Here are five ways you can beat the desk job death sentence and be healthier at the office.

  1. Stand as often as possible – Believe it or not, there are plenty of times when we are actually able to stand while doing our work. For example, if you have a long conference call, stand instead of sit. No one on the other end of the call will know, and you will likely sound more alert and energized because of your improved posture and position.
  2. Stand while you work – If possible, try to get an adjustable desk that will give you the flexibility to stand as much as you would like throughout the workday. Standing burns three times as many calories, and takes significant pressure off your spine. Therefore, the more you can stand up while you work, the less strain you will feel from sitting for extended periods of time.
  3. Walk more at work – Movement is important to keep the blood flowing. Find ways to get more steps in throughout the day. For example, you can avoid sending an instant message and instead walk to the next office, use the bathroom that is furthest away from your office, and park as far away from the building as possible so you are forced to walk farther to and from your car. Every step counts and the more you get up and move, the healthier you will be.
  4. Walk while you work – The treadmill desk pictured above is not a thing of the future. And while it may take some getting used to, it is not nearly as complicated to type and walk as it may seem. I say this from experience. The clip of this treadmill is a very slow speed of only one or two miles per hour so you can comfortably take a stroll as you type. That is pretty significant when you consider the alternative to not walking at all.
  5. Get motivation from coworkers – Desk jobs effect everyone’s health. Get the entire office committed to moving more and you will be more likely to follow through with your goals to get out from behind your desk more often. Go the extra step and form a fitness club after work to motivate each other to hit the gym before going home to sit on the couch in front of the TV.

Every little bit of movement counts. Do what you can with what you can and commit to fighting the desk job death sentence.

Photo Credit: The Human Solution


Sitting makes you tired too. Try standing part of day and I'll bet you are less tired at the end of the day. We tried this experiment at our office and it worked on everyone. You'd think that standing would make you more tired... but it's the opposite. It gets the blood moving. So stand up and kick the 3pm yawns.

Agnes Paulsen
Agnes Paulsen

These are very good suggestions for ways to keep active while in a "sedentary" job. I worked for years in one of those office sedentary jobs and wish I had had these kind of suggestions then! Even though I'm not in a sedentary job now, I can profit from these suggestions to keep from being too sedentary! Agnes Paulsen