Exercising on the Job
healthwindows.com, spring 2001

Just because you're stuck in an office all day doesn't give you permission to develop what's known fondly as "secretary's butt." Here are a few ways to keep active on the job.
  • Walk. It's easy to whine about not having time to exercise, but even the busiest among us can take a few minutes out of the day to walk. Spend your lunch hour exploring the neighborhood around your office. Take a coffee break and walk to the local Starbuck's. Walking can clear your mind when you're working on a tough assignment, and if you keep up the pace you can get your heart going enough to lose weight and improve your health. All you need is a good pair of shoes.
  • Take the stairs. Elevators are for delivery people carrying heavy items and people in wheelchairs. What's your excuse? Taking the stairs is great for your heart, whether you're going up or down. Try to take them whenever you can. Just going up to work and down to your car will give you four opportunities a day. You'll heart, lungs and legs will thank you.
  • Stretch. Your muscles can get pretty tight sitting at a desk all day, so make time to loosen up. You'll help prevent eyestrain and repetitive stress. Here's a simple stretch you can do anywhere--at your desk or standing in line at the supermarket. Grasp one arm at the wrist behind your back and pull gently, without turning your torso. Tilt your ear toward the pulling arm, and maintain the posture for at least 10 seconds, relaxing and breathing deeply. Repeat with the other arm.
  • Jump rope. Business travel is no excuse to break up your fitness routine. Just pack a pair of sneakers and a jump rope. This simple, lightweight piece of equipment provides a great aerobic workout that you can do in your hotel room. It fits right in a suitcase too!

The trick to staying fit is to integrate exercise into your daily activities. Since you're at work for 40 hours a week, the office is a great place to start.