Work It At Work

You rush out the door in the morning, ready to take on the day. Then, you get held up in your morning commute. Suddenly, you’re short on time. How will you get all your work done and make it to your dinner plans tonight? There’s certainly no time for exercise, right?

Sometimes there’s just no way to squeeze in a trip to the gym or even a long walk. That’s life! However, sometimes those busy days can pile up one after another, and suddenly you realize you haven’t exercised or been active in weeks.

Since exercise and activity boost cognitive function and prevent cognitive decline, you don’t want to let that happen. Instead, make a plan for how you’ll sneak in some activity on your busiest days.

Here are a few tips to get you and your body through a busy work day:

1. It’s not surprising that people with healthy weights are more likely to take the stairs. So, skip the elevator and take the stairs. Find a reason to go visit someone a floor above or below you throughout your day.

2. Spend your lunch break walking outside. If the weather’s not pleasant or the environment feels unsafe, climb the stairs or do laps in the hallway. Recruit a walking buddy if you feel self-conscious.

3. Find reasons to get up and talk to your coworkers. Instead of sending an email to your coworker down the hall, walk over and leave a note or talk in person.

4. If it’s possible, work outside of the office every once-in-a-while. Try working from a community workspace like WeWork or a cafe.

5. Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. You’ll be constantly moving throughout the day. Even small movements help.

6. Use a water bottle to do bicep curls while sitting at your desk.

7. When you take a bathroom break, go to the bathroom that’s further away from your desk.

8. Do calf raises while washing your hands at the sink or any other time you’re standing.

9. Set an alarm and do 3 minutes of stretching every hour. That will add up to 24 minutes of stretching if you work an 8 hour day!


  • Lautenschlager, N. T., Cox, K. L., Flicker, L., Foster, J. K., van Bockxmeer, F. M., Xiao, J., … Almeida, O. P. (2008). Effect of physical activity on cognitive function in older adults at risk for Alzheimer disease: a randomized trial. JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, 300(9), 1027–1037. doi: https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.3...
  • Lewis, A. L., & Eves, F. F. (2011). Specific effects of a calorie-based intervention on stair climbing in overweight commuters. Annals of Behavioral Medicine: A Publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 42(2), 257–261. doi: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160...
  • National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Aging. (2018, June 20). Tips for Working Out at Work | Go4Life. Retrieved November 14, 2019, from https://go4life.nia.nih.gov/wo...

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