How to be more active working a 9-5 desk job

Hi has anyone ideas how I can be more active?

My Mon-Fri 9-5 job is extremely sedentary. I'm office/desk based. There's no stairs in our office and it's relatively small so it's not like I can walk around loads. I have a membership at the local sports centre and aim to go to classes or swimming 3/4 times a week and I walk lots at the weekends but I don't think it's enough to combat how much I sit a day.

I know the recommendation is to do around 10,000 steps a day but on week days I'm lucky if I get to 2,000/3,000 it's shameful!

I'd love tips for generally upping my daily activity
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  • edited 7 August 2019 at 5:08PM
    SlinkySlinky Forumite
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    edited 7 August 2019 at 5:08PM
    Any scope for getting off a bus a stop earlier, or parking at the far end of a carpark? Instead of emailing colleagues, walk to see them and have a chat. Take the long way round at any opportunity.


    I've just got a free Fitbit for signing up to BT Broadband, amongst other features it buzzes at 10 to the hour if I haven't done 250 steps in that hour. It's stragely motivating to get off my bum and do something, even it it's not the full 250.


    Ironically, I've just checked the fitbit, and the 2 hours of tai chi I did this morning, it thinks I was stationary. I know it's done slowly, but it's not that slow!
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  • Poppy1984Poppy1984 Forumite
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    The office is tiny as is the car park, they'd look at me like I'd lost the plot if I got up to talk to them all the time. I have to drive to work as I need my car for meetings (more sitting) there's no where that I can park further away and walk in. I just feel like I'm becoming a slug
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  • SlinkySlinky Forumite
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    Force yourself outside at lunchtime for a walk? Team up with somebody else who also wants some exercise and go together?
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  • Poppy1984Poppy1984 Forumite
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    That's a good idea I only get 30 minutes for my lunch break but I could definitely go out for at least a 10 minute walk
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  • Quality over quantity every time.

    Your body is extremely efficient at walking so you are not really putting your muscular or cardio systems under any real test by walking around.

    I have a good background in sports and physiology. Walking for the sake of walking isnt as useful as people seem to think it is. Im all for taking walks to enjoy the fresh air and scenery of the countryside. But if you are already training 3 times a week and by training I mean good strenous exercise, there really isnt any need to add walking to the other days. You are better off allowing your body more recovery.

    The recommended 10,000 steps per day is absolute bobbins, probably made up to sell these step counting watches.

    Obviously if it makes you feel good then do it. But in terms of body adaptations, it isnt really the best use of your time if you already exercise properly.
  • Poppy1984Poppy1984 Forumite
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    Quality over quantity every time.

    Your body is extremely efficient at walking so you are not really putting your muscular or cardio systems under any real test by walking around.

    I have a good background in sports and physiology. Walking for the sake of walking isnt as useful as people seem to think it is. Im all for taking walks to enjoy the fresh air and scenery of the countryside. But if you are already training 3 times a week and by training I mean good strenous exercise, there really isnt any need to add walking to the other days. You are better off allowing your body more recovery.

    The recommended 10,000 steps per day is absolute bobbins, probably made up to sell these step counting watches.


    Obviously if it makes you feel good then do it. But in terms of body adaptations, it isnt really doing a great deal if you already exercise properly.

    Really? I've been reading that sitting 8 hours a day Is as bad for you as smoking and although regular exercise is good for you it doesn't undo how bad for you sitting all day is.
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  • You are absolutely right, sitting all day is pretty bad for you, though still nowhere as bad as smoking, and not as bad as the press tend to exaggerate.

    However, if you are doing 3/4 exercise sessions per week you are already doing more than enough to combat the heart/circulatory issues it can cause.

    And you are also correct that exercise alone cannot make up for all the other problems sitting can cause. You may wish to think about your posture ensuring you are not always slumped forwards, and add in some stretching if you have not done so already. Taking it a step further you could start using a hockey ball to get rid of any muscle "knots" that your sedentary job may bestow upon you, and that you probably are not even aware of.
  • Poppy1984Poppy1984 Forumite
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    That's interesting and has made me feel better thank you. I will focus on my posture (I know that's definitely not great) what kind of stretches would you recommend and how often?
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  • At a minimum I would be looking at back, abdominals, hamstrings and glutes. No need to go crazy, just a few times a week will make a difference. Ideally once you have warmed them up a bit.
  • edited 8 August 2019 at 8:42AM
    MoneySeeker1MoneySeeker1 Forumite
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    edited 8 August 2019 at 8:42AM
    I had an office job before retirement. It was quite a big building and with stairs to walk up and down (rather than taking the lift), and I only took 30 minutes for lunch. But I made sure I got out every single lunchtime, whether I had shopping to do or no, and had a walk-around for that 30 minutes. My lunch got eaten whilst I was working, in order to release the full 30 minutes for going out.

    This was done mainly to get me away from my workplace, rather than for exercise reasons, as it was one of my stress mechanisms I used in order to calm myself down enough that I didn't hand in my notice (as that wasn't possible financially).

    So I got in an hour of walking in my leisure time each day. 15 minutes walk to work, 30 minutes at lunchbreak walking around, 15 minutes walk back from work. So that was a total of an hour walking in my leisuretime each day, not counting what walking around I had to do within the office building.

    Personally, I've found that that walking around in connection with work (most of my time spent sitting on my backside there) and the walking done anyway living in a city combined into keeping my weight fairly static. Since moving to a small town after retirement I realised that the weight was starting to go on, as I'm not getting in that "work walking" or all the walking to this thing/that thing/the other thing that I was doing in a more urban environment. Smaller places/more rural environments are bad for the figure imo and I can see what a difference having less walking now was having, as I painstakingly have to diet that extra weight back off again.
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