Working 9 to 5: How to avoid a sedentary lifestyle

August 13 2016

Is the most exercise you get at work walking to the coffee machine and back? A desk job doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice you fitness for your 9 to 5 job.

Keeping active while you are at work is sometimes easier said than done. Before you know it, it’s 4pm and you have barely moved away from your desk, let alone considered how many steps you’ve taken throughout the day. But don’t fear, as Fitness First Clubs are on a mission to help desk dwellers to boost their fitness by getting more active in the office.

Falling into a sedentary lifestyle can be seriously damaging to your physical health. Sitting down for eight or nine hours a day has been linked to a 147% increased risk of cardiovascular disease and a 112% increased risk of diabetes, researchers from Loughborough University and the University of Leicester found. Fortunately, these risks can be decreased with regular exercise as well as trying to lead a healthier lifestyle during working hours.

Many people argue that there are not enough hours in the day to exercise regularly, but even half an hour a few times a week is better than nothing. Remember Claire Crowther, the inspirational midwife who lost six stone? She juggled working night shifts in the hospital with exercising in the gym. While Claire’s weight loss obviously took a great deal of hard work, she is living proof that you can achieve fantastic results when you have a busy schedule. You can find Claire’s story here.

How to stay active in an office job

While going to the gym after work will certainly improve your overall health, there’s no reason why you can’t implement a few changes to boost your activity in the office.


Pack your gym stuff with you

Take your gym gear with you so that you will constantly be ready to exercise whenever there is a spare moment. It could be that your work is only a short drive away from your gym, or perhaps you could schedule in a quick run around a nearby route during your lunch hour before having a more strenuous gym workout after work.

Drink more water

Drinking water will always be beneficial for your health, but it may also cause you to move around the office too. By only filling a small cup of water up, you will be more inclined to get up regularly and refill it. Just make sure your productivity doesn’t nosedive or you may have to explain yourself to your boss!

Different items for fitness workout on white background

Get your colleagues involved

You are much more likely to stick with something if the majority of your office is involved in the same shared goal. Plan a fitness challenge such as a 10k run and work towards the goal together.

Utilise fitness tech

Using a fitness tracker can be a great way to motivate yourself to get moving. In most cases, you won’t even realise how long you remain inactive for, so tracking steps can be a great way to make yourself more accountable for being active. Some pieces of fitness tech even notify you when you have been inactive for too long. Sometimes all you need is that little push.

Take the stairs

We know that the lift is only a few moments away, but climbing up flights of stairs is one of the best ways to boost your activity and get your heart racing. So the next time everyone decides to take the lift, take the stairs instead and see who gets there faster.

Transform your brainstorms

How do you approach meetings and brainstorming sessions? Do you sit around a table and wait for ideas to strike you? Humans are naturally better at problem solving and creative thinking once we have more blood flowing around our veins, so the next time you are due for a meeting see if you can take a five-minute stroll around the building to get your ideas flowing, which will improve your physical and mental activity.


We understand that working days are getting longer for a lot of people, but if you are lucky enough to knock off at 5pm each day, you’ll have ample time to get in a rigorous workout at your local Fitness First Club. You can sign up for a membership here.

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