Categories / Tutorials

How to Work Out at Work

Daniel Schwarz March 31, 2021 · 5 min read

“I don’t have the time” is the number one reason for a lack of exercise in adults. Every research study indicates it, and even though many of those asked would secretly consider it an excuse rather than a reason, it still remains a fact that 50-hour (or more) work weeks are on the rise and we may be finding ourselves without adequate amounts of sleep, let alone exercise.

Here are five ways to work out at work.

Stop Using the Lift


By climbing stairs for only 7 minutes every day you can cut the risk of a heart attack in half, and you’ll also burn 0.17 calories for each step you take; that’s 7 times more calories burnt in comparison to taking the lift. It’s classed as a “vigorous exercise”, it burns more calories than jogging, and I bet you never even considered it as a viable means of exercise!

7 minutes may sound like a long time for such a simple task, but when you factor in your lunch breaks, fresh air breaks, the walk to different departments and so on, it’s not as time-consuming as you might think. You don’t need to actually time yourself, but by habitually taking the stairs you could feel a thousand times healthier without even consciously thinking about it.

Explore on Your Lunch Breaks


Not everybody works in a huge multi-storey building. If that’s the case, and you work in a smaller community, then it’s likely that the rules on lunch breaks aren’t as tight. Explore the local cuisines and outdoor spaces, or if you’re feeling especially rambunctious, sign up to the local gym and do as little as 10 minutes on the treadmill on alternative days.

It’s the law (in many countries) that you be offered at least a 20-minute rest break, but most companies offer between 30 minutes and an hour. Skipping your lunch break doesn’t mean you can head home earlier than everyone else with a smug expression on your face, so you may as well make the most of your 60 minutes of freedom and use it to embrace your physical self.

Organize Active/Outdoor Work Events


You’re more likely to exercise if everybody else is doing it, where the second most-used reason for not keeping fit is not having a buddy to do it with. If your workforce is relatively small then a lunchtime kick-around will take little to no planning whatsoever, but if the company is stricter or bigger, it might take a few of you to suggest it to the higher-ups.

Sports encourages teamwork and strength within teams, not to mention the endorphins that are released during exercise which can top up your energy and leave you feeling upbeat again. Don’t forget to mention these facts before you hastily drop it in the suggestion box, as many bosses tend to care less if the company isn’t directly benefitting from your suggestion.

Tip: organize sponsored charity events such as bike riding to raise money for a local charity, drum up positive publicity for the company, and get physically fit in the process.

Benefit from the Company Gym


The best situation to be in is to work for a company that already understands the needs of its employees and openly encourages thriving health, and understands the benefits that come with that in terms of productivity and motivation.

If your company has a gym, then say no more, use it!

Use a Treadmill or Bike Desk

For smaller companies that are on a budget that can’t afford to install a gym and aren’t quite ready for office-wide soccer tournaments just yet, there is a way to burn some calories while at your desk (even better for home offices where you have more room and freedom).

For years now, we’ve known that sitting down for 8 hours every day is not healthy for our posture, and those that forget to sit up straight and stretch regularly can buy a standing desk. So why not take it a step further and add a treadmill to it?

It’s a real thing, it’s called desk-ercise!

If alternating between standing and walking isn’t your thing, a bike desk might be more suitable. But it’s quite common to have a shared treadmill desk in an office so you can return to sitting when feel like you need to, and somebody else can have a turn.


Perhaps it’s not quite true that you don’t have the time to exercise, but rather it’s that you’re not utilizing the time you do have efficiently enough. It’s common to believe that exercise requires equipment or warm up, but in actuality there are many exercises that you can do right this very moment!

Daniel is a designer/developer currently travelling the world with his wife, experiencing the best of the nomadic world. He’s also the founder, curator and editor of Airwalk Design, creative director of Airwalk Studios and lover of Sketch App.

Products Seen In This Post:

About the Author
Daniel Schwarz

Designer & writer

View More Posts
Go to My Shop
Related Articles