How to get your steps in at an office job

I don’t know about you guys, but I work an 8 to 5 desk job that isn’t really conducive to getting in my 10,000 steps a day. Especially during the last two months my company has been extremely busy, meaning that most days I can go 2 or 3 hours straight without leaving my chair.

I thought I’d share with you some of the ways you can maximize your activity at an office job. Not everyone is able to install a desk treadmill at their work, so here are a few realistic suggestions for getting your steps in!

1) Use the stairs.

Okay, this one’s pretty simple. If you’re conscious about getting moving at all, you probably already do this.

If you have the time (and nobody’s looking) you can run up and down the stairs a few times just to get those extra stats in.

According to, a 140 pound person going up 7 flights of stairs in 5 minutes burns around 80 calories. If you weigh less you’ll burn less calories, and if you’re heavier (or use weights) you’ll burn less.

2) Help with errands

Did your coworker just print something out to another room? Offer to run and grab it for them. Paper towels need replacing? Offer to run to the closet and get more. You get the idea.

Anything that gets you walking down the hall, at least for a minute or two, will help you out.

Not to mention your co-workers will appreciate your newfound helpfulness!

3) March in place

Okay, so this one may sound a bit weird. I’m not suggesting you March in place at your desk or in the middle of your office. (I mean, if your boss is cool with that then by all means…)

But if you find yourself alone in the break room for a minute, you might want to take that short time to get some blood pumping.

4) Walk and eat

If you’ve got a lunch you can eat on the go, consider walking around outside while you’re chowing down. Alternatively you can walk after you eat to help digestion.

What you want to avoid is just sitting at your desk or in the lunch room for the entirety of your lunch. You might not feel like you’ve really had a break. Getting out in the fresh air will really release your mind from the workplace mindset for a few minutes, which can help you avoid feeling burned out by the end of the day.

5) Drink lots of water

First of all, water is good in and of itself. Staying hydrated will help keep you energized and focused.

What lots of water will also do is remind you to get up and go to the restroom! If you can, pick a restroom that’s farther away or on a different floor. Or, if there’s only one bathroom, take the scenic route!

6) Get to work early

Arrive at work 5 or 10 minutes early and take that time to walk around outside before starting your day. You can check out shops or restaurants nearby, or just let your mind wander.

If you coordinate with a friend, this could also be a good way to fit in some social time before work.

4 thoughts on “How to get your steps in at an office job

  1. I work at the health department, and as a way to encourage healthy living, our district has installed treadmills at each of our offices. We also have a policy in place that every employee gets a 15 min break in the morning and in the afternoon, but if one of those breaks is used in a physical way (ie walking, gardening in our community garden, yoga, etc) then you have 30 minutes. I think more companies/businesses should have similar programs/policies seeing as they are extremely beneficial yet basic.


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