Walk it Out...Keep Your Body Moving!

A little extra walking during your workday can improve your fitness level.

Who knew that working in an office could actually help contribute to your physical fitness? It's true to some extent. According to a recent study by the American Council on Exercise, the average administrative professional takes a total of 4,327 steps during each workday, or 1.7 miles.

The problem is, although that may sound like a lot, it's really not when compared with other occupations. A nurse, for instance, takes a daily average of 8,648 steps or 3.4 miles, a restaurant server takes 10,087 steps adding up to 4.0 miles, and a mail carrier takes 18,904 steps accounting for a whopping 7.5 miles. (Results for each of the above were compiled by having those study subjects in each occupation wear pedometers during work hours for three days).

Specific to office professionals, among the contributing factors in keeping their walk total so low is the electronic capability of today's office. Years ago, an executive assistant might need to answer a buzzer from the boss 20 or 30 times a day, which often involved getting up from the desk and walking into the boss's office. Plus, memos were typically hand-delivered, meaning more walking. Now, of course, most if not all of that kind of communication is completed with a few strokes on the keyboard and the click of a mouse.

So, how can you fight back against the increasing sedentary lifestyle of todays office and help improve your fitness level while working? 

Here are some ideas: 

If you drive to work, park farther away in the parking lot. 
If you live within a mile or two of your office, consider walking to work once in a while on days when the weather is nice. 

If your office is located on a floor of your building other than the first, take the stairs instead of the elevator.

At least once in a while, rather than emailing a co-worker, walk to their cubicle or office and deliver the message in person.

When you go to the rest room, instead of going to the closest one, walk to one farther away...preferably one on another floor where you can take the stairs. 

On breaks (if possible) and during lunch, go for a stroll. During cold winter months you could just walk throughout the building, but in summer, get outside if you can and walk for a solid 10 or 15 minutes.