Just because you spend most of your day sitting at a desk doesn’t mean you can’t get active during the day and getting the health benefits of walking. Let’s face it – some people just have an easier time getting 10,000 steps per day because they work in very active jobs. A tour guide at a museum or a busy waiter may get more than 10,000 steps without even trying. If that doesn’t sound like your situation, you can still get those steps but it takes a bit more work!
You could jump on the trend and buy a treadmill desk, of course. But if you’re looking for a less drastic way to up your step count, try these ideas first!
Make Life More Inconvenient
Usually, people try to optimize everything in life. They want to find the shortest route and get their tasks accomplished in the quickest way possible. Take the opposite strategy if you want to increase your steps during the workday. Start small, and get a few steps in here and there by making small changes that force you to walk a bit more. You’ll see a big difference over time.
- Choose a parking spot that is farther away from the entrance.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Bonus tip: Walking up stairs can be intense, so build up your endurance by taking the elevator a few floors ABOVE your office, then walk down.
- Walk to work. Depending on the distance, you might want to work your way up to this one. You can try driving or taking public transportation part of the way, then walking the rest.
- Send fewer emails or Slack messages and walk to your colleagues’ offices to discuss business (or just to chat).
- Take more trips to the break room or kitchen for coffee, tea, or water. Need an excuse? Offer to make coffee or do small errands from time to time. You’ll seem helpful and you’ll get more steps!
- Take a short walking break every hour or thirty minutes. Even short, 5-minute walks can really add up over time.
Use Your Community (Work & Pacer!)
One of the best ways to change your own behavior is to involve others in your new activity. Turn peer pressure into a force for good by including others in your quest to get and stay healthy. You can get your entire office moving by starting a step challenge on our Pacer for Teams organizational step challenge platform. Here are some other ideas to try:
- Form a walking group at work. If you take others on short walks around the block or the office building, it will help with team building, not just fitness.
- Schedule walking meetings to discuss new projects or ideas.
- Start a monthly challenge to see who can get the most steps in. Bonus tip: To reduce the competitive pressure, don’t go for the most individual steps; instead, set a challenge for the entire group to reach their own goals.
- Join an online community. If your office mates are not interested in forming a group, look for a team online. The Pacer community encourages and challenges members to stay active as well.
Track your progress
If your goal is to reach a certain number of steps, then you know that tracking your steps is key. After all, if you don’t know how many steps you take each day, how can you know whether you’re making progress?
- Pay attention to your daily step count but also look at the larger numbers (weekly, monthly, etc.).
- Set reminders to take a certain number of steps each hour.
- Record your walking route for yourself and to share with others.
A number like 10,000 steps can feel daunting at first, especially if you haven’t incorporated regular walking into your routine. By making some small changes in your workday, you will start to see that number rise. Remember that you don’t have to reach your final goal on the first day. Every additional step puts you on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
If you haven’t downloaded the Pacer app yet, download Pacer for free (on mobile)! You can also check out our website (mobile or desktop) or follow our blog for more great walking and healthy lifestyle tips.