Parkridge Medical Group August 18, 2015

Humans aren’t meant to be sedentary creatures, but staying active can be a challenge with a desk job.

Even regular exercise cannot completely counteract the negative impacts of sitting all day, including increased risk for conditions such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and even colon and breast cancer. While many of our jobs anchor us to a desk for the majority of the workday, that doesn’t mean we have to sit still.

To lower the impact being seated has on your body’s metabolism, the American Medical Association suggests that workplaces offer alternatives to traditional desks or cubicles. These include anything from firmly inflated exercise balls in place of desk chairs to engage core muscles while you work, to standing desks and workstations.

Get Up and Go

Incorporating movement into your daily routine is easier than you may think. In addition to obvious solutions such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking to your coworker’s desk instead of calling or emailing, and using printers farther from your desk, try these exercise suggestions:

  • Rope-Free Jump Roping—Take a quick break and stand up in your cubicle, hopping on either both feet at the same time or alternating feet for one minute. Circle your arms as if you have a jump rope.
  • Calf Raises—Holding onto your desk or the back of your chair for balance, raise your heels off of the floor, then slowly lower them. Repeat in sets of 10.
  • Tricep Dips—For an exercise that focuses on your arms, put them behind your back, palms flat on the seat of a stationary chair, and slowly raise and lower your body. Repeat in sets of five.

A primary care physician can help you monitor your health and plan a fitness routine to keep your body in shape. To find one in your area, visit