You’ve likely heard the advice that you should aim to make 10,000 steps a day. This magical number actually comes from promotional content for a pedometer sold in Japan in the 1960s and not extensive scientific calculations.

Irrespective of how this number came about, it serves as a good reminder to keep moving throughout the day.  For those of us with office jobs, reaching anything close to 10,000 steps in a day can be a daunting task. Sitting at a desk puts huge stress on your back, neck and spine muscles, which in the long term could lead to muscular imbalances and increased risk of injury.

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time has also been linked to obesity and depression, but regular walks throughout the day can help you stay healthy and increase your productivity. Whether short walking breaks during the day lead to reaching 10,000 steps or purely serve as a mental break here are a few tips for upping your step count while at the office:

Park as far away as possible

Opt for parking on the top floor of the parking garage or at the bottom of the street. There will likely be more parking’s to choose from and the few extra minutes it takes to get to your office is a great way to add a burst of exercise to your day.

Keep a smaller water bottle on your desk

Making sure you stay hydrated throughout the day is important for your digestion and cognitive function, but rather than keeping a daily water allowance sized bottle on your desk opt for a smaller one. Needing to fill up your water bottle gives you a reason to take a walk down the passage. If you have a choice of water dispensers, pick the one further away for some extra steps.

Use the bathroom furthest away

If you’re staying well hydrated, you will likely need to take frequent trips to the bathroom. Pick a bathroom on a different floor and take the stairs to get to it.

Grab your coffee from ‘that place down the road’

Instead of grabbing your morning coffee from the coffee shop at the entrance to your office block, pick a café further away from your building. This will not only add a few extra minutes to your coffee run, but the extra steps and change of scenery will aid in clearing your mind and boost productivity.

Walk around during phone calls

It’s not uncommon to spend a large portion of your day on the phone. If you don’t need access to a computer while on the call, stand up and walk around while chatting. For an extra mood booster, take your call outside in the sunshine.

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