Many long hours in front of my laptop, along with some advice from my best friend, inspired this article—how to incorporate fitness into your office job and break up the hours spent on your computer. Lately it seems that time jumps leaps and bounds ahead whenever I sit down in front of my own computer. I think it possesses some type of special powers that lure me to log onto it and then keeps me there for hours on end. That got me started thinking about how many people out there must do the same thing, but often against their will and on a daily basis.

To start, let’s first lay down some general ground rules for working on a computer day in and day out—nothing will replace actual exercise! While I am fortunate enough that I work and play outdoors quite often throughout the day, I realized that many of you are not. That makes it that much more important to get there when you can, even if that means getting up and working out before you go to work. You will be surprised at the increased energy and great feeling that accompanies exercise, especially outdoors. I am stressing outdoors since you work inside an office most of the day, but of course, if exercising outdoors won’t work for you, then indoors it is! The most important thing is that you are indeed exercising.

When arriving at the office, park as far as you can from the entrance. That will force you to at least get some exercise walking to and from your vehicle. After starting work and submersing yourself into your job, remember to break up those long hours by getting up out of your chair periodically. I would suggest doing so every half hour and incorporating some passive stretches into the mix. For example, bending at the waist while keeping your legs straight is a great way to stretch out the hamstrings. Grabbing hold of one ankle while pointing the knee down is a good one for the quadriceps. It is very easy to incorporate some simple calf, back, chest and arm exercises into your routine too. If you are confused as to which ones to do, perform a search for stretches right there at your computer to get some ideas.

In addition to these simple stretches, try walking from one floor to another instead of riding the elevator. So many people just press the elevator button mindlessly, even though most of their time at work is inactive. It does wonders for the body to jaunt up a flight of stairs after being confined to a chair for the last couple hours. Also, make sure you consume enough water throughout the day. This actually serves two purposes—one, you’re fulfilling your body’s need for water, and two, you will most likely have to use the restroom more frequently, which will allow you to get out of your seat to stretch your legs. Another idea is to use a restroom on another floor, rather than the one that is the closest.

While these points seem simple, they can really help to rejuvenate you during long periods at your desk or computer. For your convenience, I’ve outlined the main points covered, below:

• Park far from the entrance so you can walk
Exercise regularly, outdoors if possible
• Get as much fresh air as you can
• Stretch every half hour
• Walk, rather than take the elevator
• Drink plenty of water
• Use the restroom on a separate floor

Hopefully you can use these simple steps to help you in your job. While you may not have control over the location of your office, or the length of time you must be there, you do have control over what you make of the time you spend there. As Brendan Francis said, "If you accept your limitations, you go beyond them."

Author's Bio: 

Melissa Allen, CPT, BS, CES is a certified personal trainer & corrective exercise specialist, as well as the owner of Optimum Condition—Mobile Personal Training & Exercise Therapy. Melissa offers customized online fitness plans for people all over the U.S., so please contact her with any questions or comments by visiting her website at