13 Ways to Easily Burn Extra Calories at Work

13 Ways to Easily Burn Extra Calories at Work


Let’s take a few minutes to talk about a few ways that you can burn extra calories while at work. How well these suggestions apply certainly depends on your occupation and the level of activity your job demands, but at least a few should be helpful to everyone.

Walk (or bike) to work

A 175 lb person burns about 100 calories per mile (assuming an average of about 3 mph or 20 minutes per mile). If you have an opportunity to walk to work, calories burned can add up very quickly. For example, one of the hospitals I work at is about ¼ mile away, so I’m burning at least  50 calories every time I walk there and back. If its too far to walk, consider using a bicycle!

Park farther away

If you do drive to work, and let’s be honest, most people have to; try parking farther away. Most people park as close as possible, so it’s usually not an issue to find a spot in the far corner of the lot. Like walking, this will increase your calorie expenditure during the commuting aspect of your work.

Take the stairs

A 160 lb person will burn 5 calories for every flight of stairs they climb up. If you walk up (and down) 10 flights of stairs per day, that’s an extra 50 calories. Obviously if you walk up an 8 story building multiple times per day, those calories are really going to add up!

Stand up when possible

Standing burns more calories than sitting. If you’re in a meeting or at the desk or some environment where you typically sit, try standing. Standing increases calorie expenditure by 50% when compared to being seated. You can buy desks that are vertically adjustable, allowing you to work at the computer while standing.

UsE a stability or balance ball as a chair ( http://amzn.to/2qt97ih )

Using a stability ball can increase your seated calorie expenditure by as much as 6%. According to a Harvard study, 185 lb person burns 156 calories per hour seated. Over the course of an 8 hour day, this adds up to more than 100 calories. Additionally, it requires you to use your core muscles to maintain balance which can increase your physical health and tone your abs.

Try a mini stepper under your desk. ( http://amzn.to/2r1dVYw )

They use resistance to for your legs to do work. One study published suggested that you could increase your calorie expenditure by as much as 100 calories per hour using this device. You can easily find them online for less than $100.  

Wear ankle weights ( http://amzn.to/2q78xEd )

You can buy adjustable ankle weights for relatively cheaply, I saw some starting at 15$. These make the “work” of walking around burn more calories. Obviously, the more weight and the more you walk, the more calories you will burn. If you have joint disease, ankle weights may not be the best option for you as added stress could worsen your problem.

Exercise during your lunch break

This could mean walking around the building during your lunch break or if you have enough time, actually going to the gym. Either way, you probably don’t spend your entire lunch break eating (or working), so use the rest of that time to burn a few extra calories. If you can get a real workout in, you’ll have more time after work to do other things!

Take advantage of your employers fitness benefits

This sounds obvious, but it may not be. Many companies are becoming more aware of the impact of unhealthy folks on their workforce productivity  and are promoting healthy behaviors among employees. This often includes either access to a gym at your work (if it’s big enough) or discounted membership to a gym nearby. If you don’t have one of these perks, talk to your boss about it; they just may say yes.

Bring fitness gear to work

This could either be dumbbells or bands and keep a few at your desk. There’s tons of exercises you can do while you read an email or listen to a voicemail. Or just do a few sets between tasks.

If you travel for work, plan ahead

For those who do travel, having a regular fitness routine can be extraordinarily difficult. Make sure to bring your gym gear with you. Check with the hotel(s) you stay at and make sure they have a gym. If they don’t, find one that does. Also consider buying some resistance bands. They are light and easily pack in luggage and allow you to workout from your hotel room.

Get others involved

It’s helpful to have camaraderie when you are trying something new. Exercising is something that most people could use more of and you probably won’t have trouble recruiting more people. This new group can then find times during the day (or even when not at work) to increase exercise at work. Be creative!

Consider a treadmill desk

This isn’t for everyone, but if you think you can do it, you can really burn extra calories. Mayo clinic researchers estimated that walking on a treadmill while at work for 2-3 hours a day can help you shed as many as 66 extra pounds per year.

Drink your coffee black

A cup of black coffee has around 5 calories, which is negligible. Adding sugar and cream adds a lot of extra calories, around 30-60 calories each per tablespoon depending on what you use. I estimated that over the course of a year that can add up to as many as 10 lbs fewer calories consumed!

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