how to increase your steps

Tips on how to hit 10000 steps with a desk job that actually work

July 18, 2018Ellen
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There is so much advice out there about getting your 10,000 steps a day in.  Many health professionals recommend we take at least 10,000 steps a day.  Have you actually noted how many steps you take in a day?  I have and I was totally surprised.  When I started on my walking journey I wanted to know how many steps I took in one day and it was around 5,000.  This was because my job involves sitting on my bum most of the day in an office chair writing.

So how do you hit 10,000 steps with a desk job? There are a number of ways to increase your steps with a desk job that have actually worked for me.  These range from going for a quick walk at lunch time, walking up and down stairs, walking to the kitchen to refill your water bottle, marching while washing your hands after going to the bathroom to name but a few!

Below I have listed the strategies that have worked for me.  I hope they help you increase your steps so you too can reach that magic number of 10,000 each day.  Let me know what you think of them by commenting below.

Increase your step count by going for a quick walk

We are all entitled to a lunch break by law so make the best use of it by nipping out and going for a brisk walk during your lunch break.  I get 30 minutes when I’m not at meetings so I nip out and walk briskly round the block. I’m out and back in no time at all.  Thirty minutes would get me around 3,000- 4,000 steps so it’s helpful to give it a go.

Take the stairs

The oldest piece of exercise advice there is and it really does work for your health, your mental health and your step count!  Living in Northern Ireland the weather can be pretty lousy and going for a quick walk in the rain just doesn’t seem like a good idea.  I often hit the stairs up to our office.  It’s great for getting in extra steps and it’s also good for spending some time alone to contemplate if you are having a stressful day.  No matter what type of office you are in I’m sure there are stairs about.  Even if it’s a few out the back, just go up and down and see those steps increase

Walk to the shop

Each Monday I walk to the supermarket close to where I work to get my lunch for the week.  Usually salad items with some kind of meat.  This uses up about 1,000 steps just doing this short trip.  And if you add in stairs too then it increases it even more.  Why not make heading to the supermarket or indeed the coffee shop for a treat part of your weekly routine?  It will certainly get those steps increased without much effort on your part.

Catch up with a colleague

I love technology.  It has given us so much and can make life so much simpler.  However, emailing a collegue that only sits in the next office really is the last straw!  How about doing it the old fashioned way and walk to chat to your work colleague?  It also means you can get some steps in.  Of course your visit could be about work but it could also be about catching up with what they got up to at the weekend or last night.  Use this as an opportunity to stay social and get your step count up too.

how to increase your steps

Involve your work colleagues

If you are trying to get your 10,000 steps, the chances are your colleagues may be trying to do the same thing.  Together you can go for quick walks, if you are both doing it together and need to meet, do it in an office which is further from your desks.  Work together to get each other a drink from the kitchen, head to work 10 minutes early and walk briskly round the block.  I’m sure doing it together will help you achieve your goal quicker.  I’m sure sure there are other opportunities around your office, have a think of what they are.

Take the longer route to work

The quickest way for me to get to work is a particular bus stop.  I use public transport so instead of getting off at the correct bus stop, I get off the one before.  That means I am able to clock up more steps just by doing this one simple trick.  If you take the car to work then make sure you park a little further away and walk the rest of the way.

Set your alarm

Getting 10,000 steps with a desk job does mean making some changes.  One of the changes I made was getting a Fit bit because it has a set reminder It will notify me at 10 to the hour if I haven’t completed 250 steps.  You don’t need a any fancy device though.  You can set an alarm on your phone.  Set it to go off 10 to the hour.  This is your cue to stand up from your desk.  You can do a host of things but what I normally do is either, visit the bathroom, fill up my water bottle, collect papers from the printer, go wash my hands or just stand up and march on the spot until I reach the 250 step target for that hour.  It may seem silly marching on the spot at  your desk but after telling my colleagues what I was doing they don’t think anything of it now.

how to increase your steps

My Routine

I just wanted to go over my routine that I use to get 10,000 with a desk job.  Also just to clarify that I do this Monday to Friday.  My first port of call is to walk to a bus stop that is further away than the one that is just outside the train station when I get off.  Next I get off one stop from the bus stop that would be closer to work.  While at work I would get up each hour to stretch my legs and take 250 steps with a mixture of visiting the bathroom, talking to a colleague, shopping for lunch, going for a brisk walk or just marching on the spot at my desk.  I walk to the train station on the way home which is a 40 minute walk.

How to get 10,000 steps a day for weight loss.

All of these things has me averaging around 12,000 to 15,000 steps per work day.  I have to admit though that my weekends are not as good.  I am considering adding in a long walk on a Sunday so that I am hitting 10,000 steps on 6 days out of 7.  I’ll keep you updated on my progress with this goal.  Below I’ve included my video of how I get my 10,000 steps, why not have a wee look?

I have to say though I could not get my 10,000 steps without my Fitbit.  It has helped me in so many ways.  It has been the catalyst to me starting on this walking journey and for the small price that I paid for this Fitbit Charge 2 from Amazon, it was worth every single penny.

So what things do you do to hit your 10,000 steps with an office job?  Are you hitting them ok or struggling?  I’d love to know more.

learn how to smash 10,000 steps with a desk job and walk for weight loss
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Comments (5)

  • Sarah – Adventure Accessories

    February 25, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    This is a fab post with really useful tips. I used to work in a school and would rarely sit down. I would easily do my 10,000 steps before lunch time. Now work from home and I have noticed how sedentary I have become. I am going to re-activate the hourly reminder and make more of an effort to get up and have regular breaks. Thank you for the inspiration.

    1. Ellen

      February 25, 2019 at 5:32 pm

      You are welcome Sarah. I’m glad it has inspired you. Yes I agree that working from home can be a challenge. That reminder is so important! Good luck with it.

  • Karen

    March 5, 2019 at 1:12 am

    Great tips! I like the idea of setting an alarm to remind yourself to move.

    1. Ellen

      March 5, 2019 at 9:07 am

      Thanks Karen. If I don’t set it then I’m in my chair for hours on end!

  • RochElle

    December 30, 2019 at 11:02 pm

    Thank you for your awesome tips! I just started a new office job that has me sitting way too much. I’ve gained 10 lbs as a result. I am definitely going to set my phone to remind me to move at 10 before each hour and walk up and down the 120 stairs here twice a day. Marching in place is an awesome tip as well. You have motivated me!

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