People standing with their arms in the air at work

Getting active at work

Break up sedentary time and get active at work with these simple tips and tools.

Work can easily take over our lives. But we shouldn’t let it damage our health and wellbeing. Team up with colleagues or set a personal goal to add movement to your working day.

I arranged a Wellbeing Walk for our office. It was a fun way to get our legs moving... It was also an opportunity to network with other people who work in the same building.

Jen, Marketing and Communications Officer

Start small

Often we try and go from zero movement to super active in an instant. But that’s not always realistic. Start small and celebrate every step that takes you closer to moving more every day.

Begin by asking yourself:

  • What needs to change?
  • Do I want to do this on my own as a change for me?
  • Do I want to work with colleagues to create a happier and healthier workplace?

Running to work gives me thinking time. I've already achieved something by the time I arrive and I don't have to sit in traffic or pay for parking!

Deryck Newland, CEO of Play to the Crowd

Go it alone

Starting with a personal goal puts you in full control. You don’t even have to tell anyone you’re doing it. But it might help you stick to it if you do.

Active travel

Walking, running or cycling to work is efficient and environmentally friendly. It gets you from A to B and ticks off active minutes before your working day begins. If you live too far from work for that to be practical, hop off the bus or park further away to build in a walk. Or take a spin around the block if you work from home.

Extra steps

Lunchtime walks break up sedentary time and combat the afternoon slump. Try mapping out a walk from your office. Or use an app like Active 10 to set yourself a 10-minute brisk walking goal. And opt for the stairs wherever possible to increase your movement.

Work with time

Be more productive with the Pomodoro Technique. Identify a work task and set a time to complete it. Focus on that task without distractions until the timer goes off and then take a break and move. Cutting out distractions makes every minute count and creates time to look after ourselves. Try Active 10 or FitOn from our Fitness Apps page for short movement breaks.

Tools and stories for going it alone

Person looking at fitness app

Fitness apps and technology

Using apps and technology can help motivate us to move more.

Jen on her bike - cycling to work

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Sara smiling on a not motivated to run run

The ‘Not Motivated to Run’ run

Sara embraces flexible working and apps to keep running.

Make it a team effort

Moving more is fun with friends. Find colleagues who share your desire to improve wellbeing at work and get active together.

Active meetings

Walking and standing meetings are an efficient way to increase your movement at work without taking extra time. If you don’t need a screen or lots of notes, consider walking while you talk. Meetings are often shorter and more productive on the go.

Lunchtime escapes

A lunchtime walk or movement break with colleagues is one of the easiest ways to be active at work. Set up a recurring calendar invite and commit. Just 10 minutes of brisk walking can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing. Or, if you have more time and flexibility, find a local activity to do together.

Add friendly competition

Many fitness apps feature elements of friendly competition. Compete with colleagues to see who can clock up the most steps or workout points each week. Or take it a step further and arrange a game of football or rounders on a local sports pitch. You could even arrange pop up table tennis in the office or an outing to adventure golf.

Create an active workplace

Sometimes improving wellbeing at work requires bigger changes. Creating a cultural shift requires buy-in from the whole team. In this case, you may need facts and figures to make your case. Hop over to our Workplace Wellbeing Toolkit to access everything you need.

Read next

Why invest in workplace wellbeing

Understand the business case for an active workplace.

Creating an active workplace

Access tools and advice to create an active workplace.

Find Activities

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