Maintaining a good work-life balance can be difficult, so unless you have a physically demanding job most of us will spend several hours a day sitting down. Such a sedentary daily routine can have serious consequences on our health and productivity. In fact, a recent report suggested that an inactive lifestyle is as bad for you as smoking. As such, health experts recommend a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week – just over 20 minutes a day. The problem is that two out of three adults in the UK don’t manage this.

The reason for this, for many of us, is that there simply isn’t time to fit in exercise into the working week. But have you ever considered trying out some fitness ideas around your working day? Yes, work and working out don’t necessarily need to be mutually exclusive. While exercise can seem time-consuming, Michael Cheary at reed.co.uk offers some tips for how to fit in some all-important physical activity around your working day.

Make the most of your journey

Your daily commute presents a great fitness opportunity for those within walking, running or cycling distance of the office. If you don’t want to take this option every day, even just a return journey a few times a week could help boost your fitness levels. However, having changing facilities at your workplace is also a must for anyone working up a sweat on the way to work.

Take the stairs

If you’re interested in keeping fit while still keeping a close eye on your finances, then this could be the perfect option for you. Why not skip the lift and try taking the stairs? For anyone on the second floor or above, this is sure to provide regular workouts throughout the day.

Use your colleagues

Getting colleagues on board with office fitness ideas is a great way to motivate yourself and others. You could suggest a few laps of the local park at lunchtime, a friendly game of squash on a Thursday evening, or put together an office sports team. There could even be opportunities to challenge other departments at sports activities to foster some friendly competition. Getting colleagues involved is a great way to ensure you stay motivated and inspired to do exercise.

Start a fitness class in the office

If you don’t want to go elsewhere to try out new activities, why not bring them to you? One great use of office space after hours is for an in-house fitness class, such as yoga or dance. Friendly local instructors for a range of activities can be brought in to help more of the workforce stay in shape. This also offers a great chance for people to try something new they wouldn’t ordinarily think of doing, in a friendly environment and convenient location.

Don’t sit for too long

Even if you can’t manage fitting any strenuous exercise into your working day, it is important to take regular breaks away from your desk. A report from the European Heart Journal showed that taking lots of short breaks – even as quick as a minute to stand up, move around or climb the stairs – can be beneficial for your waistline and heart health.

The evidence is clear from health professionals; getting plenty of exercise and having a good diet is the best route to a healthy lifestyle. While office exercise isn’t the answer to all your health needs, it can go some way towards achieving the minimum of 150 minutes of exercise you should be aiming for each week.