Take a Break to Torch the Calories

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Having a job that requires sitting most or all of the day doesn't mean that you can't fit in extra calorie burning activities throughout the day. For me, I work from home and am on the computer a lot of the day, however, I take breaks as often as I can to get up and walk around to stretch my legs, which also gives my eyes a rest from the computer screen. Some of my favorite exercise breaks include walking around the house at a fast pace, walking up and down the stairs, dancing around the living room  (my dogs really love this!), or taking the dogs for a quick walk around the neighborhood.  Before working from home though, I worked in a conventional office and would do everything I could to get up and move. I would walk to my co-worker's office/cubicle rather than email them,  take the stairs as much as possible and go for walks during my lunch hour. Even though I'm not in a conventional office now, I still make sure to work in ways to burn extra calories (in addition to my formal exercise) throughout the day.
Burning extra calories throughout your day doesn’t have to be boring or necessarily planned out as formal exercise -- it can be fun! Finding activities and exercises that you enjoy will help you continue to move and burn calories. For me, breaking up my work day with the activities mentioned above really does the trick for not only burning extra calories and resting my eyes from the computer screen, but it also breaks up my work day and helps me with mental clarity. After I get a short burst of exercise like that, I find that I am more productive because I am refreshed and sometimes come back to my computer with some new ideas for what I am working on at that time.
So I'd like to challenge everyone out there to add in at least one extra calorie burning activity each day for the next week, especially those of you that have a sedentary type job. It doesn't have to be a long session, but pick something that you enjoy and do it for at least 10 minutes. Remember,  every little bit really does add up! If you tend to forget about getting up and moving around, you may want to consider creating an appointment on your computer, calendar or phone that reminds you at a certain time to get up and move.

Are you up for the challenge? If so, how will you add extra calorie burning activities to your day?

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HNS1023 12/15/2020
Rats, didn't mean to hit Submit so quickly... let's see if my comments end up side by side so it still makes sense.
Bathroom break exercises include squats, incline push-ups against the counter, jumping jacks, lunges, high knees. One exercise per bathroom break! Report
HNS1023 12/15/2020
My office buddy and I remind each other to hydrate throughout the day. Every bathroom break includes a burst of exercise during the time for the big old toilet tank to completely refill Report
Great Report
KHALIA2 1/27/2020
Great Advice! Thanks for sharing!!!! Report
Yes 👍 Report
Thanks for such a wonderful article! Report
Absolutely right on advice! I purchased a Fitbit. Its a great tool to help me get in my steps and to get up and move! Report
Love this! Report
Good advice, and it sounds doable. Report
Great Article! Thanks! Report
My Fitbit reminds me to move every hour. I go for short walks and do some stretching. Report
This what I need to do instead of working out all at one time and getting burned out. Report
I'm hip hoppin around today let's get movin Report
Good advice! Report
Every time I take stairs I do 10 extra step ups. I also keep skipping rope close by and just add 1 min of skipping. It clears my head and adds a few extra steps at end of day. Report
Motivation I need for today to get up and get moving! Report
Great Ideas, March In Place for 5 minutes. Report
When I worked I took several walking breaks during the day figured that smokers took breaks so why not me! Now I make sure that i walk every hour for at least 5 minutes. Report
I am going to set a reminder on my phone for a few times during my work day to get up and move. Report
I set a reminder on my computer to get up and move every hour. If I don't do this then I forget and end up sitting for hours on end. I feel better afterwards. Report
This sounds like a great challenge.
I will add 10 minutes of walking in addition to my regular routine Report
I have a peddler under my desk and I keep resistance bands handy for conference calls and other private times. Keeps my energy level up! Report
Great blog, Denise! This applies to so many of us with desk jobs. I like your suggestions. Some of the things I try to do: (sometimes) take the stairs to use the farthest bathroom; do a little work while standing with my computer on the counter (not resting my eyes, but definitely stretching out my body; walk out to the barn to see what my hubby is up to - hehehe. Report
Your idea is great and so easy! I'm parking as far as I can from the door of any destination I'm heading for instead of looking for that spot closest to the door!!! : ) Report
I joined the Spark team- 5 minute challenge. I have a few health issues that flare up at times, but most of the time I can do five minutes of something. Any movement is better than no movement. Report
I can't do exercises. Report
The building I work in has 3 floors & a basement. I try to remember to to walk the stairwell several times each week. It's difficult for me to get away from my desk sometimes, but just that bit of exercise is energizing. I also stretch at my desk ... when nobody is looking! Report
I get on my Gazelle for 10-15 min every morning before getting ready for work. Report
I work from home, too, and we have a treadmill "homemade" workstation. Bascially, take two 5ft ladders and put on the sides of the treadmill. Buy a long plank from Home Depot and rest across. I put the laptop up there and often walk while working on the laptop or having customer calls. I never walk really fast...I can do about 2.5-3.0 MPH on a 3% incline and work productively. It's not a huge calorie scorcher but it keeps me moving more than sitting. Report
I work from home too and I do what I can to move around during the day and get a quick break from that dreaded computer that I am chained to about 9+ hours a day. I have an exercise bike in the room next to my office and make a plan to do 10 minutes cycling mid-morning, we also take a break lunch time and walk to check in on mom in the nursing home, rain, shine, snow, whatever. Apart from that I try to make sure that I always walk to the bathroom furthest away from the office every time I need to go ! Report
jumping jacks and running in place for computer breaks. Report
I used to take a 15-20 minute walk around lunch time... now that the weather is cooler, I'm going to get back to it. Report
Last year in my job I had to sit all the time. This year, I teach 5 gym periods a week, 3 dance classes, all my yard duties are outside, and I get to play "sharks" and "crocodiles" with the kindergartens at the end of every day. What fun!.Plus a 45 minute workout everyday. Report
Last year in my job I had to sit all the time. This year, I teach 5 gym periods a week, 3 dance classes, all my yard duties are outside, and I get to play "sharks" and "crocodiles" with the kindergartens at the end of every day. What fun!.Plus a 45 minute workout everyday. Report
I take several restroom breaks throughout the day making time to walk to the one farthest from my office, which usually amounts to 3 - 5 min by occasionally taking the stairs. Report
thanks for the reminder Report
I am retired but I always do some form of exercise when I am watching T.V.
Hand weights, running on the spot, punches and squats just to name a few
I also do my laundry.In ON. we now have lower rates at night for our hydro, so I run up and down the stairs in between the comercials Report
Move your legs while sitting at the computer. Studies have shown that people who "figget" are slimmer. Remember the kid in school who couldn't "sit still?" Well, be that kid and move. LOL Report
I teach kindergarten. When I take my students out for recess I'll walk laps around the playground. They like to walk with me and I like hearing all their little stories (" Teacher! Guess what!). Also they think it's great fun when I jump rope. Report
I try to walk or jog outside to get from my office to the offices on the other end of our building. It is refreshing to get outside for a few minutes. Report
I love to dance off and on during the day I turn on music on my direct TV. and change the channel for changes in beat.Some regular exercises other than walking I can't do because of age and and a body that has a few new parts. Report
Great Idea! I Think I'll Jump On My Mini Tramp For 10 Mins Next Week. I Do My Work From Home In Front of A Computer Too And I Do Try To Stay Active. Sometimes I'm So Engrossed That I've Went Several Hours Withoug Moving. That's Going To Change. I Do Stay Commited To My Regular Workouts Though. Thanks for The Blog! :) Report
When I worked in a conventional office I would take breaks by doing laps around the office campus. I wear a pedometer and would often get half my days steps in that way.

Now that I telecommute, I have additional flexibility for my breaks - no one sees that I'm doing jumping jacks while re-heating my tea, for example ;) or running in place during conference calls.

I've also been known to take a 10-minute break to clean a single window, run up and down the stairs a few times or take a lap or two up and down our street. Finally, Spark's 10-minute video workouts are great for re-booting the brain as well as the body. I often do one mid-afternoon to pull through a slump. Report
I am lucky and have an office with a door - so I bought a second rebounder (mini trampoline) and brought it into work. I have a timer on my computer and I try to get up and bounce on it every hour. Sometimes I bounce for 15 minutes, sometimes just for a minute. It makes me happy and gets the blood pumping. Report
I have an alarm on my phone AND on my computer to stand every 30 minutes. I usually do something but occasionally it is just standing. Report
I recently started working from home too....thank you for the ideas.
I have scaped to my home gym and have done 10 minutes stationary bike or a quick treadmill walk.
I also just bounce my leg or extend them out and in while I sit at my computer. Thanks for your tips Report
I'm teaching myself this crazy "Gangam Style" dance craze for a wedding! I know I've torched a ton of calories with all these do overs. Report