How to Keep Fit While Working at a 9–5 Job

How to keep fit

This post is for those who are chained to a desk from nine to five, constantly snacking to fend off the boredom.  By changing our daily routines, even just slightly, you can improve your overall health  both mentally and physically.

Here’s how to keep fit while working at a full-time job:

1. Get a Lunch Buzz

You’d think that you’d hate your desk after working for hours straight. But the surprising thing is that employees tend to eat their lunch there, too!

Instead, go outside and have a walk and eat your lunch whilst breathing in some fresh air.

As well as stretching your legs you’ll also clear your mind which will help you be more efficient. For those of you that work near beautiful parks or scenic paths, why not pack your running shoes and take a 25 minute run? Because of the high intensity even a quick 10 minute run will do amazing things for your physical and mental health.

2. You Ate What?!

Snacks can be extremely tempting sitting at a desk all day, which is understandable. But skip the oily chips and have a piece of fruit, instead.

You may be making faces at this point, but trust me, fruits will have you fuller for longer and are slow digesting. This means that an apple or banana will release energy over a longer period of time and help you get through those last few hours.

3. Your gym is wherever you want it to be

You can do a lot of exercise in 10 minutes. Have a look at some of these exercises and challenge yourself and your colleagues to see who can do the most in a set period of time:

  • Dips off office chair or table
  • Squats against the wall
  • Lunges around your desk
  • Calve raises holding the door
  • Leaning pushups against the wall
  • Wide grip pushups against the door frame

Do not dismiss an exercise idea just because it will look ridiculous — chances are you’ll have your co-workers up and about in a few days, too!

4. Office-Come-Gym-Equipment?

You can replace your office chair with an exercise ball — this will strengthen your core stability muscles and improve your posture. While everyone else develops back problems, you’ll have your chest puffed out walking around like Dwayne The Rock Johnson.

Men may consider buying a door-mounted pull up bar. These are a good investment and prove to be cheap in the long-run. They will fit on almost any door frame and are very versatile. 1L water bottles (when they’re full) also work well as dumb-bells and are good for keeping your arms firm and toned.

Ultimately, the key to keeping your office/fitness life balance is all about doing little bits of exercise on a regular basis. You’ll find you will feel and work better. And who doesn’t want that?

Got more tips? Share yours below on how to keep fit while you work on a 9–5 job.

Photo by FreeDigitalPhotos.

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Ben is a fitness fanatic and blogger for Miinto, where you can find beautiful clothes and fashion inspiration.


  1. J on the 7th November

    “You can replace your office chair with an exercise ball”

    Really? I mean… Really? That was the worst idea I’ve heard in a long, looong, looong time!

  2. Davor Ergotic on the 7th November

    I agree with everything but the only (real) way to be fit while working 9-5 is to get out of your comfort zone and go to the gym after work few times a week.

  3. Aaron on the 8th November

    One of the guys I co-work with forwarded this article to me because I’m the resident “fitness nut” at our co-working space. I do many of your suggestions. I also do inverted rows on the conference room table and bring my pull-up bar to the “office.” On my lunch, I’ll run to a nearby park and do pull-ups (on the monkey bars), decline push-ups (feet on the bottom of the slide), step-ups on the benches and inverted rows with the swings.

  4. fran melmed on the 9th November

    I do a few things. I try to stand while talking on the phone, eating, working. I build in a walk three times per day — often fail on this. And I devised a health app to prompt me and others to get up and out of their seats to complete 2-minute activity breaks of their own choosing! Right now it’s only available to individuals through their employer/health plan, but I’m hoping to make it available on the consumer market soon. In the meantime, I complete the breaks myself and tweet a suggested daily activity through the app’s twitter account, @gethotseatapp. It’s great to see people pay more attention to the need to stand and take breaks frequently. Research is strong that doing so reduces your risk of obesity, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer and even earlier death.

    Fran Melmed

  5. Peter Bashforth on the 12th November

    I have just read all the comments about keeping fit, and most are good for the work place. But one thing you all have in common you are putting your body through lots of stress and this is a good thing.
    But what if there was a way you could increase your energy protect your joints and skin and all your bodies organs as you do your work out.
    Would that be of interest to you.
    I took a 90 day challenge because I did not believe it would work but after 4 months I have more energy my skin is much better and cuts heal much quicker now I know it works I am telling everyone about it.


  6. Daniel Bertstare on the 23rd November

    Very good article Ben. I see you have a cheeky ‘tash in your picture for Movember! The gym in your office bit is a great idea–lunges will really get your breath going and can be enough of a workout on their own.

    Look forward to reading more,
    Stay safe

  7. Running Software on the 29th November

    I like your blog. You efforts putting this blog together was worth the while. Congratulations again on a good job Ben.

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