Dubai Fitness Challenge: 5 ways to hit your goals without leaving the office

Here is how you can balance time behind a desk with your overall health

By Web Desk

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Published: Fri 28 Oct 2022, 6:51 AM

Last updated: Fri 28 Oct 2022, 3:43 PM

For a large part of the global workforce, sitting behind a desk for nine hours, whether it’s in the office or at home, is a reality of our working lives.

It is likely, for many, the sedentary nature of our jobs is not doing our waistlines – or our overall physical health - any favours.


Sitting for long stretches of time can not only lead to posture-related problems for our back and necks, but a lack of physical activity can cause a host of health problems. Yet we need these jobs to take care of our everyday needs and necessities.

Here are five ways you can hit your fitness goals without leaving your desk.


Slim down the sedentary habits

Make staying still your nemesis. That might seem difficult with an office or desk focused job, but there is a myriad of daily habits that can help you get moving, simply by replacing slots of your day with something active. Live close to work? Walk or cycle to the office instead of sliding into the driving seat of your car. Instead of the elevator, take the stairs. If your company allows, get desks that allow you to stand or even desks that have a treadmill attached. Swap your home office chair for a yoga ball to engage your core. Or try ankle weights and do sitting down flutter kicks every 30 minutes at your desk.

Take mini-breaks, and stand, sit, repeat

Desk jobs don’t have to mean you are glued to your chair. Research has warned time and time again that “sitting disease” – conditions linked to prolonged periods of not moving - is real. Our metabolisms slow down, and we burn less energy, fat and fuel leading to excess weight. But if you’re sitting all day at work, you should get up every 30 minutes and move to encourage circulation. Take the time to move around, chat with co-workers and take a mindfulness moment.

Utilise your lunch hour

It can be tempting to kick back and relax on your lunch break, but after a few hours at work your body is ready to – and needs to – move. Just 30 minutes of exercise can be hugely effective.

Join a fitness class, fun exercise challenge or group event during the month-long challenge in Dubai’s urban fitness playground, else, spend time working out in your office itself during lunch.

Stretch or move at your desk

Take regular 30-second breaks to stretch while sitting down. Touch your toes, and regularly flex your back. Stretches for those with desk focused jobs are best started from the top down, starting with neck flexions. Facing forward, roll your shoulders back and down and grasp the left side of your head with your right hand, gently pulling it down towards your right shoulder. Repeat on the left side. Another basic, yet effective, stretch to do at your desk is spinal rotation. Sit up tall and cross your left leg over your right. Grasp your outer left thigh with your right hand, placing your left hand on the seat behind you.

Get co-workers to move with you

Some friendly competition can be beneficial, so get your co-workers involved in your quest to become fit. The communal benefits of uniting with colleagues and doing something difficult whilst encouraging one another pay dividends - and will likely help you stick with an exercise regime.

Encourage your colleagues to walk with you on your lunch break. Spice it up by setting a competitive target such as ‘the person who can do the most push-ups at the end wins a free dinner’. But, just having someone who has the same goal as you will motivate you much more to get in shape.

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