3 Ways to Help Yourself Survive your Desk Job

Debbie Hatch | Family & F.I.T.

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I love this infographic published in the Washington Post.

…and here’s why.  It applies to SO many people.  This is a reality!!


My job requires me to either be on my feet all day long (when I’m teaching), or has a lot of sitting (non-teaching days when I’m writing contracts/curriculum or when flying long distance).  A lot of people think the part that’s hard on my body is standing all day.  In reality, neither of these extremes is great.


Many of my friends, family, and clients have desk jobs that require hours of sitting each day. My son had surgery recently for a herniated lumbar disk so we know, first hand, that these hazards are real.

Short of getting a new job, what can you do about the occupational risk of sitting too much?



If possible, go for a 5-10 minute walk each hour.

At the very least, employment laws (remember, Human Resources is my “regular” job) require you be provided two 10 minute breaks each day – walk during those breaks, and at lunch. Not only is this good for your body, but also for your mind. You’ll be more productive when you return to your desk.  I had lunch with an executive yesterday, who has “walking staff meetings”.  When her staff meet for their weekly meeting, they bring sneakers and instead of sitting in the office, they all go for a walk.  I LOVE that idea!!!

If you’re not in such a progressive environment, and can’t go for a walk, at least stand up and stretch at your desk for a few minutes. Stretch when you go to the restroom if that’s all you can do!  (Do what you can, when you can….)

If you’re interested in some “at your desk” exercises, let me know.  I’d be happy to send you some.



Giving up on exercise because we’re burnt out from work is common!  But that’s the worst thing we can do.  That means, we sit in our car and drive to work, sit all day at work, sit in our car to drive home and THEN sit on the couch all evening until we eventually lay down.  You can see how all manners of problems can be created in this environment.

Make time to exercise, at a minimum, 20 minutes every day.

Do what you like.  That’s the only way you’ll keep doing it!!  Do what you can.

Remember, though, that there are tremendous benefits to weight training. I’m not talking about becoming a body builder. I’m talking about maintaining muscle (which burns more calories than fat) which helps to stabilize (and move) your body throughout your entire life.



When I work with clients who spend a lot of time sitting, the very last thing I want them to do in the gym is sit down.

Get off the equipment!!

You’ve spent all day sitting down, now is the time to stand. Get on your feet.  Every exercise that a machine allows you to do can be done with free weights, or universal machines.

I have clients do more pulling that pushing when we exercise together.  Why? To strengthen those upper back muscles that have been slumped over all day while you’ve been on the computer.

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