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Stay Active at Work continued...

So how can you keep your work from broadening more than your mind?

If you’re really committed to getting more exercise in your daily life, you could ask your boss to invest in the newly popular “treadmill desks” -- they cost $2,000 and up and let you work and work out at the same time. Or if you have a treadmill of your own, there are desks that fit over a treadmill and cost under $500. Giancoli bought an extra-tall desk that lets her stand while she types on the computer (you burn more calories standing than sitting), along with a barstool for times when she needs to sit.

Not that committed or can’t spare that much extra cash? A stability ball is a lot cheaper than a new desk, and depending on where you work, you could use it as a desk chair. “It will burn a few extra calories an hour, but its real benefit is building the core strength in your abdomen and back muscles,” Margolis says.

Or just set the timer on your computer calendar to go off every 50 minutes. When it rings, stand up and walk around your office for the next 10 minutes. (Get a cordless phone so you can keep up with your calls.)

“Any time you don’t have to sit, don’t,” Giancoli advises. “If you’re on the phone and don’t have to be looking at the computer, stand up and walk around your office or cubicle. Need to send a message to a colleague? Walk down the hall and talk to them instead of using interoffice email.”

Try to make your commute more of a workout as well. If you ride the train or bus, get off a stop earlier than usual and add a few walking blocks to your day on each end. If you drive, park as far away in the lot as possible.

To get the most calorie burn out of all of your everyday activities, Margolis says, there are three key principles:

  1. Be old-fashioned. Don’t use a motor when a hand tool will do.
  2. Be inefficient. Don’t make one trip when you can make three. Or five.
  3. Do it yourself.

“We’ve reached a point in our society where we can have so much done for us: groceries delivered, our houses cleaned, our dogs walked,” Margolis says. “But the more you outsource these tasks, the more sedentary you become.”