5 Easy Ways to Burn More Calories During the Day

Mackenzie L. Havey
by Mackenzie L. Havey
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5 Easy Ways to Burn More Calories During the Day

Lack of time is one of the top reasons people cite for skipping daily exercise. No matter who you are or what you do for a living, it seems as if everyone is busier these days. It’s easy to have work, family, social engagements and other responsibilities trump physical activity on the priority list.

If this sounds familiar, you need to get creative to fit in regular physical activity. By making small changes to your routine, it is possible to burn a considerable amount of extra calories, all while building strength and cardiovascular fitness. Here are some of the top research-backed methods to get fit at work—even if you are in front of a computer or pushing paper much of the day.


Research has shown that even small movements throughout the day add up when it comes to burning calories. This includes everything from walking to the water cooler a couple of extra times a day to getting up and moving around to organize your cubicle. Dubbed “nonexercise activity thermogenesis,” those small, seemingly insignificant movements can make all the difference.

Take the Stairs

Simply taking the stairs instead of the elevator each day can help you shed extra weight; you don’t even need to break a sweat. Studies have demonstrated that climbing a regular public-access staircase meets the minimum requirements for gaining cardiovascular benefits. While it may take you a couple of extra minutes to reach your desk each morning, you’ll be doing your body good—plus you’ll forego listening to that annoying elevator music.

Park Farther Away

Walking an extra several hundred meters from your car to the office every day can add up in terms of total step count, and research has shown that walking 10,000 steps each day can lead to weight loss. While that may sound like a lot, you’d be surprised by how quickly those steps add up when you’re purposeful about walking more.

Stand Up

Much attention has been paid recently to the detrimental effects of sitting for long periods of time. While many of us work wholly sedentary jobs, we can usually find excuses to stand and walk around more often. Striking up a conversation with a coworker down the hallway, taking an extra stroll to the copy machine, or grabbing a cup of coffee from the break room can all contribute to improved health outcomes.

Recruit Coworkers

If you have a brainstorming session or meeting planned with your colleagues, why not do it on the go? Walking and talking kills two birds with one stone by helping you get to that recommended step count. Walking has been shown to have the potential to have a large public health impact because it is accessible and doesn’t require any special skills or fancy equipment. What’s more, there is research that suggests that we are likely to exercise more when we have someone to do it with—and it’s a whole lot more fun to walk in the company of friends and colleagues.

About the Author

Mackenzie L. Havey
Mackenzie L. Havey

Mackenzie is a freelance journalist and coach based in Minneapolis. She contributes to a variety of magazines and websites, including TheAtlantic.com, OutsideOnline.com, espnW.com, Runner’s World and Triathlete Magazine. She holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Minnesota, and is a USA Track and Field certified coach. When she’s not writing, she’s out biking, running and cross-country skiing around the city lakes with her dog.


18 responses to “5 Easy Ways to Burn More Calories During the Day”

  1. Avatar Cecilia Calvo says:

    Is a very useful information!

  2. Avatar Mary3265 says:

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  3. Very useful information, but you’ve forgotten #6!

    6. Drink ice cold water throughout the day, not only will this keep you hydrated and support healthy hormone and body function, but the temperature of the water will burn additional calories!

  4. Avatar shanaz says:

    that’s a good tip I love cold water but my family doesn’t and we all need to lose weight

  5. Avatar shanaz says:

    I know its a weird question for the topic but does anyone know what is the best and healthiest way to grow your hair

  6. Avatar nihongo suki says:

    Walk walk walk

  7. Avatar Christin Seegers says:

    I park farther away. Have a big parking lot at work. We even have customers that use our parking lot to walk in it’s so big.

  8. Avatar Tired_Of_Idiocy says:

    Sigh… Completely useless advice. I can’t fidget due to it hurting my joints, stairs kill my knees, parking far away with two kids (one in an insanely heavy car seat) isn’t possible, standing results in ankle swelling, and I don’t have coworkers.

  9. Avatar Scarlet says:

    Easy ways but true. This ways really do help burn calories. Great!

  10. Avatar davedave12 says:

    for me 10,000 steps equals 100 minutes of deliberate walking, not strolling while looking at the phone— If I park a good 5 minute walk away from the office and go out and back to my car 9 times a day (more than once per hour) I will get 10,000 steps and get fired

  11. Avatar davedave12 says:

    “Striking up a conversation with a coworker down the hallway, taking an extra stroll to the copy machine, or grabbing a cup of coffee from the break room can all contribute to improved health outcomes.” I am copying this for an article I am writing — How to Get Fired. Grabbing a cup of coffee with cream and sugar everyday is a great way to gain 4 pounds a year

  12. Avatar salsasis14 says:

    I try to take the stairs, but my office is on the 6th floor and the stairwell isn’t really air conditioned. I show up dripping and gasping. I try going slower, but it just doesn’t work.

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