It’s easy to stay in bed and watch Netflix, eat your favorite midnight snack, or sit in your 9-5 office desk without getting the appropriate amount of exercise.

Did you know that less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity every day? More than 80 percent of adults fail to meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Staying physically active can reduce your chances of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. It can also give you more energy, help you handle stress, and activate your mind for productive tasks – all important skills to succeed in your professional career.

In spirit of November 17 National Take A Hike Day, learn 3 ways you can stay active at work and the numerous health benefits you can gain.  


  1. Implement a Workout Session Try to implement a workout session in your organization, such as a free cycling session every month or a discount to a yoga class. It’s even better if you can make this physical activity a communal effort to motivate everyone to take part in strengthening their health. Physical activity such as running, hiking, and biking, all trigger an important chemical in our brain called dopamine. Dopamine is what gives us the natural high after going on a jog or working out at a nearby gym. Workout sessions will release these happy chemicals and create a stronger bond among coworkers and make the everyday work atmosphere fun and exciting.
  2. Move Around Every Now and Then Expert studies show how physical activity can improve your time management skills and enhance your cognitive processing to stay awake. This is because exercise increases blood flow to the brain, helping you get your juices going to tackle projects and individual work. If you’re feeling sleepy or unmotivated at work, get up and walk around the office for a couple of minutes. Try to walk to the nearby coffee shop or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Stretching your body can also help you feel more focused and ready to work.
  3. Customize a Personal Workout Plan If you’re a morning person, motivate yourself to take a jog before work. Working out early in the morning jump starts your metabolism, regulates your body, and avoids the afternoon slump, or nap time. If you’re a night owl, utilize the treadmill or do yoga at least 2 hours before you sleep to avoid post-workout alertness before going to sleep. It’s important to know your strengths and weaknesses to customize the most ideal workout plan. If it’s difficult to do this, try to have a workout buddy motivate you to continue hitting the gym after work or running on the weekends. A personal trainer can also be a great motivator through your fitness journey.

Don’t let laziness get the best of your health and well-being. Stay active at work by implementing these three practical steps to help you achieve personal and professional accomplishments.

Sharon Schweitzer and Sunny Kim co-wrote this post. Sharon Schweitzer, J.D., is an award-winning entrepreneur, cross-cultural trainer, and the founder of Access to Culture. In addition to her accreditation in intercultural management from the HOFSTEDE Centre, she serves as a Chinese Ceremonial Dining Etiquette Specialist in the documentary series Confucius was a Foodie, on Nat Geo People. She is regularly quoted by BBC Capital, Investor’s Business Daily, and Fortune. Her Amazon #1 Best Selling book in International Business,  Access to Asia: Your Multicultural Business Guide, (3rd printing), was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2015. She’s a winner of the British Airways International Trade Award at the 2016 Greater Austin Business Awards.

Sunny Kim is a Fall 2017 Cross-Cultural Communication intern with Access to Culture. She is currently a junior journalism student at the University of Texas at Austin with a minor in Korean language and certificate in business. She is also the founder and president of UT Asian American Journalists Association. Her main focus is storytelling people’s diverse experiences relating to race and culture. Connect with her on Linkedin