How to Get 10k Steps a Day With a Desk Job

Walking 10k steps a day has been decided as a good goal for healthy adults. However, there are a variety of factors for most in the population that makes getting those 10k steps challenging. Some of these factors include working a desk job and living a sedentary lifestyle. If your goal is to get your steps in, but you have a desk job, there are a few things that you can do to make this more attainable. Recently I have begun working at a job that requires me at a desk for much of the day. However, by being intentional I have been able to maintain getting in at least 10k steps a day. In this post, I will be covering tips on how to get 10k steps a day with a desk job.

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How to Get 10k Steps a Day With a Desk Job

Why You Should Walk 10k Steps a Day with a Desk Job

According to the Mayo Clinic, the average American only walks 3,000- 4,000 steps daily. Getting more steps in has been shown to have many different health benefits. There is a decreased risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure, and can even improve mental health. You don’t need to walk exactly 10,000 steps/day to access the health benefits. Increasing your current baseline has a positive impact on your health, longevity, and quality of life.

Tips to Reach 10k Steps a Day with a Desk Job

1. Start Small and Gradually Build

If you are someone who walks less than 4,000 steps a day, walking 10k steps a day would be a dramatic difference. If you find yourself only walking a few thousand steps a day, it’s better to start small to make the habit stick. Instead of jumping into an intense routine that gives you that extra 6,000 steps a day, make a smaller goal for the week. This could be adding 1,000- 2,000 steps to your day. You don’t need to make a dramatic difference in your fitness level to positively impact your health. Over time, healthy habits add and are longer lasting than deciding to unsustainably increase your fitness level temporarily.

2. Park Further Away

The easiest thing you can do to add a few steps is to make life less convenient (but more heart-healthy!). If you drive to work, park further away, even if it takes a few minutes longer to get in. If you’re not running behind that day, chances are you aren’t even going to miss the 2 extra minutes it took to get to work. If you work in a building and usually take the elevator, skip it for the stairs. Even if you are just walking up an extra 2 floors/day and taking the elevator the remainder.

3. Walk on Your Lunch

If you are someone who usually stays at your desk for lunch, try to walk to a new location to eat. This can add 1,000+ steps to your day if you just take your food to the cafeteria or walk to a nearby park. If this doesn’t sound fun to you, you can also just take a 5-minute lap after your lunch around the building to build a block of activity into your day.

4. Stretch Your Legs Each Hour at Work

If you find that at work you sit down for hours on end, try to make it a goal to get up at least once every hour to stretch your leg for a minute or two. Walk to get water, walk to deliver a message rather than instant messaging, take a bathroom break, etc. This can add steps throughout the day and is a healthy break for your body.

4. Add a Walk into Your Morning or Night Routine

Adding a daily walk into your routine is one of the simplest ways to make sure you get 10k steps a day with a desk job. You can start by adding one walk, whether that’s 10 minutes or 30 minutes in the morning or evening. You can build up this time to 30- 60 minutes, or break it into two walks.

Walking just 30 minutes a day at a moderate pace can add around 4,000 steps depending on stride and pace. While waking up 30 minutes earlier to fit a walk in probably isn’t the first thing you want to do in the morning, building this healthy routine can have a great impact on your long-term health.

5. Have Your Family or Friends Join You

It’s easier to accomplish goals when others are trying to with you. If you find that you don’t like taking a walk by yourself or just can’t find the time if you have younger kids, have someone join you! You can take your kids with you, find a gym buddy, or even recruit your partner. Hold each other accountable and you may both be more successful at achieving your goals.

6. Hit the Gym

If taking a walk outside isn’t your thing or the weather isn’t the best, try the gym instead. At the gym, you can amass steps walking between the equipment and completing your reps. You can also opt for an elliptical, treadmill or stairclimber to help get your steps in. A morning at the gym with at least 10 minutes on the treadmill can easily get you 3,000+ steps in less than an hour!

7. Take up Running

If you’re shorter on time but want to get more steps in, try running! While running doesn’t always result in more steps, it can if you have a shorter stride than when you walk. You can always start out with walking and add short bursts of runs in. This can help get your steps up and help improve your heart health.

8. Get a Fitness Tracker

A fitness tracker is one of the best investments for your health! You can keep track of how many steps you’ve walked, track trends in your health, and get bits of motivation throughout your day. My Fitbit (linked here) sends me a notification everyday when I walk 10,000 steps to celebrate it. I also get hourly reminders if I haven’t hit the 250 hourly step goal at the end of every hour from 8:00 am- 6:00 pm. Apple watches (linked here) also have “rings” that you close by reaching your sit, stand, and walking goals of the day. It’s motivating to have something tracking your goals and celebrate every little accomplishment on the spot. This can help a ton with step goals.

Finding the Motivation to Walk 10k Steps a Day with a Desk Job

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Your body becomes accustomed to the activity level you’re at. If you walk 4,000 steps a day, then a day where you walk 10,000 steps isn’t going to feel normal. Likewise, if you’re someone who walks 10,000 steps a day, on days when you have only 4,000 steps you’re going to feel that you haven’t moved as much as normal. Motivation is fleeting. While it is good while it lasts and can help kick off healthy habits, you can’t rely on it. To consistently walk 10k steps a day when your motivation is gone, you’re going to need a routine.

Trick yourself into this routine by forming new habits such as parking your car further away, and creating a habit tracker for your daily walks. If you’re able to reward yourself by checking off that box each day and then seeing an overview of how well you did at the end of the month, you’re reinforcing the habit.

Thank you so much for reading! If you want to follow along on my hikes and get notified when I post new posts, be sure to follow my Instagram @maddie_deer here or like my Facebook page here.


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