10 ways to ditch the desk and walk the walk

Dark mornings and evenings and cold or wet lunchtimes, it can be a struggle to motivate yourself to take a break from work and head out for a walk.

Winter walking
Workplace walking

Work your way through our list of top 10 ways to stop sitting so much and you’ll be walking once a day in no time.


1. Break Zoom fatigue with a walking phonecall

If you’ve been working from home for a while you’ll know that Zoom fatigue is real. Focussing on a screen for long periods is tiring and can get tedious. Ask yourself if your next meeting really needs to be a video call or could you switch to an old-school voice call and walk while you talk? You’ll be amazed how far you can walk when you’re chatting as you go.

2. Drink more water

Seems like a silly one. But the more you drink, the more times you’ll be standing up and moving around to get refills or for trips to the bathroom. Not to mention the benefits of staying hydrated to keep you feeling energised during the working day.

3. Find new walking routes

The same old lunchtime walk can get boring. There’s a good chance there are hidden paths in your area that you’ve not discovered yet. Make a point to find them! Our blog on the best apps to use to find walking routes might help.

4. Walk your commute

Lots of us have lost opportunities to walk since working from home when our commute became 20 steps from the bedroom to the kitchen. A short walk (round the block will do) before you start work could make a real difference to your energy levels for the rest of the day. You could do the same in the evenings too – a quick walk after you’ve logged off can help to mark the end of the working day and the start of non-work time.

5. Walk with a friend

With all the restrictions in place, it’s refreshing to know that a walk outdoors with a friend is a safe and permitted way to meet up. Friends, neighbours, or someone you know that lives alone, would be delighted with an offer of a lunchtime walk together.

6. Set daily step targets

For some of us, the satisfaction of achieving a step target is the motivation needed to walk every day. If you haven’t recorded your steps before you might be surprised at how little you do during the working day. Start with a modest daily target and increase it slightly each week.

7. Make a standing desk

We’ve got quite crafty with adapting to the situation we find ourselves in this year. Use these skills to build yourself a makeshift standing desk! Ironing boards, board games, books… anything that allows you to see your screen safely whilst standing allowing you to have a stretch and break up your sitting time is a winner.

8. Find some nature

We’re lucky living in Scotland that nature can be found all around us. City parks, village greens, local beaches or lochs – extend your daily walk a couple of times a week to take in what nature your local area has to offer. Research tells us that spending time in nature is hugely beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing – is there a better way to enjoy nature than taking a gentle walk in it?

9. Listen to podcasts

As if a walk in the fresh air wasn’t refreshing enough, use your time walking as a way to escape some more by listening to podcasts. Our Walking for Health Manager Frances put together a list of her faves to get you started.

10. Be a walking champion

Your workplace needs you! Sometimes by being vocal about your commitments, you’re more likely to see them through. Be the walking champion in your workplace and encourage your colleagues to walk once a day this winter. You’ll have to lead by example and in turn you’ll motivate your workmates to ditch the desk, walk the walk, and feel so much better for it.