Do you sit at a desk most of the day? Do workdays seem to pass by without much activity of any kind? No, clicking the mouse doesn’t count. If you’re like most people who work in a company office (or home office), you may get so consumed by your work that you hardly move all day. You know that moving throughout the day is essential to good health, but you simply can’t find the time to fit some movement into your busy day. (Check out Pedometers and Activity Trackers on Amazon). Could using apps to help you move more at work be the key to staying healthy?
It seems that sitting for hours on end at work has become the standard these days. In our sedentary work settings, employees are often chained to their desks to do computer work or take calls from clients and customers. Whether you’re working for an employer or working from home, being sedentary is a prescription for poor health.
Inactivity for long stretches of time has been linked to many chronic health conditions. These include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and other chronic illnesses. All of this sitting takes a toll on your physical health. And being sedentary at work can negatively impact your productivity and overall mood, too.
If your norm is sitting at a desk all day and you’ve been struggling to get active at work, you might need to lean on technology to help you move more. I’ve put together a list of apps to help you move more at work. Using an activity and break reminder app is an easy, no-brainer way to sprinkle in more movement throughout your workday to stay healthier for the long haul.
Check out them out below and and select the one that makes sense for you.
Activity and Break Reminder Apps for Digital Devices
Install these apps on your devices to remind you to move more at work.
Break Time (iOS, Android)
Do you tend to sit for long periods of time without breaks? Then a simple app like Break Time might be the nudge you need to get up and move. It allows you to set alerts at desired intervals to remind you to take a break from sitting. You can customize your break times and lengths, and easily swipe to reschedule breaks and disable reminders.
Move – Daily Activity to Stay Healthy (iOS)
Cost: Free | Get it here: MOVE
The Move app is a great way to stay reminded to stand up and move. But it also has hundreds of random workouts for you to choose from. This app gives you options to choose the interval of breaks and the length.
Modify your work area to create a stand-friendly workspace. Stand-up desks (or standing desks) offer many benefits for your health and ergonomics. Break the cycle of sitting at a desk and stand up for your health! Here are our favorite tools to create a standing workspace:
Stand Up! The Work Break Timer (iOS)
Cost: Free | Get it here: Stand Up!
This app can be completely customized to your work schedule. You can use it to remind yourself to move at intervals from 5 minutes to 2 hours. It also includes a countdown timer until your next break.
Cost: $.99 | Get it here: StandApp
StandApp includes an alarm reminder to stand and step away from the desk. Along with reminders, it includes simple exercises that can be done right there at your desk during your standing break.
Randomly RemindMe (Android)
Cost: Free | Get it here: Randomly RemindMe
Do you have trouble remembering to do certain things during the day? Maybe you’d like to drink more water, go for walks, or something else. If you’re trying to make a habit or eliminate one, this app helps with just that. You can set several custom reminders to help you along your path to better habits.
Stretching Exercises – Flexibility Training (Android)
Cost: Free | Get it here: Stretching Exercises – Flexibility Training
This app helps you to incorporate stretching as a part of your daily life to reduce muscle stiffness, release pain, improve flexibility and relieve stress.
If you sit at a desk most of the day, you may experience neck, back, and shoulder pain. These exercises can help. Each one is about 3 to 4 minutes.
Activity and Break Reminder Apps For Your Desktop
Install these apps on your computer to help you move more and stay healthy at work.
Awareness (Mac, Windows)
Awareness tracks amount of activity on your computer and helps you to be conscious of how long you’ve been working on the computer. You set a timer, and once that time is up, your hear a tone telling you it’s time to step away. The app links to the company’s website which offers ideas on break-time activities.
Healthier: Break Reminder (Mac)
Cost: Free | Get it here: Healthier: Break Reminder
Healthier sends periodic reminders to take a break from your computer. The app also provides suggested HealthierTips, which are suitable for the office setting. Exercises focus on eyes and body exercises that can be done during breaks.
Time Out (Mac)
Cost: Free | Get it here: Time Out
Time Out has the option of two break types: normal and micro. You can choose one or both. You can choose and configure the length of your break and how often they occur. You’ll know you’re in a “Time Out” when your screen dims and you see graphics appear. When your Time Out is over, your screen will revert to normal.
Big Stretch Reminder (Windows)
Cost: Free | Get it here: Big Stretch Reminder
Just need a straightforward reminder? Big Stretch is a simple reminder tool that nudges you to take a break from sitting.
Cost: Free | Get it here: EyeLeo
This app sends you reminders to rest your eyes. It dims your screen and leads you through eye exercises. It also disables the monitor for your chosen length of time to lengthen your eye breaks.
Cost: Free | Get it here: Workrave
Mini breaks throughout the day are key. And Workrave is a program that reminds you to do this. It can limit your computer usage at work or at home. You can customize settings for the frequency and length of your breaks. It also offers examples of exercises that you can do during your breaks.
PC Work Break (Windows)
Cost: $39.99 | Get it here: PC Work Break
PC Work Break is another break reminder program. It includes stretches, eye breaks, and various exercises. It is customizable and can be used to set up a break schedule that works for you.
Workout Apps to Stay Active at the Office
7 Minute Workout (iOS)
Cost: Free | Get it here: iOS
You don’t need a lot of time to get in a good workout during the day at work. Just seven minutes of high intensity exercise can get your heart pumping and boost your mood. Seven Minute Workout is a free app that provides short daily routines that you can fit in anytime during the day.
Arm yourself with tools to be active throughout the day at work. Create a deskercise routine for your breaks and lunch hour. Even short workouts, spread out through the day, can help with posture, productivity, and overall health. Here are our favorite tools for office workouts:
Pocket Yoga (iOS, Android, Mac)
Cost: $2.99 | Get it here: Pocket Yoga
As the name suggests, Pocket Yoga is like having a personal yoga instructor at your fingertips. There are numerous sessions to choose from designed by experienced yoga instructors. This app is for everyone from beginner to pro. Choose from various practices, levels of difficulty, and duration that tie in with your available time during the workday. There’s also a searchable comprehensive pose dictionary with illustrations that show you how to master each pose. This app is perfect for anyone who works in an office setting. Practice yoga wherever and whenever.
Sworkit (iOS, Android)
Cost: Free or Premium | Get it here: Sworkit
Every have trouble finding the perfect workout? Instead of wasting time combing through You Tube or thousands of workout sites, get a personal trainer delivered to your digital device.
With Sworkit, you get access to a variety of different workouts and exercises with personalized options to choose your time and goals. You can even create and save custom workouts.
Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, Sworkit makes it easy to stay active at work with results-focused knowledge and an engaged community.
Endomondo (iOS, Android, Mac, Windows)
Cost: Free | Get it here: Endomondo
Ever feel like you simply need accountability and motivation to meet your fitness goals? Endomondo provides that, and much more. This app helps motivate users by delivering workouts, giving audio feedback and providing guidance on how to reach fitness goals.
With the philosophy that “fitness should be fun,” this app helps to make it just that. Users can connect with friends, or coworkers, and others through the app’s community of health-conscious users to work on fitness goals, give and get feedback, and get the motivation needed to create an active workday.
Use Apps to Become More Active During Your Workday
There you have it. Check out some of these apps to help you move more at work. Enlisting the help of technology might be one way to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle. Let tech be your office buddy in helping you to stay active and healthy while you’re working.
The descriptions come from my personal review of each app, feedback from clients, friends, and family, and the information on each company’s website. The information and descriptions in this article were accurate at the time this article was written, but check each app individually for any updates that may have occurred since. Take a look and see which one is right for you.
Alicia Hyatte is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Family Wellness Advocate, Health Educator, and a Diabetes Prevention Lifestyle Coach. She helps parents to build healthier habits and routines to better balance home and work life. Her website, WholeFamilyLiving.com, provides motivation and simple strategies for handling everyday challenges like managing stress, being active, eating healthier, losing weight, and more. Alicia is a beach lover and gardening geek in her spare time.