DIY active workplace

So you want to be more active during the work day, but you’re finding that your office hasn’t exactly embraced the news that sitting is the new smoking. Many offices are engineered to make our work lives easier; there is plenty of space to sit, meet, discuss and exchange ideas, but what about more room to move? It isn’t exactly a priority for most, but it should be!

These ideas can help you ease your colleagues into a more active lifestyle, without asking too much from the company budget.

  • DIY Change Room: We don’t have access to showers here at ParticipACTION, but we wanted a space where we could comfortably change out of our exercise clothing into business-appropriate attire. For about $50.00, we made space in our storage room and added a mirror, coat hooks and a shelf with a few beauty products like deodorant, dry shampoo, floss—even a hair straightener—to keep us looking professional.
  • DIY Daytime Workout: If you don’t have a company gym or gym membership, repurpose a meeting room with a computer or TV screen and use it for instructional exercise that uses little equipment. There are plenty of free videos on Youtube or DoYogaWithme, or you could consider a subscription toYogaglo or Ballet Beautiful. We like to book a meeting room for an hour at lunch to do whichever exercise we like! Keep in mind that having yoga mats on hand is key, but these can sourced for about $10-$15/mat. Plus, this is good low-intensity exercise that doesn’t leave us soaked in sweat for the rest of the day.
  • DIY Active Transportation: Hit the dollar store for a few umbrellas. That way, when it’s raining and someone wants to sneak out for a walking break, they don’t get soaked. Consider a company bike. It’s likely someone has a bike in their garage they aren’t using, or perhaps you could find one at a garage sale. Having a company bike available for riding to meetings nearby is a Godsend. Plus, it saves the organization money in taxi fares! Consider a bike-sharing service. If you live in an urban area with a Bike Share program, the office could purchase a membership that would allow anyone to use it when jeting off to another meeting.
  • DIY Sit/Stand Desk: Sit/Stand desks can be a very costly endeavour that your office may not be able to support. If you can’t spend the money on a sit/stand desk, and you’re feeling ambitious, try tackling the project yourself. There are some great inexpensive DIY ideas on Or, find yourself adrafting table! Artists have been using these sit/stand desks for years.
  • DIY Cultural Shift: A big barrier to making a workplace more active is simply that it’s not a priority for most people. At this point, you may need to become your office’s unofficial Active Ambassador, and start sharing some resources to educate your colleagues on the importance of regular movement. You could start by: Printing off our Sitting Infographic and posting it in communal areas. Getting your workplace on board with Sneak it in Week in the spring!

We hope these are realistic suggestions that can help get the team on board with a more active lifestyle! They work for us.