8 Creative Ways to Lose Weight in the Cubicle

Picture of Staying Healthy at Work


What’s worse for our bodies than sitting eight hours in a cubicle?

You thought the Freshman-Fifteen was bad.


The Cubicle-Cincuenta is a fat-filled force.

While our ancestors worked in fields and factories, bodies pulsing with muscles, we work the computer, our bodies pulsing with flab as we sit perched like a Roman gargoyle.

I learned the hard way, as demonstrated in my video Twentysomething Problems: As Shown By Eggs — “When you spend your life in a cubicle your body begins to ache from it’s vigorous lack of movement.”

When a walk to the office vending machine for Pop-Tarts is the most exertion our legs see for the day — the strawberry filling our fruit intake, well, we have a problem.

A large, busting, problem.

How do we save our bodies?


Creative Commons – Nicola Albertini

Expert Opinions

“People are starting to look like Larry King,” explained Diana Antholis creator of Unleash Your Sexy. “Our heads are forward, shoulders slumped and rounded, hips and stomach pushed forward. That’s hardly attractive.”

As Robin Long, Pilates trainer and creator of the The Balanced Life explained to me, “a recent study from the University of North Carolina said that ‘People gain 16 pounds, on average, within 8 months of starting sedentary office work.’ It’s time we get creative. It’s time our butts stop resembling the cubicles in which we sit.”

Here’s eight creative ideas how we curb those cubicle calories.

8 Creative Ways to Lose Weight in the Cubicle

8. Email!!! Push-Up! Party 🙂

Sick of reading through emails brimming with excitement? Turn it into a game that will save your body, mind and soul. For every exclamation point!!!!, emoticon ; ( and LOL you read, tally one push-up.

Want to Pump-it-Up a Notch? Multiply the total pushups you tally by how many people are cc’d on “said” email. Holy healthy! You’re bound to do 100 push-ups by lunch.

7. Running-in-Place Birthday Cake

There’s no escaping the awkward office birthday party. Feel ostracized for turning down cubicle cake? No more! Except the piece gladly, take a bite, and then start running in place. Finish running when you’ve finished the slice.

No more feeling like the weirdo at the office birthday party. (Remember the higher your knees the better).

6. The Facebook 40

Before every time you check Facebook at the office, do forty jumping jacks. Bonus. You might think twice before amusing yourself to death on Facebook.

Curb the calories. Increase your productivity. I believe in miracles. Do you?

5. Butt-Clinch Pick-Up-Sticks

Dropped a pen on the ground? Awesome. Slap that hand out of the way, there’s a new sheriff in town. It’s time for Butt-Clinch Pick-Up-Sticks. Slide out of your chair and let the clinching-calorie-burning begin.

Sure sharing pens within the office might drop dramatically. But so will the waistlines. Boom!

Want to Pump-It-Up a Notch? Three co-workers. 100 pens. One minute. Whomever picks up the most gets to leave thirty minutes early.

Office-Comradery up. Cubicle-Butt down. Boom-Shaka-Booty!

4. Cubicle-Climb

Ever thought it weird that your walls extend only seven feet? Your wall’s loss is now your body’s gain. Instead of walking in your cubicle, go over your cubicle. At least twice a day.

Extra points for a running start.

3. Tie-the-Tie Face-off 

Ten co-workers. Thirty ties. Two minutes. One conference room. Hundreds of co-workers jumping and cheering with excitement like a Brazilian soccer game. Whomever ties the most ties, gets a plaque hung on the outside of their cubicle wall. Double-points for a Double-Windsor.

Office morale up. Turkey-Triceps down.

2. Hide-and-Seek That Report

Presenting the end of the year report to a room full of suits? Perfect.

Ten minutes before,  print out the report,  hand it to your Office BFF, and whisper these two simple words. “Hide it.”

Close your eyes. Begin to count to a 100. Spin in circles.

Can you feel the adrenaline building? Can you sense your muscles pulsing with memories of what it was like to be alive?!

…99…100! Ready or Not…Let “Hide-and-Seek That Report” begin!

With the frenzied search that follows, your job possibly on the line, say goodbye to 300-400 calories at least, as well as any anxiety about the presentation. You’ve now got much bigger problems. I love win-wins.

1. King of the Cubicle

Not for amateurs. And best begun at 4:45.

Send out the mass invite. As the 5-10 co-workers trickle into your cubicle, greet each one with a quiet bow of respect like a sensei to his pupil. Then right at 4:50, ring a bell. (Preferably a large cow-bell. Preferably rung by a bystander as you need both hands free). And yell, let King of the Cubicle begin!

The last person remaining in the cubicle is the official victor (given one free sick-day). But every co-worker courageous enough to join in King of the Cubicle, well, each of them is a winner.

There you have it. Eight creative ways to lose weight in the cubicle. What’s your favorite? Have any other ideas?

Disclaimer: All Groan Up is not to be held responsible for any injuries, damage to property, or split pants due to the ideas above. Please consult with your doctor and HR before attempting any of the exercise techniques.


  1. Morgan

    Awesome ideas! I don’t work in a cubicle, I luckily work at home where I can more freely do these things without getting crazy looks. LOL I would love to see someone in an office setting do these things.

    I’m serious, though, I’d love to see more people do this and to see companies actually encouraging this.

    Great ideas!

    • admin

      Thanks Morgan. I’m talking to HR about these as we speak. Butt-Clinch Pick Up Sticks is their fav…

  2. Allison

    I can’t stop laughing. I expect to see some of these in action in the office, soon.

    • admin

      Thanks Allison. I’m all for giving office wide demonstrations on some of these strategies.

  3. Cabrina

    I am going to put some of these in action today! Thanks for the fun and healthy tips!

    • admin

      Awesome! Thanks Cabrina. Health and hilarity, here we come.

  4. Alissa

    Okay, these had me LOL-ing a bit (one push up, people! Oops, make that two because I used an exclamation mark). How about 40 jumping jacks for each blog I check in on? My boss has suggested office Olympics that include office chair luge in the hallways.

    In seriousness, though, I’ve found if I sit on an exercise ball by the end of the day I can feel it in my core. Also, chasing it around when I stand up and it rolls away has to be burning something.

    • admin

      Just completed my two push-ups. Thanks Alissa for setting the bar. Great tip with the exercise ball. Even better, how about an office wide, dodge-the-exercise-ball?

      • Kerry

        Dodge the exercise ball? How about the “exercise ball game” from ghosts of RA past…… you have talent there that is yearning to be released on the world yet again. I say He/She who can remain on the ball longest wins…..

  5. Sandra

    Oh, “the exercise ball game”…memories!!!!! (That’s 5 folks)


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