Organize your office to be more active

With more people working from home, it is a good time to look at your office design. When I started organizing in 2006 I learned about organizing efficient offices so you didn’t waste time away from your desk. Starting in 2014 new research was telling us to organize offices to help you be active.  Stand up, sit less and move more. Click To Tweet

Even the most well-designed office can make you feel chained to your desk.  Make sure that you can get up and take a walk occasionally, or maybe move to a secondary location where you get a little work done without sitting in the same place all day.

Organize an Active Workstation


Move more, Sit less

An active office has a standing area, sitting desk and whiteboard

Stand up Sit less Move more

An active office is defined “as a workplace design concept that proposes an integrated supportive environment, which aims at the reduction of sedentary behaviors and promotion of  physically active work processes that are characterized by regular changes between different work-related tasks, workstations, and working postures.”  Try adding to your traditional desk, elements such as active seats, standing desks, and whiteboards to help you get moving.

Products that make your office active


Use an exercise ball as your chair.  You constantly contract and release muscle tension to help your balance.  This muscle contraction helps you to be more active and less sedentary.

Invest in a sit stand desk.  They are very economical and allow you to transition from sitting to standing as you change the type of work you are doing.  It is the transition from sitting to standing and standing to sitting every 30 minutes that give you the health benefits associated with an active office design.

Make a larger investment and buy a treadmill desk.  It allows you to walk while working.

There are many more products you can use in your office.

Health benefits of an active office design

Studies are showing that it is transitioning from one position to another that is good for your health; it activates muscle contraction and circulation.

Studies suggest that transitions between sitting and standing be made every 30 minutes.

This is a link to a great article 

If you need a virtual presentation on this topic for your staff that is working from home, contact me.

Julie Stobbe, professional organizerJulie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

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  1. Janet Barclay on October 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm

    I’m not yet ready for a standing desk, but I am being more conscientious about frequently getting up and walking around throughout my workday. It’s a start!

  2. Jill Robson on November 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm

    I would love to have the space to set this up, I hate to sit too much, but when you have a lot to do on the computer, the standing work station would work well.

    • Julie Stobbe on November 17, 2015 at 7:53 am

      One Virtual Assistant built a desk that attached to the wall. it was really like a large shelf at standing height. I can use a box that I put on my desk and to hold my computer when I want to change by sitting desk into a standing desk.

  3. Seana Turner on June 8, 2020 at 8:01 am

    I think I am sort of like Janet. I don’t even usually sit at my desk, which is a bit high. I prefer to take my laptop around with me and work on different tasks in different locations. For example, I have a chair I sit in when I draft blogs, and a place I work on invoicing and communications. Having different stations keeps me moving around. I like the graphic of the active office!

    • Julie Stobbe on June 8, 2020 at 10:07 am

      I used to work that way more often before Covid. I found that writing blogs at my kitchen island was more productive than in my office. I also find that working outside helps me to work longer, because I really just want to be outside. Now I usually stay in my office to work and leave it to relax.

  4. Diane Quintana on June 8, 2020 at 8:06 am

    I am like Seana. I don’t spend much time sitting at my desk. I putter and since I have a laptop I can take it with me as I putter around my house and my garden. Having said that, this is great information for those who do spend their time at a desk.

    • Julie Stobbe on June 8, 2020 at 10:09 am

      I find I like to stand for most tasks but when I am doing something new that takes a lot of thought and concentration I do it sitting. Do you think I am reverting back to study habits from school days?

  5. Melissa Gratias on June 8, 2020 at 8:49 am

    Thank you for this post. In the spirit of “use what I already have”, I am going to wear my Apple watch more. It reminds me to stand up a move every hour. I definitely need to do that.

    • Julie Stobbe on June 8, 2020 at 10:04 am

      I completely support using what you have. We don’t need to get more stuff. Devises that track your movements are a great way to think about making a change in what you’re doing, moving to a different task or move to a different position. I use the timer on my stove because it is not in the same room as me and so if I try to ignore it eventually it bothers me too much and I have to move to turn it off.

  6. Sabrina Quairoli on June 8, 2020 at 11:21 am

    I have a treadmill desk. A client who was moving didn’t want to take it with her so as long as I would be able to take it home without her help, she was willing to give it away for free. Score! It helps a lot.

    This past weekend, my husband and I had to adjust his standing/sitting desk because it wasn’t set correctly. We may need to modify it again but for now, it is working.

    Thanks for sharing these options.

    • Julie Stobbe on June 8, 2020 at 11:59 am

      My husband has a treadmill desk. He says he drinks a lot less coffee now. He also says it took him a while to be able to walk and drink coffee at the same time. Some days he walks 10 miles. I still think it would be better to walk and then sit instead of walking the entire time. I think the cycle of walking/standing, sitting, walking/ standing is important to the body so there are less repetitive strain injuries.

  7. Linda Samuels on June 8, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    One of my clients had an exercise ball chair. When I’d see her, and she sat on another chair, I’d sit on the ball chair. It was so much fun to bounce on it, but I had to remember to keep to a “low bounce,” so I wasn’t a distraction. I loved the concept. At work, my husband has a moveable standing desk. But since we’ve been working from home, his desk is stationery. Even so, he manages to get up and move, which is excellent. I set timers so that I don’t sit at my computer for too long. When the timer goes off, I switch activities to something more physical.

    • Julie Stobbe on June 9, 2020 at 5:35 am

      An active office is not just about standing and sitting but also about changing activities too. Thanks for reminding us of that.

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