Staying active while shift working

Here are some of our top tips to help you stay active and make the most of your physical activity as a shift worker.
Published 27 June 2021

Physical activity has many benefits. It can help us lose weight, reduce our risk of chronic disease, make us feel happier and improve our quality of sleep! We understand that shift work may make it difficult to follow a regular exercise routine. Here are some ways to help you stay active and feel great doing it, inspired by some of our own WeightWatchers® shift worker members:

  • Take opportunities for movement when you can. You could take the stairs, enjoy a walk outside on your break or park the car an extra 5-10 minutes away.
  • Plan to do movement on your days off. Whether it be going to a gym, gardening or cleaning the house, see all movement as an opportunity. Embrace the outdoors, enjoy the fresh air and try to do activities you enjoy where you can. Plus, when you enjoy what you're doing; adding physical activity to your day becomes natural.
  • Set goals, even if they’re small. For example, “I could go for a 15-minute jog before breakfast each day”.
  • If your job requires you to sit for long periods of time, aim to break up sitting more regularly on your shift. You might want to set an alarm on your phone or computer to remind you to stand up more often.
  • Save time by doing at-home workouts.
  • Track your physical activity on the WW app and monitor your progress. Use tracking as a way to stay motivated on your weight-loss and wellness journey. Anything that gets you moving more will do great things for your health, mood and wellbeing

Tip from Steve

Steve is one of our WW ambassadors and has been a shift worker for seventeen years, currently working on contract with the Defence Force.

“If you have an opportunity to get out and exercise at work, take it. It's good for you physically, mentally and it also kills some time before you go home.”

Tip from Shellie

Shellie is one of our WW Coaches and was previously a flight attendant for seventeen years and a resort worker for another five years.

“When you’ve had a lack of sleep and feel run down, activity can be the last thing on your mind! I would set up my joggers and clothes and try to get a gym buddy to meet for a walk or workout.”