Do you stand or sit all day at work? For most of us in the working world, it can be difficult to find time outside of work and commute time for exercise. That lack of daily movement greatly affects our overall health. Take advantage of the time spent at work to exercise! Unfortunately, not every workplace is equipped with treadmills and ergonomic furniture but that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative in how you exercise at work. Simple exercises can provide mental refocus and physical energy to get you through the day.
We’ve found ten ways to help you get fit while on the job:
1) The Toe Tap
With or without music, this under the desk toe tap exercise is fun. Start by tapping your toes on the floor under your desk to your favorite tune. Increase your toe tapping speed to intensify the work out. Try to toe tap through the whole song.
2) The Step Up
Before you hit the elevator button, consider the stairs. Elevate your heart rate by taking a few flights of stairs instead of the elevator. If you park in a parking structure, skip the elevator and take the stairs down or up to your office building. Before you know it, the results will be evident in your calf muscles.
3) The Walk-About
Instead of sending an email, walk down the hall and deliver the message in person. When break time rolls around, go for a walk outside or around the block. Try to avoid sitting at your desk during breaks and lunch, if at all possible, get up and move!
4) The Chair Squeeze
Some things are best kept a secret, like the silent squeeze chair exercise to tone your posterior. Remain seated and squeeze your buttocks and hold for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat until the meeting wraps up or your glutes tire. In the end, this exercise can tone and lift in all the right places.
5) The Last Stand
If your job requires sitting for long periods of time, stand up whenever you can. Rally coworkers to have standing meetings rather than sitting around the conference table. Better yet, have a walking meeting. Organize the group for a hike around the building or block and take advantage of a little fresh air and sunshine.
6) The Print Pose
When you send that hefty print job to the printer, use the time wisely to work on your balance. Start by standing on one leg and balance yourself. If you need support, hang on to a table, chair, or even the printer. Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds, then switch to the other leg. Eventually, you will be able to balance yourself without a support.
7) The Leg Lifts
The lengthy phone conference call can be a perfect time for under-the-desk leg lifts. While seated, extend your legs straight with your feet a few inches off the floor and hold for at least 10 seconds. Raise your legs higher and repeat. Increase the workout with weight using your purse around the ankles. Repeat for 10 reps.
8) The Knee Knocker
Every office has reams of copier paper for the printer. Find a sealed pack of paper and while seated, place the pack of paper between the knees and press together to hold the ream of paper in place for 30-60 seconds. This exercise works the inner thigh inconspicuously and effectively.
9) The Stapler Set
Who needs dumbbells with you have a stapler! With the stapler in your hand, start at the thigh and bend the elbow to the chest like lifting weights. If you have a lightweight stapler, use a filled water bottle, or even your purse to perform repetitions. Repeat 12-15 reps.
10) The Ab Attack
This silent deskerize can be done just about anywhere. All you need to do is take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles for 5-10 seconds. As you exhale, bring abs towards the spine. Repeat for 10 reps.
In today’s workplace environment, employees that sit or stand for long periods of time are associated with an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Use your work day as the catalyst to daily exercise. Before you know it, you will notice the difference in your clothes, appearance, and demeanor.