While a hard work ethic is a good thing, there’s no reason being cooped up in an office all day has to prevent you from taking proper care of your body. Here are ten great exercises you can do in the office – no sweat, no equipment – but maybe a few weird looks from your colleagues.
Lunges: Need to walk a memo over to someone’s office? Don’t walk there – lunge there! Make sure to take the longest step you can so your knee doesn’t come over your toes.
Wall Sits: You love to sit down, clearly. Why else would you be sitting 10 hours a day? Move that chair out from underneath and make sitting down a challenge! Go for a minute first and then try to better that!
Chair Squats: A great way to get in a few chair squats is instead of just sitting down in your chair, sit down, stand up, THEN sit down. Boom. Next time, stand up, sit down, stand up, sit down. Getting it?
Chair Dips: Move your butt off of the chair and slide your legs forward, while keeping your hands on the chair behind you. Bend your elbows 90 degrees and lower your body and then lift yourself up. Feel those triceps burning? You will when you do as many as you can in 30 seconds! Avoid chairs with wheels.
Arm Circles: Stand up and stick your arms straight out to form a big ‘t.’ Rotate your arms forward in small, concentric circles `50x and then backwards 50x. This will really get to those shoulder muscles!
Walk & Talk: Take phone calls standing up or if you have a blue tooth headset, pace back and forth. Short meeting? Instead of booking the conference room, go for a walk instead, even if its just a lap or two around the office.
Take the Stairs: Resist the urge of the glowing button and take the stairs. Nothing’s on fire but if you walk up enough, your leg muscles certainly will be!
Heel/Toe Rolls: Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Starting on the balls of your feet, gently rock back onto your heels, engaging your core and sense proprioception for balance. Then shift your weight onto your toes, standing up as tall as possible.
Push-Ups: Drop down and give me 20! Or as many as you can. While you’re down there, enjoy a few moments in Child’s Pose and/or Downward Dog.
Ergonomic Exercises: Dont become a chair. Sitting for hours can lead to a host of postural issues that can impact your health and wellbeing in many ways. Your spine may already have an uncanny resemblance to your leather executive. Furthermore, repetitive motion injuries can develop from using the mouse and keyboard and eye sight can be diminished from staring at the back lit computer screen. Take frequent mobility breaks to move your extremities and every few minutes take your eyes away from the computer to focus on an object 20 feet away for a minute. Here are a few good mobility exercises.
While these exercises all vary in nature, they all share one characteristic: getting out of your chair. Work in the 21 Century is predominantly seated. As a result of a prolonged seated experience, workers do their spines and circulatory systems a disservice by twisting and turning their bodies in to odd positions to find the most comfortable posture. Sitting has even been linked to shorter life span!
Do yourself a favor: take a five minute break from work every 45 minutes and walk around, do some pushups or just stand up and shake out your legs.
This infographic will have you jumping out of your seat. That spreadsheet can wait.