5 Simple Exercises You Can Do at Work
Posted November 4, 2019
Guest Blog by Julia Muskevich
Forget about all the time you spend commuting, taking care of the kids, and running errands—working 40 hours alone makes it seem impossible to find time for a workout.
Exercise offers numerous benefits in our everyday lives, including at work. Research shows that people who work out during the workday are more productive, focused, and are better equipped to handle life’s stresses.
Being active has shown to have many health benefits, both physically and mentally. Some of its remarkable upsides include:
- Decreased feelings of stress and anxiety
- Reduced risk of chronic disease
- Improved memory and thinking skills
- Reduced appearance of aging
As an added bonus, exercise has the ability to improve your dental health. Doctors like Dr. Steinbach emphasize the well-being of your entire body and how each attribute is benefited by an active lifestyle.
You can try waking up at the crack of dawn to squeeze in a workout before work, but we all know that’s much easier said than done. The trick is knowing which exercises you can do at work without needing equipment.
Try these simple moves to get your heart pumping, feel re-energized, and get your rear out of that chair.
#1. Chair Dips
Before you start, make sure you don’t have an office chair that’ll roll away from you. You don’t want to start your workday with an embarrassing mishap.
Begin by scooting to the front of the chair so your rear is positioned on the very edge. Without bending your knees, place your legs out in front of you. Set your hands on each side of the chair along your hips, and grab the edges of the chair.
Targeting your core, use your arms to lift your body up off the chair. Then, bend your elbows to slowly sink towards the floor with your rear just above the ground. Straighten your arms to lift back up, and repeat this five times.
If you want to challenge yourself, try increasing your reps by five after each set.
#2. Swivel Chair Twists
If you have an office chair that spins around, here’s another exercise you can try.
Sit up straight in your chair and lift your feet just above the floor, allowing them to hang off the chair. Hold onto the edge of your desk with the tips of your fingers. Then, use your core to spin the chair from left to right.
Don’t let your hands or arms do all the work. You should be targeting your core obliques to turn the chair to each side. Go back and forth 15 times.
#3. Wall Sits
Next time you’re waiting for a snail-paced fax or taking a business call, try doing wall sits.
Stand against a wall and slide your back down until your hips are parallel to your knees. Your knees should be together and bent at a 90- degree angle. Sit and hold this position for 30 seconds and then come back up.
Try adding increments of five seconds each day to build your endurance and resistance.
#4. Chair Squats
Unlike wall sits, chair squats can be done right at your desk.
Stand up from your chair and bend your knees to lower yourself until you’re about to sit down. Hold this position for 10 seconds before standing up again.
Remember, you’re not using your chair or desk for support. You should feel all of your weight on your heels in order to activate your glutes.
#5. Desk Push-Ups
For this exercise, make sure your desk is durable enough to support your weight before starting.
Take a few steps back and place your hands flat on your desk. Your hands should be positioned a few inches wider than your shoulder-width. Bend your elbows and lower yourself down towards your desk, keeping your core tight.
Then, slowly push yourself back up until your arms are straight, but make sure not to lock them. Start out with 10 reps. Once you feel confident, try adding in more sets to challenge yourself.
Stretch It Out
Pairing those exercises with a few quick stretches can be a powerful tool to heighten your mental performance and motivation at work.
Here are three ways to stretch out your muscles while sitting at your desk:
- Neck Rolls are a great way to release tension from too much thinking. Lean your head forward so your chin almost touches your chest. Next, slowly roll your head to the right and around in a circle. Continue for 10 seconds, then repeat on the other side.
- Chest Stretch helps you perk up after leaning over your computer for hours on end. Sit up straight and clasp your hands behind your lower back. Push your chest outward, hold for three deep breaths, and then relax.
- Shoulder Rolls can ease the pressure you feel from carrying so much weight. Raise both of your shoulders up towards your ears. Slowly roll them backward and around in a circle. Repeat, by rolling them forward. Do this three times in each direction.
Doing these subtle, yet effective moves will outweigh the repercussions of sitting all day. It’s time to take better care of your well-being on the job.