The word exercise comes from the Latin exercere, meaning to keep busy or at work.But what the typical adult does at work is sit in a desk chair for eight hours, plus a sitting-down commute both ways and an evening spent in front of the TV. This is a recipe for ruin. Sitting all day increases our risk for obesity and puts us at risk for back pain, poor posture, leg cramps, tense muscles and sheer boredom.
Being stuck at work all day is no excuse for skipping exercise. Simple and effective exercises can be done while you work – even within an office environment.These exercises demonstrated below can assist in increasing overall productivity, decreasing stress, and promoting a sense of well being.
No one wants to do a mile run or anything else that will get their work clothes sweaty, but these simple exercises can keep your clothes neat and still get your heart rate up.
- Rubber Neck
Sit up tall and drop your right ear down towards your right shoulder (you don’t have to touch it!) and hold for a few seconds and repeat for the left side.
- Reach for the Stars
Interlace your fingers and reach up towards the sky, as high as you can … keeping your palms facing up towards the ceiling.
- Look Around
Turn your head the left and try and look over your shoulder and hold for a few seconds … repeat on the right.
- Bobble head
Drop your chin down towards your chest and GENTLY roll your head from side to side.
Raise both shoulders up towards your ears and hold for a few seconds and release. Repeat a few times for good measure.
- Chest Opener
Bring your hands behind your back, press your palms together, sit up tall and hold for 5–10 seconds.
- Seated Toy Soldier
Sit up tall and extend your right arm all the way up towards the ceiling. Straighten your left leg out and raise it up as you bring your right arm down and try to touch your left foot. Do 8–10 on each side.
- Knee Hugger
With a bent knee, lift your right leg up and grab it with your arms and pull it in as close to your chest as you can. Hold for 5–10 seconds and make sure and do it on the left side, too.
- Reach and Bend
Extend your right arm over your head and reach out as far as you can to the left and gently bend over. Hold for a few seconds and do it the other way.
- Knee Press
This one stretches out the glutes. With your right ankle on your left knee, gently press against the right knee a few times. Of course, after you’re done with the right side, be sure and give the left side some love, too.
- Legs – Squats
Stand in front of your chair and repeat sitting down and standing up 10 times three times a day.
- Dumbbell Curls
While on the phone, you can grab a dumbbell and do bicep curls for 20 repetitions three times a day. Straighten your arms by your side and bring your hand (dumbbell) to your shoulder. Keep your palms up. Do one at a time if on the phone.
- Bench Dips
Using your chair or sturdy table, place your hands on the edge of the object and bend your arms to slowly lower yourself about six inches lower than the seat. Raise yourself by straightening your arms. Repeat this three times a day for 10 repetitions.
- Assisted Push-up
In the office, lean up against your desk and push yourself away from the desk while in a leaning position. Repeat this three times a day for 10 repetitions.
- Calf raises
Stand in front of a desk or other piece of furniture you can hold on to for balance. Raise your heels of the floor and slowly lower them.
While walking, take the widest step you can and lunge forward.
- Hip flexions
While sitting in your chair, lift your right foot a few inches off of the floor. Keep your knee bent at a 90 degree angle and hold the position as long as you are comfortable.
- Walk the hallway
Walk down the hallway as fast as you can without actually running.
- Shadow box
Stand up and take a couple of jabs at the air.
- Water bottle weights
Use a full water bottle as weight to increase the difficulty of your work out. You can do front raises, overhead presses and bicep curls with a water bottle.