Think sitting is harmless? Think again. Sitting from 9 to 5 is sneakily sabotaging your health by increasing strain on your back, wrists eyes and neck, and making you unknowingly pack on the pounds. One study even found that sitting can increase your risk for cancer by more than 60%!
Luckily, spending all day at your desk doesn’t have to mean spending it sedentary. Research has shown that working out in the middle of your workday is not only beneficial to your health, it’s beneficial to your career and your employer by boosting your cognitive function and productivity (not to mention increasing your willpower when your coworker shows up with donuts).
Make the most of your workspace hours with these seven “deskercises.” Most are subtle enough to spare you strange looks from your coworkers, but effective enough to get you results.
1) Make a Run for It
We are all guilty of sitting in front of our computer screens for hours slogging away. But instead of taking a mini break on social media, go for a for a stationary jog in your cubicle. Did you know that a 150-lb. person who jogs in place for 15 minutes can burn up to 135 calories? It also boosts your energy levels in a much healthier way than that 3 PM chocolate break!
2) It Stands to Reason…Add a Squat
Are you the Director of standing around? Shake things up add a squat to the mix! Start standing with feet together (and the desk chair pushed out of the way). Bend the knees slightly so the thighs are almost parallel to the ground, as if sitting in a chair. As you bend, raise the arms straight up or towards the computer screen. Keep the knees together and aligned. Hold for 15 seconds and release. Find eleven minutes during your day for squats and you can burn up to 150 calories!
3) Cubicle Curls
Water is not just for staying hydrated! Seated or standing, take a water bottle in one hand with the palm facing upwards. Starting at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest, just like a regular dumbbell biceps curl. Pause momentarily and then lower the stapler back down. Continue for 12-15 reps, then switch.
4) Desk Drills
Looking to push yourself even more? Drop and do 20 at your desk! Standing a yard away from your desk with your feet together, place your palms on the edge of your desk and lower your chest to the edge of the desk then push back up. Do these 20 times and remember to exhale on the way up. For a tricep task, try some desk dips. Place your butt on the edge of the desk. Keeping your feet together, bend at the elbows and slide forward off the desk and dip down a few inches; then push back up.
5) Roll with the Punches
For a cardio workout that also targets your shoulders and arm muscles, put the spreadsheets on hold and do a quick round of shadowboxing. Punch into the air for 3 straight minutes while you bend your knees and keep your core muscles secure to retain your balance. You can make it a full-body workout by lightly hopping on your toes and twisting your torso as you punch. Cross your arms over your chest and slightly tuck in your chin. Contract your abs and exhale as you raise your torso about 45 degrees. Pause, then lower, inhaling as you go. If you feel unstable, move your feet farther apart. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
6) Go Balls to the Walls
Replace your office chair with an exercise ball to help your stability and posture, while strengthening your core muscles. Sitting on a ball will also keep you moving throughout the day, instead of relaxing in a chair, and motivate you to do quick exercises while waiting on the phone. Kick it up a notch with some crunches. Sit on the ball with your feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet forward, letting your entire back rest on the ball and keeping your thighs parallel to the floor.
7) The Office Thigh Master
Take multi-tasking to a new level with this awesome thigh exercise. Take a ream of paper and while seated, place the stack in between the knees and press legs inward, engaging the inner thighs. Continue squeezing the paper ream in place for 30-60 seconds while answering your voice and emails.
What other workouts can you do at work? Tell us in the comments below!