With most of us spending about 40 hours a week in the office, it can be difficult to find the time and motivation to hit the gym or the great outdoors for a bit of exercise. We all know the importance of regular exercise but more worryingly, recent research suggests that sitting at our desks all day can put us at risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even bowel cancer.
Below are some great tips that will help you incorporate simple exercises into your everyday routine even while you’re in the office.
1) Walk to work – If you live within walking distance of the office, leave the car at home and walk. If you get the bus or train, jump off a stop earlier than usual and walk the rest of the way. If you drive, even simple things like parking in the furthest space from the entrance can help to increase the number of steps you take every day. If you can’t do any of these, take a walk at lunchtime because the fresh air will do you the world of good.
2) Tone your arms in the bathroom – Push-ups are a brilliant way to tone your arms and the good news is that the only equipment they require is a flat surface. Doing push-ups against a wall is not only generally easier, but they can also be done from a toilet cubicle and just 10 to 15 a day can result in a noticeable difference to your arms.
3) Take the stairs – even while sitting at your desk – Sitting at a desk all day causes poor circulation, swelling of the ankles and varicose veins. Using the stairs every time you enter or leave the building is a great way to improve circulation, tone those legs and burn a few extra calories however. No stairs in your building? Simple, it might sound crazy but pretend to climb the stairs while at your desk. Stomp your feet (quietly if you don’t want to annoy everyone) like you’re marching in place while seated in your chair for 45 seconds to one minute – doing this a few times a day will provide huge benefits.
4) Reach for the ceiling – We’re all familiar with that neck pain we get between the shoulder blades after a whole day of being hunched over our keyboard. This is the body’s way of telling you that this position is not good for you. To try and counteract some of the damage being caused, reach both arms up to the ceiling and arch your back. Bring the arms down and stretch forward as this will open the upper back. Even if you’re at your desk in full view of everyone, nobody will mind if you have a good stretch.
Even though it might not seem like much, the above exercises are all great ways to improve your fitness and overall health even if you can’t get to a gym or workout class. Do you have any office exercise tips? Feel free to share your advice below.