Finding time to exercise daily can be difficult since you spend about 9.5 hours working and commuting, have responsibilities at home, and try to sleep at least 7 hours nightly.
But many of us sit too much.
A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes and we lose muscle and bone strength. Exercising at work may seem strange. How will your co-workers react to you doing jumping jacks at your desk? We understand your concerns and have compiled a list of simple office exercises that are effective without being disruptive.
Jumpstart Office Exercises with Stretching
Stretching improves flexibility and is one of the easiest office exercises. Increasing flexibility decreases the risk of injuries when exercising at work and even completing basic activities. It improves range of motion, allowing you to reach without straining your legs or back. And as you stretch, you’re working muscles and tendons to help coordination and balance.
Complete these stretches while seated. To avoid injury while exercising at work, stretch slowly and smoothly. Make sure your chair is stable. Don’t proceed if any of these exercises cause pain and always remember to breathe:
- Head Tilts Sitting straight, tilt your right ear down toward your right shoulder. Hold for several seconds. Repeat on your left side, elongating and relaxing your neck.
- Reach Ups Interweave your fingers and press your palms upward, reaching as high as you can, releasing tension in your arms, sides and back.
- Hanging Head Push your chin down toward your chest, then shake your head slowly side-to-side, stretching the sides of your neck.
- Shoulders Up Raise both shoulders up, hold, then release. After several repeats, you’ll feel your shoulder and side muscles loosen.
- Reach Backs Put your hands behind your back, try to touch your palms together, sitting up tall. Hold this stretch for a few seconds, loosening your chest and back muscles.
- Knee Holds Bend your right knee, grab it and pull toward your chest to stretch your upper leg and lower back muscles. Repeat on your left side.
- Over the Head Reach your right arm over your head, stretching and bending to the left as your side muscles extend. Repeat with your left arm.
- Knee Cross Put your right ankle on your left knee and press gently until you feel resistance in your upper leg and bottom. Reverse with the left ankle on the right knee.
Add Moderate Aerobic Exercises
Moderate aerobic exercise boosts your heart rate, releasing endorphins to improve your mood and offset stress. Completing these simple workouts while exercising at work can break up your routine and keep you going:
- Standing walk/run Stand up and walk, jog or run in place for 30 to 45 seconds. Complete three to five repetitions, raising your arms above your head to increase intensity.
- Sit squats Stand up from your chair, then sit back down. Try for 10 repetitions.
- Seated Toe Touches Sitting straight, raise your right arm up. Straighten your left leg and bring your right arm down to touch your foot. Repeat 8 to 10 times on each side.
- Calf extensions While standing, raise your heels up until you’re on your toes. Lower your heels back to the floor. Try for three sets of 10 extensions.
- Standing push-ups If you have access to a solid wall, do three reps of 10 push-ups. Use the side of your desk or the floor if you have enough space.
- Lunges Extend one leg back using your toes to support it, while slowly bending the knee of the other leg into a 90-degree angle. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
- Arm dips Facing forward, reach back and place your palms shoulder-width apart on the top of the desk or chair seat. Extend your legs at an angle in front of you, heels on the floor to support your weight. Bend your arms into an L-shape, lowering your bottom toward the floor. Push back up to straighten arms. Repeat to 10 reps.
- Shoulder extensions Hold a ream of paper and lift it from shoulder height to above your head. Complete 10 lifts, three times.
Health Experts in Oklahoma
Talk with us at WeightWise about exercising at work. We can help choose simple exercises to get you moving at least once every hour, transforming your health and your life.