The modern workplace is one of humankind’s greatest achievements and your spine’s worst enemy. If you don’t go out of your way to move yourself around, you’re setting yourself up for a host of long-term back pain issues. Nobody wants that, and we all don’t have the time to consistently go to the gym – but we all want to have a job. So, what’s the answer?
Check out this list of 5 easy-to-do office exercises you can perform at your desk, near your desk, and really anywhere in the vicinity of a desk.
1. The stairs
This one is fairly easy: take the stairs! Unless you work on the top story of a skyscraper, you have no excuse not to hike on up to your cube when the opportunity presents itself. You’re going to sit in a chair all day and sleep in a bed all night – the least you could do is move around a bit in that little time that you’re standing.
2. They call you the wanderer
You can email Jim down the hall to say, “Ok, thanks,” or you can take a walk down the hall to Jim’s office and say, “Hey, Jim down the hall. It is a pleasure and an honor to work with you. Your work is appreciated and an asset to this company.” Ideally, you can address Jim however you want – the idea is to get in a little office workout while you’re on the clock. Bonus: Jim will appreciate the compliment, and you’ll be positively networking at the office.
3. Sittin’ and a-kickin’
When you’re sitting at a desk, there’s really only so much you can do in the way of exercising. However what you can do, you ought to. This one is a bit of a cheat because it’s a bunch of them in one. Tap your feet! You have headphones on? Feel it! You have a little office radio playing T Swift 20 times a day? Give into it and chair dance! You have enough space to kick your legs out? Kick em’ out! Leg raises where you kick your legs out and hold for 5 or so seconds before lowering them back down (and repeating) are great for your thighs and back (learn about setting up desk chairs so they’re best for backs too). You can work your butt while sitting on your butt!
4. And now… sittin’ and swivelin’
So leg day was yesterday (when you were sittin’ and a-kickin’), and now you want to work that core. Well, sit down already! This one involves an oblique ab exercise where you lift your feet up off the floor, put a finger and both thumbs on your ergonomic workstation (or desk), and use your core to swivel from side to side. Feeling that burn? Now you’re doing it!
5. Wall sits
Do you ever feel like the walls of your office are closing in on you? Well, wall sits are just for you! All you have to do is stand with your back against the wall, lower yourself into a sitting position, and hold for 5 to 10 seconds before straightening back up.
So, there you have it – a handful of ways to keep active while being sedentary at the office! There are many activities and behaviors beyond this that also help promote a healthy lifestyle: taking walking breaks throughout the day, eating healthy snacks throughout the day (instead of those fried chicken tenders for lunch), and drinking plenty of water.
How do you exercise while at the office?