We all know that sitting at a desk all day doesn’t count as exercise, and can have a negative effect on our health in the long term. We know we need to have a chair that gives us good support, such as an ergonomic design, and that we need to work out regularly in our free time. However, we can do ourselves an even bigger favour by incorporating stretches and ‘mini-workouts’ into our day on a regular basis.
Bum squeezes are perfect for those times when you feel like a workout, but also feel unable to leave your desk. Your boss and co-workers won’t even know you are doing them. Alternatively, take it in turns to slightly raise one side of your bottom off the chair and hold the position for a few seconds.
Leg lifts can be done at the water cooler, behind your chair or in the copy room. Simply bend one leg back at the knee and lift. Or, whilst remaining in your seat, extend one leg at a time under the desk until it is straight out in front of you, hold for ten seconds and then repeat with the other leg. This is great for muscle tone in the thighs and abdomen, and the more you practice the more reps you will be able to complete.
For back muscles, anything that stretches them gently and gets them moving around regularly is great. Chair twists, shoulder rolls and squeezing the shoulder blades towards each other all help maintain a supple upper back. Alternately arching then rounding your back is good for the lumbar region, as is raising your arms above your head and reaching for the sky.
Of course, we all know we should take the stairs instead of the lift, but how often do we really do it? And what if we ran instead of walked up? And took the stairs two at a time? Even sixty seconds of cardio-vascular exercise is enough to alter our heart rates and do us some good.
All the above exercises can be performed in almost total secrecy. However, the best way to get a workout at work is to get everyone involved. Most companies these days are well aware of the costs of employees falling ill due to lack of proper exercise, and are prepared to allow short breaks of around five minutes in the hour to get people moving and away from the screen.
Why not introduce a five minute callisthenics routine to the ten o’clock break, a set of lunges to the next, star jumps later and so on? If everyone in the office is involved it removes any embarrassment you may feel about performing these exercises at work, and everyone will begin to notice they feel fitter very soon. It will also significantly reduce everyone’s risk of heart disease in later life, so get moving!
Post provided on behalf of www.chairoffice.co.uk, a leading UK office chair specialist.