We all know that exercise is vital to our overall health, but with long commutes and even longer workdays, how are we supposed to fit exercise into our day?
While many of us think of exercise as an hour-long Pilates class or a two-mile treadmill run, exercise is simply the act of keeping your body moving. It can be done anywhere, including at your desk!
According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion nearly 50% of adults in the U.S admit to not getting the suggested amount of exercise per week (30 minutes/5 days a week of moderate physical activity or 20 minutes/3 times a week of vigorous activity).
Moreover, most of us spend about eight hours a day sitting, which can affect our health adversely even if we do exercise. People who sit for great lengths can have less desirable levels of cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, and even waist size, leading to an increased risk of heart problems, diabetes, and other health issues.
So how can we stay productive at work and still stay active? Deskercise. Yes, you read that right, deskercise! Here are a few simple exercises you can do right at your desk!
Leg PlanksSit on the edge of your chair with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Extend your right leg in front of you until it is straight and parallel with the floor. Hold this for 10 seconds, relax and repeat on your left leg. Perform the exercise 5 times on each leg. The best part? No one will even know you are exercising, AND you’ll get a little posture boost and abdominal crunch!
SquatsWe waste a lot of time during the day waiting around for documents to print, websites to load, or meetings to start. Why not fill in that empty time with squats? They work the legs and glutes and mobilize the lower back, which can get achy from sitting all day! Aim to get in three sets of ten throughout your workday.
Work your triceps in between firing off emails! While seated, place your hands on the armrest of your chair. Straighten your arms and lift your body off the chair, then hold for 10 seconds. Return to the original position and repeat five more times.
This is a great exercise you can do without any of your coworkers knowing you are getting a quick workout in. Sit towards the edge of your seat with your feet on the floor. Raise both heels off the ground while flexing your calves tightly. Ensure that your toes stay on the floor and hold for ten seconds. Repeat this three times. You can also do this standing!
Ensure that your desk is solid enough to support this exercise. Stand up and put your hands on your desk. Walk your feet back so your spine is long and abs are engaged, and do a push-up lowering yourself down to your desk. Repeat 15 times. This is great for arms, shoulders, and chest!
Take a brain break by walking away from your desk at least once an hour. You don’t need much time for this-even a minute will reset your posture and get your blood flowing. You can walk to a coworkers desk instead of messaging them, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or just get outside for a quick breath of fresh air. Make a point to get up every hour and refill your water bottle as a way to keep hydrated. Not only is it good exercise, but it will help you be more productive throughout your day.
Although sitting at a desk may be an important aspect of many jobs, keeping your core engaged and practicing these 6 desk-approved exercises can keep you from feeling tired, improve your mood and energy, as well as give you a mini workout that you can be proud of.