Exercises You Can Do At Work

The other day I was calculating how many hours I have sat at my desk in my oversized office chair over the past three years. My calculations worked out to be somewhere around 5700 hours that I have sat here in front of the computer working. That is a lot of time to spend mostly sitting. Other than the time I have spent sleeping, there are few things that could top that. This got me thinking about how I could include some exercise into these many hours spent behind a desk. I mean, if I had been doing little exercises for those 5700 hours over the last three years who knows how many thousands of calories I could have burned off.

Adding a little physical activity to your work hours when you have a stationary job like mine is very easy to do. There are a number of simple exercises you can do at work that will give your muscles a workout and help you burn some extra calories during the day. What you have to do is to find ways to incorporate exercise into your work day. You may find more ways to fit in mini-workouts than you think.

Sitting on a fitness ball, like the one shown here, at your desk for an hour or two each day strengthens your core muscles and is an easy exercise you can do at work.

Sitting on a fitness ball, like the one shown here, at your desk for an hour or two each day strengthens your core muscles and is an easy exercise you can do at work.

Walking is always great exercise, and there are quite a few ways that you can get extra steps into your work day. If you drive, park a few blocks from the office and walk, remembering to leave a little earlier from home in the morning, of course. If you take the bus, get off a few stops early. Also, take a walk on your lunch break if you can. Find co-workers to walk with you. Also, if you work in an office building with more than one floor, skip the elevator unless you are late. Walking up and even down the stairs are a great exercises you can do at work.

If you have a desk then you have some privacy to get in some great muscle workouts while you are typing away or even talking on the phone with clients. Bring ankle weights with you to work and have them on at your desk. If you have the space, you can do leg lifts, bending at the knee, with the added weight. Do a few sets of 20 each day. You can also lift your knee up in a controlled motion to touch the bottom of your desk if you can not extend your leg out straight. (I have been doing this last exercise for the past five minutes and both my butt muscles are starting to burn. That’s pretty cool!)

One of the best exercises you can do at work is something you do all day. Getting up from a chair and sitting back down is something you do without thinking about it, but it can be a great workout. You want to sit in your chair, raise yourself up to a half-standing position without the aid of your hands. Hold the position for a few seconds and then lower yourself slowly back down. You can also do this against a wall if you wish. As you go along, add more time to your stationary hold. You might be pleasantly surprised how hard and effective this type of exercise can be.

A great way to exercise your core muscles (stomach, sides and back) is to sit at your desk on a fitness ball. Fitness balls are those large, burst-resistance plastic balls that you see in gyms and on infomercials late at night. For an hour in the morning and then an hour in the afternoon, push your office chair to the side and sit on a fitness ball instead. Although this is not a difficult exercise, you will feel your core muscles constantly adjusting for balance. Sitting on a fitness ball is also pretty fun. I can’t help bouncing up and down a little and this helps work the thighs too.

Finally, use the company gym or gym membership if you can. If your company does not offer this, take matters into your own hands. Volunteer to do things that will take you out of the office or require things to be moved. You may also suggest the usefulness of your company having a gym or even a membership to one nearby. You never know, your idea may be a huge hit. Just have a list of reasons why it would be a good idea with you when you bring it up. You can also think of other ways to include your co-workers in exercises you can do at work. For example, start a lunch hour walking group or organize a pilates instructor to come to your work once a week for a session over lunchtime.


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