Exercising at work promotes productivity and returns us to our normal state of being; in motion. Insufficient movement 40+ hours/week is hazardous to our hearts, joints, guts, brain. Every bit of us suffers from sedentary lifestyle, including mind and spirit. How many of us rise out of bed for a fun-filled day of sitting? We’re so used to it that it feels normal. Even if you diligently hit the gym before or after work you can suffer health issues, including fatigue and poor concentration, related to hours of immobility. Follow these tips for staying active at your desk job.

Be Willing To Look Weird

Start doing office workouts! Because a standing desk alone isn’t going to save you. Sitting or standing for prolonged periods bring on the bad. Unless you want headaches, varicose veins, stiffness/arthritis, swelling, and higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, even cancer, take a stand against hours of sitting or standing. Your body is meant to move! Movement is vital for blood circulation, oxygen flow, and relaxed joints. Don’t worry about putting work on hold; simple mini exercises throughout the day increase focus and motivation, enhancing job performance not limiting it.

Avoid Sitting or Standing Too Long

While the debate continues whether or not standing desks are better for your health, just listen to your body’s cues for a good balance that’s right for you. Ideally, have a desk you can use while standing or sitting. Our bodies naturally need time for both. According to recent studies, standing will only help you burn off a carrot so don’t waste the day wincing in pain. Sit when your body wants to! Start tuning into your body and you’ll instinctively know when it needs to sit, stand, walk, or stretch throughout the day.

Get Up And Move Every Hour

Move for at least 2-5 minutes every hour. Take a little walk outside; walk to lunch, walk over to your co-worker’s desk instead of emailing, walk during phone calls, have a ‘walking meeting’ instead of sitting around the conference table. Sneak in as many walks as possible. And commit to desk workouts!

Do The Five Minute Desk Workout

It’s simple; a) Get your heart rate up for 30 seconds by jogging or jumping in place, then b) do 4 resistance exercises for 1 minute each followed by c) 30 seconds of stretching. Repeat every hour.

Resistance Exercises

These can be done right at your desk. Two workouts for your arms, two for your legs. Do each for one minute, followed by 30 seconds of stretching.

1) Tricep Dips

  • Position your hands shoulder-width apart on your desk or stable chair, then move your rear off the front with your legs extended out in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
  • Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Once you reach the bottom of the movement, straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep. Do 15-20 reps, 2-3 sets.

2) Push Ups

  • Do these on the floor or against the wall. 10 reps, 3 sets.

3) Squats

  • From your chair, stand up, sit back down. Simple! Repeat 10 more times.

4) Lunge

  • Place your hands on your hips, and stand tall with your shoulders pushed back and relaxed. Always engage your core.
  • Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
  • Do 10 lunges on each leg.

5) Wall Sit

  • Stand with your back against the wall, slowly lower yourself into a seated position. Hold for 10-30 seconds at a time. Repeat for one minute.
Five minutes of looking silly beats chronic pain and fatigue, or worse. One simple 15-minute walk break a day can be life-changing. Be attentive and responsive to your body’s needs and you will thrive at work!

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