Even if you hit the gym every day, you could still be living a “sedentary lifestyle.” How’s that? Well, sitting at an office desk for eight hours can do it.
Don’t worry. Here are 10 suggestions that make workouts for the office so much easier. Note: none of this should replace your regular time at the gym. These supplements will simply ensure that the hard work you’ve been doing at the gym doesn’t go to waste.
1. Invest in exercise equipment for your cubicle. Swap your office chair for an exercise ball. As you work, so will your body (balance, core strength), and when you need a break, you can use the ball as the foundation for a quick workout. (Check out these stability ball exercises.)
Another item we recently spotted in our Facebook Newsfeed is Cubii, which was fully funded on Kickstarter. This elliptical trainer describes itself as “An affordable, sleek, ergonomic trainer that integrates wirelessly with mobile devices and fitness trackers to make sitting healthier.”
And, of course, free weights easily stow away under desks and in drawers. During a conference call where you do most of the listening, do some weight lifting from your chair.
2. Sneak in circuits behind a closed office/conference room door. Chances are you can probably find an unoccupied room in your building, right? Get inside and do a quick circuit:
- 10 squats
- 10 lunges
- 10 push-ups
- 10 jumping jacks
- 60 seconds of running in place
Or come up with your own routine. It’s enough to get the blood pumping and muscles engaged, without working up a sweat that requires a shower afterwards.
3. Consider a treadmill desk. Treadmill desks are a great way to combat the risks of sitting in an office chair for eight hours a day. They are an investment, and, of course, not every office environment will be amenable (they take up space!). Consumer Reviews tested two machines (the article also offers up tips on what to keep in mind if you go this route).
4. Be mindful of “dead time.” As you stand in front of the copier waiting for the copies to finish, do some calf raises. Instead of staring at the microwave while nuking your coffee or making tea, do some stretches. You get the idea. You probably have plenty of “dead time” where you’re not really doing anything but waiting. What better way to spend it than by moving your body?
5. Set a timer. You don’t want to be sitting for more than 30 minutes, an hour tops. But we understand how easy it is to get into the zone when you’re working on a project, meaning you suddenly look up and realize two or three hours have passed. So set a timer if that helps. Get up and move around every hour at least.
6. Weave workouts into your daily calendar. Let’s say you have a two-hour meeting. Make sure you have a fifteen-minute buffer on both sides where you can move around. Block this time in your calendar and treat it as sacred.
7. Let wearable technology help and inspire you. Wearing a Fitbit or other tech device that encourages you to get your 10,000 steps in is always a great way to stay motivated, even as you slave over that annual report.
8. Start a walking club. A great option for lunch hours! Take 30 minutes for lunch and 30 minutes for a brisk walk outside. Do it alone or get your co-workers to join.
9. Take the stairs. And not just when you arrive at work. If there are stairs in your building, take a break and go up and down for 5-10 minutes. Talk about an instant workout! Make it even more powerful by carrying something in both hands (2-pound weights or equivalent office equipment—get creative).
10. Plan fun exercise activities for the end of the day. If you’re a morning gym person, the last thing you’ll probably want to do when you get out of work is “exercise.” So don’t call it that. Think of those fun activities you love: tennis, softball, basketball, yoga, etc. Try to work in a fun “extra” activity a couple nights a week. Your body, heart, and mind will thank you.
Do you sit in cube all day? What workouts for the office do you recommend? Share in the comments!