A Simple 10-Minute Workout for Desk Workers
Being stuck at work all day is no excuse for skipping exercise. Simple and effective exercises can be done while you work - even within an office environment.
These exercises demonstrated below can assist in increasing overall productivity, decreasing stress, and promoting a sense of wellbeing. They are appropriate for beginners, but shouldn’t be underestimated by experienced trainees, either.
A Shift in the Right Direction
The office should be a place where you can get your exercise groove on and not feel embarrassed, ashamed, or inappropriate. So many companies are now encouraging and providing incentives to employees who exercise during their workday.
"Exercises for the office can be done alone or with a small group of colleagues for about five to ten minutes. I recommend taking a five-minute break every sixty minutes if you are at a desk."
This type of employer is conscious of the fact that a happy, healthy work force will not only have the propensity to be more fit but also more productive. All of this translates into lower insurances premiums, fewer sick days, and a lower absentee rate. This is good for the economy and our evolving healthcare system. Prevention has to be the priority.
A Sample Office Workout
Exercises for the office can be done alone or with a small group of colleagues for about five to ten minutes. I recommend taking a five-minute break every sixty minutes if you are at a desk. (Also, consider using a stability or Swiss ball at your desk instead of a chair. This could improve your overall core strength.)
These exercises can all be done at your desk and can be done effectively and with ease when done daily. Your body will appreciate the strength moves and stretches. The body loves the benefits of movement.
- Lateral Neck Flexion: Simply flex your neck to the right and then to the left for a set of 10. This exercise should be done while seated.
- Forward Neck Flexion: In a seated position, flex your neck forward for a set of 10.
- Shoulder Rolls: In a seated position, roll your shoulders forward for a set of 10 and then backwards for a set of 10.
- Leg Crossover Stretch: In a seated position, cross your legs and then rotate your upper torso to the side of your top crossed leg. For example, if you cross your right leg over your left leg, then rotate your torso to the right side. Hold this position for 15-30 seconds. Do 2 sets of 5 repetitions on each side.
- Seated Leg Extension (Leg Kicks): In a seated position, extend and kick out one leg in front of you for a set of 20. Next, do the other side for a set of 20.
- Single Leg Lifts: In a seated position, extend one leg in front you and keep it elevated and extended. Lift and hold the extended leg for a set of 20 then do the other side.
- Circle Leg Lifts: In a seated position, with one leg extended in front with your toes pointed, make small circles with your extended leg in one direction then reverse the direction for a set of 5-10 in the opposite direction.
- Triceps Chair Push Ups/Dips: Start at the edge of the chair with your body forward and knees flexed, and then flex your elbows. Next drop your torso downward, then extend your elbows and elevate your torso. Remember to breathe while doing these. Consider 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
- Calf Raises: Seated calf raises can be done with the toes pointing forward, outward, or inward. While seated with the back straight and shoulders squared, lift your heels and contract your calves. Consider 2 sets of 10 each. These exercises will really help with lower extremity circulation.
Bonus Exercise - Wall Push Ups
Push ups can be done against stable walls (not your cubicle!). Lean against the wall at a 45-degree angle. Consider doing 2 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
- If your hands are wide, you are working your chest and pectoralis muscles.
- If your hands are closer, you are exerting more force on the triceps.
- Wall push ups can be intensified if you flex your elbows during the push up.
- To really intensify the exercise, you can do the push up from your fingertips or even with one arm.
Exercise Gives the Gift of Health
All of the aforementioned office exercises can be done easily in five tot en minutes. Consider doing them right before your lunch break to boost your metabolism so you will be ready for a well-balanced light lunch or nutritious shake.
Exercise is a lifestyle that allows you to give yourself the gift of health at home or even in your office. So keep on exercising - exercise is life!
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