21 Ways to Sneak in Exercise at Work (When You Have a Desk Job)
May 31, 2016 at 3:36 PM
It’s no secret that for many people, work is the thing that poses a biggest obstacle to losing weight. High stress, unhealthy food, little time for exercise all contributes – especially for those of us with desk jobs. But while 40 hours a week (at least) chained to a computer will never make maintaining a healthy weight easy, it certainly doesn’t make it impossible.
Mindfulness and discipline are great ways to avoid bad foods and unhealthy snacking while on the clock, but many people still struggle to work regular physical activity into their daily routines. If this sound like you, try these 21 quick tips to sneak in exercise during your workday.
- If you can, use your commute as a way to get exercise by biking or walking to work.
- Instead of snacking or standing by the water cooler, use your 10-minute breaks to get in some exercise. Light calisthenics or even just walking a few laps around the building are good choices.
- Ask your boss or co-workers about having standing or walking meetings instead of normal sitting ones.
- Drink water throughout the day. This will keep you getting up for refills (and to go to the bathroom).
- Mitigate the harmful effects of sitting by sitting on a stability ball instead of a normal office chair.
- Even better – get a standing desk.
- Better still – get a treadmill desk.
- Stand or pace when you’re on the phone.
- Walk to a co-worker’s office or desk instead of emailing or calling them.
- If you’re going a short distance, do lunges instead of just walking to your destination.
- Whenever possible, take the stairs instead of using the elevator.
- Waiting for something in the kitchen or breakroom? Do inclined pushups on the counter or wall.
- Set up regular reminders or alarms in Outlook that will prompt you to do a certain set of exercises: 25 jumping jacks, 10 pushups, whatever you prefer.
- Stretch your legs at your desk by lifting and lowering your straightened legs one at a time, without touching the floor.
- Work your abs at your desk by clenching them as hard as you can for 30 seconds, releasing, and repeating.
- Do the same for your glutes.
- Buy a hand gripper and use it whenever a hand is free to work your hands and forearms.
- Talk to your boss or human resources department about implementing a regular fitness routine in the office.
- Grab the sides of your chair and pull up has hard as you can, as though you’re trying to lift up the chair while you’re in it. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 5-10 times. This is a good shoulder workout.
- Make fists with your elbows at a 90-degree angle, palms perpendicular to the floor. Press your fists against the bottom of your desk for 5 seconds and repeat 5-10 times. This is a good bicep exercise. (Careful not to accidentally flip your desk!)
- Once every half hour, hold a chair squat: just stand up slightly from your chair and hold that position for as long as you can.
While company culture at your office (and your willingness to look a little silly) might make some of these suggestions more or less tenable depending on how conspicuous they are, you’re guaranteed to find something in these suggestions that you can incorporate into your regular daily routine. Even incorporating a few of these suggestions into your work day, you can help minimize your chances at heart disease and other health complications. Remember, every little bit helps!
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rynermedia via Flickr/CC BY 2.0 (Edited)
Tags: Healthy Lifestyle
Healthy Lifestyle Tips
Category: General Health
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