7 Fitness Exercises You Can Easily Do At the Office
We all know the feeling of being so tired just sitting at our desks, looking at a computer screen, or going to a meeting where the speaker is so boring, it is hard to stay focused. Besides all the time that we spend at our workstations, there is all the commuting time we spend riding or driving back and forth to work every day. The results are poor posture, stiff necks, and sore backs.
We are eating healthy, we go to the gym before or after work, and still all this inactivity puts a real crimp in our determination to stay mentally alert and physically fit while spending so many hours just sitting. But, there are so many easy exercises that we can do at work to keep our bodies and our minds operating at top performance. Here are 7 fitness exercises to get you started and to keep you motivated. All you need is a few minutes a day, your desk, your chair, a few feet of space, your desire to stay in shape, and a good pair of walking shoes. Please note that these muscle moving, circulation enhancing, mini-workouts are intended to augment, not replace, your regular workout program. You will not be working up a sweat, so no extra clothes, or special equipment is needed.
1. Let’s start with our posture.
Sitting correctly without straining our necks, backs, shoulders, and heads will alleviate minor aches, pains, sprains, and headaches. While posture is not exactly an exercise, sitting up straight against the back of the chair, feet placed flat on the floor, with your monitor at eye level reduces the eye strain and pressure on the muscles in your back. You can increase the blood flow in your neck, head, and ultimately, your brain area with a few head movements. One way is to sit straight, slowly move your right ear towards your right shoulder, then straighten up your head and repeat the motion on the left side. Do this 15 to 20 times every few hours. Another motion is to lower your chin towards your chest and then slowly rotate your head clockwise towards the right shoulder, then to the back of your neck, then towards the left shoulder, and return to the starting position. Do this 10 to 15 times, and then reverse the motion for 10 to 15 repetitions.
2. How about strengthening our arm muscles?
You can strengthen your arms by placing your hands fully extended on a wall, not a cubicle divider, or door, then slowly lean forward until your chest is touching the wall or door, hold for 10 seconds before slowly pushing backwards to the original position. Repeat this motion 20 to 25 times.
3. Let’s keep our lower legs and ankles from swelling.
There are two easy motions for this goal. One way is to stand with your feet flat on the floor at your desk, then slowly raise up on your toes so that your heels are off the ground, and hold for 5-10 seconds before returning your heels to the floor. Repeat this motion 10 to 15 times. The other motion is to remain in your chair and raise one leg so that it is level with your knee and rotate the ankle 20 to 30 times both clockwise and then counter-clockwise before returning your foot to the floor. Repeat this motion with the other leg. You can do these motions several times a day whenever you feel the need to move your feet.
4. Let’s move our legs and improve our circulation.
Stand up and walk around a few minutes every hour, or get outside into the sunshine and go for a brisk 10 to 15 minute stroll. If there is no open area around your office building, just do a few circuits around the parking lot.
5. Stomach area not firm enough?
The easiest way to firm up the midsection is to pull in the stomach muscles and hold for 15-20 seconds, then relax. Repeat this motion 20 to 25 times.
6. The buttocks relax the most when sitting and tend to soften and spread.
To keep this area firm, stand up and place your hands on the edge of your desk, then do back leg lifts by raising one leg as far backwards and upwards as you can and hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds before alternating to the other leg. Do this motion 15 to 20 times.
7. Let’s keep our upper leg muscles tight.
There are two excellent motions for this goal. One is to leave your desk area and walk up and down a flight of stairs about 10 times. Another motion is to stand up next to your desk and slowly do 20 to 30 deep knee bends.
Please Note: If you have knee problems, avoid climbing stairs or doing deep knee bends. But, you can do most of these exercises while sitting in your chair or slowly strolling around the office. You don’t want to do anything that will place undue stress on the cartilage in your knees.