On average, we sit for 7.7 hours. Not only do we have to sit to drive, most Americans have a sedentary job that keeps them at a desk for most of the workday. Because of the amount of sitting we do, it’s no surprise that obesity rates have increased along with cardiovascular health issues. The medical and scientific communities have even coined a condition known as “Sitting Disease.”
Cravings make desk jobs even unhealthier. If you’re like most people, sitting at a desk makes you crave all sorts of food. Instead of trying medications like Contrave to reduce cravings, here are 5 simple exercises you can do at work without having to leave your office.
1. Move More
One of the simplest things you can do to introduce more exercise into your work day is to park further from your office. This requires a longer walk which means less time sitting and more time moving. Once you’re in the building, take the stairs as often as possible. Steps are a great way to build up your cardiovascular health. Stairs are also a great leg workout!
Aside from these tips, make a conscious effort to get up and walk around more. Try to schedule meetings outside of your office so that you have to walk a little ways. Go talk with a coworker instead of communicating via email. The more often you’re out of your seat, the better.
Who says you can’t improve your upper body at work? On those days when you’re frustrated and need to let off some steam, hit the ground and pump out some pushups. This exercise requires very little space and takes just a few minutes!
If you’re new to pushups, start off on your knees. Over time you can do a traditional pushup. To work different muscle groups in your upper body, try switching up your hand positions. Spread your hands farther apart or move them closer together in order to work your body in different ways.
Try to do at least three sets of five to get a solid upper body workout. Once you’re done you’ll feel a lot less stressed and ready to get back to work
While you may be taking the steps more often or walking farther during the workday, nothing says a good lower body workout than squats. No matter if you sit in an office or in an open environment, you can push out a few squats anywhere.
If you work in an office, wall squats are the perfect option. Stand flat against the wall and then bend your legs as you squat. Once your legs are at a 45 degree angle, you can hold the position for a few seconds until you start to feel it in your legs. Try to do at least three sets of eight squats.
If you don’t have an office, you can do squats at your desk. Simply stand up and squat down, just until your bottom touches the edge of your chair, and then stand back up.
Round out your lower body workout with calf raises. Stand at your desk, move up on your tiptoes and then slowly move back down.
4. Arm Exercises
Everyone wants strong and toned arms, but achieving them is sometimes easier said than done. Make great use of your breaks throughout the day by working in some arm exercises. Try using your desk to do dips. This is a great workout for the triceps.
You can also use any heavy object in the office, such as a stack of papers or a large book, to do curls and presses.
Most people who sit at a desk have horrible posture, especially as the day goes on. While you may start the day sitting straight, you’re likely to slowly but surely inch into a more slouched position. This can cause all sorts of aches and pains, especially in your neck and back. To minimize the effects of bad posture and too much sitting, stretch throughout the day. Easy stretches that you can do anywhere include:
- Toe touches
- Reaching for the stars
- Shoulder shrugs
- Turning your head side to side
By stretching, you’re able to get out of your seat and work out the kinks. You’ll thank yourself later when you’re heading home pain free.
Even if you spend the majority of your day sitting, there are plenty of exercises you can do to get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. To reduce your risk of common health conditions caused by excessive sitting, be sure to try these 5 simple exercises on a daily basis.