As modern day living evolves, it becomes more and more difficult for office staff to work any type of exercise, or even vaguely energetic movement, into their office routines. Technology such as the personal computer, email and the cloud have created an environment where you can easily go for hours at work without having to leave your seat. So in this modern era, where there are fewer reasons than ever to get off our butts and move, how can we find ways to get a bit of exercise at the office? Well, for all those cubicle-dwellers out there, here are some ideas to burn some calories while you’re on the clock.
The stair nomad
Perhaps one of the most obvious (but often times forgotten) ways to squeeze in a quick exercise at your office is to simply opt out of the elevator ride and take the stairs. With every step you take, you’re toning your calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes, while also building lean muscle. To up the calorie burn, climb faster and skip every other step.
For those who have to print piles of documents at the office, you are wasting valuable time just standing around the printer waiting for your pages to pop out. Instead, you could be toning your thighs, buttocks and quads by doing print squats. While you may garner an odd stare or two if anyone sees you performing these, a print squat is almost exactly what it sounds like. No, you don’t pick up the printer and squat, but instead you simply squat on the spot, while keeping your back straight until your butt is a foot or two off the ground. Do three sets of 10 reps to really feel the burn.
The seated glute squeezer
Many a new office worker has watched with fascinated horror as their once normal-sized rump expands into the outer edges of their chair within months of starting. While prolonged sitting isn’t good for the appearance of anyone’s booty, there are a few ways to combat office bum, and one is the seated glute squeeze. Unlike print squats, this one is exactly as the name sounds. While you’re sitting at your desk, simply squeeze your buttocks as tight as you can for five to ten seconds, and then release. Do this 10 times, or until your gluteus maximus can no longer take it.
The desk dasher
This exercise is a great way to get some extra movement in your day, but is also sure to be a hit with those who love face-to-face communication. The exercise is simple: instead of communicating with your boss or coworkers by email or phone, get off your butt and walk so that you can talk to them personally. While this may not be the best way to respond to every email or phone call you receive, you can certainly apply this subtle exercise tactic a handful of times a day to get in some extra steps.
The cubicle curl
Just because you’re at work doesn’t mean you should neglect your biceps. The cubicle curl is an easy way to exercise them while sitting at your desk. You perform this just like a dumbbell curl. Let the arm you’ll be exercising hang from your side, then curl it up towards your chest, bending it at the elbow. Once you’ve bent your arm all the way, lower your palm back down to where you started. As for the object to use? You likely won’t find anything at the office that’s as weighty as a normal dumbbell, so instead try a heavy stapler or full bottle of water.
Not to be done around your boss or other superiors, shoulder shrugs target the trapezius muscles in the upper back and neck. To perform this, simply lift your shoulders up toward your ears, and hold them there for 5-10 seconds. Release and then repeat 10-15 times. While doing this, make sure not to roll your shoulders, as it limits the effectiveness of the exercise.
The incognito ab squeeze
No list of office exercises would be complete without giving some attention to the abs. While this may not give you the six-pack you’ve been dreaming of, it will certainly help strengthen your abdominal muscles. To do this, tighten the ab muscles for 5-10 seconds, and repeat 10-15 times. You can do this while sitting at your desk, or combine it with the “desk dasher” or “stair nomad” for extra calorie burn.
While all these exercises will add some extra movement into your day and help you burn calories in the process, a regular exercise routine outside of work is recommended to achieve your optimum fitness level.