Spending eight hours in front of a desk or the office is not a new thing. The chances are that you spend a significant percentage of your time in the office completely inactive (physically), and hunched over your work desk in a terrible posture. Medical researchers have confirmed that prolonged sitting is dangerous and is often associated with obesity, depression, cancer, muscle and joint pains, as well as higher risks of heart-related diseases. While you may argue that the lunch-break is a time to walk around, experts at the British Journal of Sports Medicine have recommended that workers should stand, move, and take breaks for at least two out of eight working hours. This amount should be slowly worked to about 4 hours.
One of the best ways to keep fit and remain active throughout the day is by exercising. Exercising in the workplace is not only fun, but it also increases your blood flow, helps increase your productivity, improves your physical fitness, alleviates stress, helps you achieve your weight loss goals, and at the end of the day may end up lowering your healthcare costs. So, whether you are short on time, too tired to exercise after work, or simply hate rushing to the gym after work, you can exercise effectively in the office and still reach all the benefits of staying fit and active.
We've already established the benefits of exercising generally and staying active at work. Here are eight great equipment-free and 10-minute fitness exercises that you can easily do while at work.
Note: Before delving in to discuss these options, it is advisable to warm up and stretch properly before exercising. This help tunes your muscles, prevents injury, and increases the effectiveness of your workout. Typical warm-up and stretching routine should take about 3-5 minutes.
Now, let's dive in.
1. Triceps or Chair Dips
The only equipment needed for this exercise is a chair, and who doesn't have one? Of course, we all do!
The chair dip is a very basic exercise with tremendous benefits. If you are hoping to build stronger muscles and tone the back of your hands, then you'll love this one. According to the American Council on Exercise, chair dips are among the top three triceps strengthening exercises. So, grab a study chair.
Sit on the edge of the chair, with both hands facing forward and next to your hips. Slide off from the chair until your elbows make 90 degrees, and lowering yourself straight down by several inches. Straighten your arms by pushing back up. Repeat the process 15 to 20 times.
2. Let's Raise the Roof
This may sound and appear hilarious at first, but you may soon get everyone in your office raising the roof and singing hallelujah. You do not need any equipment for this exercise. Simply march on a spot, and push towards the ceiling with your palms up. Repeat 20 times at intervals. This is an isolation exercise that flexes your muscles. You may decide to take it a step further by adding some water bottles.
3. Seated Ab Twists
This exercise works the muscles of your abdomens and thighs. It helps release tension in the back muscles and is effective at burning abdominal fat. To perform this exercise, sit straight on your sturdy chair with your feet flat on the floor. Positions both hands behind your head and lift one knee toward to the opposite elbow. This causes a twisting motion and exercises your abs. Return to starting position and repeat the process for the second leg. It is important to keep your back straight and upright, will relaxing your shoulders.
4. Squats/Standing V
Squatting is a very simple exercise that requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Squats work your leg muscles. To implement, form a V with your feet, keeping your heels together and your toes a few inches apart. With your back straight, lower your body down as far as you can go (try not to lean forward or backward), then lift back up until you are upright. Repeat this process 20 times.
5. Wall Sits
A lot of individuals have wrong sitting postures, and there is a great likelihood that you don't sit upright in the office (you are either leaning forward or sitting all in). Wrong sitting postures affect the spine over time and can lead to back pains. Wall sits a great option to reset your sitting posture while working your legs. Slide your back down a wall until your knees and hips are in the same position as you were sitting. Maintain this position for about 45 to 60 seconds, then release. Repeat the procedure.
6. Wall Push-Ups
Pushups are a great way to tune your muscles and work on your upper body strength. Quite similar to chair dips, you will depend on the resistance of your body weight. Simply stand away from a wall, placing your arms flat and shoulder width apart. Lower yourself towards the wall, keeping your back straight, and push back up. Repeat the process about 20 times.
7. Chair Squats
Just as the name implies, take repeated squats on your chair. Be careful not to put your weight on the seat but rather on your legs. Stand in front of a chair, straighten your body, bend your knees, and slightly tap your bottom on the chair. Return to standing position. Repeat this about 15 times.
8. Shoulder Rolls and Neck Flexions (seated)
These are probably the simplest, most common exercise you can do at your desk every day. These helps ease tension and keep healthy blood flow. For the shoulder rolls, you can do a set of 10 rolls forward and 10 backward. For the neck flexions – Flex your neck forward and backward for 10 times each. Then flex your neck to the right, then to the left.
You will realize that doing some quick and simple exercises at work brings you more benefits when you do. Do you have some ideas about exercise at work? Please don't hesitate to share with us!
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