The main idea behind an active work environment is to avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, if you sit at a desk for the majority of the day, there are many exercises that you can do to disrupt your time sitting.
There are many ways to avoid sitting all day such as using a stand up desk like the Standee Classic or simply getting out of your chair and doing a few exercises. If you are creative, the office provides a perfect place to get in a quick workout.
There are multiple office exercises that you can find with a simple Google search, but which ones make the most sense? Here are 10 of my favorites:
1. Tricep Desk Dips
Place your butt on the edge of your desk, and then place your palms on the edge of the desk on either side of you. Keeping your feet together, bend at the elbows and slide forward off the desk and dip down a few inches, and then push back up. Dip to where your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Do this 20 times. For a variation, put your feet on a chair.
2. Carpal Tunnel Reliever
You shouldn’t suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome if you do this exercise daily. Stand at your desk, and with arms straight, place your palms on the desk with your fingers pointed toward you. Lower your body slowly until you feel the stretch. Do for 15 seconds. Repeat as needed through the day.
3. Water Bottle Workouts
As most offices don’t have workout equipment, a full water bottle can work as the perfect light dumbbell.
Sit tall with abs pulled in. Hold water bottle in right hand and curl it up towards your shoulder. Repeat 15 times. Change arms.
You can also use your water bottle to do front arm raises and overhead presses.
Hold your water bottle in right hand. Bend elbow. Extend arm overhead. Repeat on other side.
Water bottle twists are a great way to work your waistline.
Hold water bottle at chest level. Twist to the right as far as you can. Twist back to center. Twist to the left. Repeat 10 times.
4. The Wall (Street) Sit
Wall sits are great for building strength and endurance. Standing with your back against the wall, bend the knees and slide your back down the wall until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Sit and hold for 30-60 second.
5. The Seated Leg Raiser
This incognito stretch will allow you to get in a good stretch without having all your co-workers notice. While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower your leg(s) back to the ground without letting your feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. You can also put a purse or briefcase strap over your ankle for added weight, or for more of an abs workout, add a crunch.
6. The Knuckle Sandwich
For a great arm workout, try shadow boxing. Stand (if you can) and throw out a few jabs, hooks, and uppercuts in rapid succession. Continue for a minute or longer to blow off steam and tone the arms, chest, and core.
7. The Hulk
Walk in place and lean forward. With your elbows bent and fists together in front, move your arms like wings. Try to touch your shoulder blades together. 20 reps.
Lap your block or a floor of your office. Try for a pace of 100 steps per minute, which is an easy pace to maintain around the office. Walk for 10 min.
9. Take the Stairs. While You're At It, Run Up Them
Instead of using the elevator to move between floors, take the stairs. Start off walking, but work your way up to a full out sprint. This is a great way to get an intense leg workout while at the office.
10. Get a Standing Desk
One of the best things you can do to combat the health risk from sitting is to get a standing desk. The negative health effects on your weight and health, including hip and back stiffness and pain, that come from sitting down all day will disappear. You can even lean against your standing desk while you are working and do simple calf stretches.