Tip of the Week: How to Get Some Exercise in the Office
It’s the new year, and that means it’s time for New Year’s resolutions. Sitting down at your desk all day can make you realize that you’d like to get some more exercise into your lifestyle, but you also might realize that you have nowhere near enough time to make it to the gym. If this sounds like your predicament, you can try working out in the office.
What a lot of office workers might notice is that working is mentally and physically taxing on the body. Even if you only work a normal day’s shift, you might want to just sit down in your armchair and watch television after work instead of going to the gym. By physically stimulating your body throughout the workday, you can stay healthy and active while outside the office, making more rigorous workout routines suddenly more accessible. This can keep you out of the work/eat/sleep/back-to-work routine which some business owners can’t seem to get themselves out of.
Forbes magazine offers several ways you can get an excellent workout in for multiple parts of your body throughout the workday. These include some of the most important muscles; those found in the core, your arms, your legs, and your shoulders. There’s even an exercise which helps prevent carpal tunnel, something which might be far too common in the office environment.
You don’t have to be one of those muscle-bound bodybuilders at the gym who can’t even scratch their own back to take pride in physical fitness. In fact, it can be as simple as using an office chair and your desk. For this exercise, place your hands on the armrest, then lift your feet off of the ground. Use your stomach muscles to bring yourself up, and hold as long as you can. This is also a great way to build up muscle in the core. Repeat until you feel the burn, then go get a drink of water. You’ve earned it.
Another idea for an upper-body workout is to pressure your triceps with “desk dips.” These involve slightly sitting on your desk with your legs on the ground, and dipping your body downward until both your arms and your legs reach a 90-degree angle. Then, push yourself back up, and repeat.
For those who are more ambitious, you can even attempt push ups with your desk. Stand about a yard away from your desk, and place your hands on it about a shoulders-length apart from one another. You know the drill; push up and down until you’re satisfied with your workout.
Avoiding Carpal Tunnel
Do you spend a lot of time typing throughout the workday? If so, you might show signs of carpal tunnel syndrome, a fairly common medical condition which restricts the median nerve found in the wrist. Long-term carpal tunnel syndrome can cause serious health problems, such as atrophy of finger muscles and permanent nerve damage. Therefore, it’s important to minimize carpal tunnel for the purpose of a healthier future full of productivity.
In fact, there’s a stretch meant specifically to keep your median nerves open. Stand directly in front of your desk and place your palms on it. Straighten your arm, then rotate your wrist until your fingers are pointing at your body. Lean forward until you feel the stretch, then hold for a few seconds. This loosens the nerves in your wrist and prevents them from getting pinched, keeping you relatively safe from permanent nerve damage.
Just like your company’s network, you should strengthen all parts of your body if possible, so make sure you don’t skip leg day. A basic type of exercise you might be familiar with is called leg lifting. Sit down in your chair and extend your leg. Hold it for as long as you can, or a set amount of time (whichever you prefer). Repeat several times with each leg, making sure to exercise each one equally.
One other leg-cercise you can try is a hamstring stretch, which can relieve lower back and calf muscle pain caused by sitting at your desk all day. Push your chair backward and extend one leg. Rest it on the desk, then lean forward and extend your arms toward your toes. Do all of this while keeping your back straight. Hold the position for a few seconds, then switch legs, making sure to spread the love equally.
With these easy exercises, you’ll surely find yourself slightly more energetic and comfortable (albeit somewhat sweaty) in the workplace. Do you have any favorite office exercises that you can do at your desk? Let us know in the comments.