Inside Scoop: Do you find yourself sitting too much? Here are some quick and simple ways to get fit at work.
This post was submitted by Kenny Kline, long-time entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and Columbia Business School Alum.
The modern lifestyle has been engineered so people can spend most of their time sitting down. Nowadays, people are whiling away time through mindlessly browsing the Internet, scrolling through different social media platforms or binge-watching the latest Netflix series… because, well FOMO — fear of missing out.
Others are spending a lot of time being tied to their desks while being buried in emails. Most of the time, logging hour right after idle hour with their bums glued to their office chairs.
Yet others are sales champs by day and gym rats at night, but current studies show that neither the suggested five 30-minute cardio exercises per week, workout-sit cycle, nor the simple guideline ‘sit less, move more’ can counteract the health risks caused by sitting too much. Hence, even when you are regularly working out, you might still not be doing enough movement to prevent the deleterious dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.
Why do we need to be alarmed with it? Apparently, sitting too much is killing us.
The World Health Organization stated that a lack of physical activity increases the risk of losing bone and muscle strength, heart disease, diabetes, and many more health conditions, and is estimated to cause 3.2 million deaths around the world every year. Hence, physical inactivity may be considered worse than smoking, heart disease, and diabetes.
Do you find yourself sitting too much at work? And have been inactive for quite a while now? You should be wary! But don’t worry too much (mind your wrinkles), because we’ve got you covered. Here are some smart ways to do deskercises to stay active and fit while at work.
5 SMART WAYS TO GET FIT AT WORK
Cardio: Jog in Place
This is the most common and simplest cardio to do. Take a quick break for a few stationary jogs. Pop up from your swivel chair and do a 40-60 second jog right in your office and repeat it 3-5 times per day. If you are willing to puff and huff a little more, increase the intensity by picking up your knees up to waist level.
This is just one simple way to get fit at work which will also help in weight management and conditioning. Jogging in place for 12 minutes can burn 100 calories or more.
In addition, when you work out, you’re pumping energy and adrenaline, so you’re basically waking yourself up in the most natural way. The point is, you might not need as many coffee breaks during your workday anymore! Instead, you can jog in place and opt for a healthy coffee alternative. It’s hitting two birds with one stone: staying awake at work, while losing calories. Great, isn’t it?
Chest, Shoulders, Core & Triceps: Triceps Dips
Multitasking also takes place in exercises. You can work out your chest, shoulders, and triceps using your own body weight, a sturdy office table, or a non-rolling chair. Take a step forward from the desk or chair and place your hands shoulder-width apart on it. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle so your body will dip down. Hold this position for a few seconds, re-straighten and repeat for 8-10 reps.
Tricep dips are one of the Closed Kinetic Chain (CKC) exercises mainly focused on muscle tone and definition. In doing dips, your arms support in performing the movement, while your core will inevitably flex for stability. As a result, it can increase strength in the general upper body area, chest, triceps, and abdomen.
What’s more, it’s better than push-ups. Don’t get me wrong. Both triceps dips and push-ups are excellent bodyweight exercises. It’s just that you only lift your entire bodyweight with triceps dips, while just a fraction with push-ups. It doesn’t burn calories as much as jogging in place, but it would definitely increase your body strength compared to other cardio options.
Glutes: Chair Squat
Already an expert at standing? Add squats to level up! Remember these steps: sit in the air, stand fully up, and repeat. Bend your knees slightly so your thighs would be parallel to the ground. Hold the squat position for 15 seconds before releasing and standing up. Make sure that you stand with your feet together. Repeat for four to six reps.
Squatting will fix the possible damages in your lumbar spine and hips caused by sitting too much. It would open up your hips that helps in taking good care of your knees and can prevent lower back pain. It’s also another great way to get fit at work.
Neck: Nape Shaper
Who says you can’t workout while acting exasperated by the workday? Try this neck strengthening trick! Place your head in your both hands, while pressing your palms against your forehead. It’s like pushing your head backwards with your hands and resisting the motion with your neck muscles.
Then, do it the other way around. Clasp both hands at the back of your neck and push your head backward, while resisting the motion of your hand. Don’t forget to hold each position for 5 seconds, take a rest, and repeat the routine five times. This workout can prevent neck pains and strains, which we usually have as side effects of slogging too much in our desks.
Seated Lower Back Rotational Stretch
I bet you have been encountering pain and stiffness in your elbows, shoulders, back, and neck, which are all caused by the deskbound static posture. Back pains are specifically caused by the pressure to the spinal discs and back muscles done by sitting too long. To avoid this, perform a lower back stretch at your chair.
While sitting tall and backing off from the back of the chair, engage your abs inward and upward, and extend to the top of your head as you start to bend to the other side. Start turning from the lower back, followed by the middle and upper backs. In general, this would strengthen your core muscles and lower back.
Do you have any other exercises to get fit at work? Share them below.
A long-time entrepreneur, fitness enthusiast, and Columbia Business School Alum, Kenny has built his career around creating high-quality, reader-focused digital brands. He focuses his writings on health and fitness wherein he shares various dietary tips and deep knowledge in pre-workout supplements and home gym pieces of equipment.