Back in the day "work" meant blood, sweat, and tears. But today in this tech-filled world, "work" means filling in Excel spreadsheets while glued to your seat.
If you're chained to your desk and don't have time to exercise, what can you do? Try some exercise at work!
Not only will it alleviate the aches and pains of sitting all day. But it will also make you a happier and more productive worker. How so?
Read on to find out how to exercise at work and the amazing benefits that follow. Are you ready? Let's work out!
Start the Day Off Right
How much time do you spend commuting to work? Turn that precious time into a workout. How much you can do may depend on how close-by you live, but if you can incorporate exercise into your morning routine, you'll start the day off right.
For instance, try speed walking, jogging or cycling instead of driving. Or if you live far away and need to drive, try parking further away and power walking for the rest of the journey. If you travel by public transport, get off at an earlier stop and jog the rest of the way.
But if you're going to get sweaty, make sure you dress properly for it.
There's nothing worse than sitting slumped at a work desk all day. Instead of your traditional swivel chair and simple desk, spruce up your furniture to help with your posture and health.
For instance, sitting on exercise balls at work helps your posture by forcing the alignment of your spine. It also strengthens your core muscles as you need to use them to balance. This means while you're sitting on exercise balls at work you're getting a low-intensity abdominal workout.
If you think your exercise ball might roll away, try a standing work desk instead.
Sitting down for extended periods of time may increase your risk of:
- cardiovascular disease
- and other life-threatening conditions.
Studies show that standing desks can reduce the risk of these conditions and can improve job performance too. This option for desks really is the best way to stretch out during work hours.
But even if you have a regular work desk you can still try some swivel chair exercises. Such as taking your feet off the ground, holding onto the desk, and twisting your body and chair from left to right. Or by taking your feet off the ground, holding onto the desk, and pulling and pushing yourself to and from the desk.
Take a Break
When you reach a breaking point during work hours, take an "active" break. A 10-minute walk, some squats, and lunges, or a quick jog up and down the stairs might do the trick. Try standing up and doing some stretches, such as torso twists or shrugging your shoulders.
Because just as your body needs rest from physical activity, your brain needs rest from mental activity too!
So don't feel bad about taking a short "active" break. Research shows that people who take short walking breaks feel more enthusiastic and less stressed. If you're happier and more productive as a result, your boss will feel happier too!
Exercise at Work During Lunchtime
If you can't work out before or after work, use lunchtime to get your blood pumping. If there is a gym close by, head over for a workout or go for a swim. If not, try a half-hour run or speed walk.
It takes a bit of extra organization to pack a gym bag, but the effort is worthwhile. For example, Ryan Bonnici, Senior Marketing Director of HubSpot uses his lunchtime to exercise. He increases his productivity through a run or a swim.
Follow in his footsteps. But whatever you do, don't skip lunch. Your body needs refueling.
Two Things at Once
Of course, on really busy days you might find yourself glued to your desk. So what can you do? Exercise while you're working. Try one of these handy methods:
- After you've finished an important task, jump up and do one-minutes worth of jumping jacks.
- Set an alarm for every hour and try some chair exercises. Such as, pumping both arms over your head and tapping your feet on the floor.
- When you're walking to a meeting, lunge your way instead.
- Pace up and down while you're on the phone.
- Instead of calling your coworker or sending emails, walk to their office and meet them.
- If you have a few extra moments, go the long way. For instance, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Do some calf raises while waiting for documents to print.
Doing these easy exercises throughout the day will make all the difference to your health and well-being in the long run.
Team Building Desk'ercises
Remember that you're not the only one whose slumped at your work desk all day. The same goes for the rest of your office. Help them out with some easy exercises and build up your team while doing it.
For example, instead of a traditional meeting in a conference room, try standing or walking meetings. Or take the lead in some desk'ercises during the workday. Encourage your team to take part in such exercises as:
- Circling wrists and ankles
- Lunges and squats
- Jumping jacks
- Neck stretches
- Wall sits
- Fist punches
- and more...
And because you're all doing it, you won't feel so ridiculous!
If you want to help your coworkers to really get their heart pumping, arrange a sports club. For instance, a running club after work. Or a push-up team who meets during lunchtime.
Don't FIND Time to Exercise, MAKE Time to Exercise!
Yes, leave your excuses at home and use your time wisely by trying some exercise at work. You'll not only feel great about yourself but your productivity will improve. It really is a win-win!
For more news and tips on how to stay fit and healthy, check out the "Health" section of this blog.