Isn’t it funny that “work” nowadays basically just means sitting and tapping your finger a little bit? There’s not that much physical effort involved in most corporate jobs today.
But that shouldn’t be an excuse for you, because exercises you can do at your desk are so easy to find! Here’s a list of our top five favorites — doing these desk exercises during breaks can help improve posture, reduce muscle tension, and get your blood flowing a little bit!
- Under-Desk Leg Raises: Here’s a chair exercise that truly involves still sitting in the chair. While you’re typing away or reading that new research, straighten your legs and slowly kick them up and down without ever letting your feet touch the floor (kind of like the kicking in freestyle swimming). If this is too easy, you can hang your purse or lunchbox on your ankle to add some resistance.
- Squats: There’s a reason why squats are famous in the exercise world, and it’s because they powerfully work many muscles all at once. Try doing a few sets a day in your cubicle, the office printing room, or with friends if your corporate culture is awesome 😉 For an extra challenge, you can try 180 degree squats! Basically, for these you do a normal squat, then explode upwards and turn at the same time so when you land you’re facing the opposite direction. Repeat until you feel tired, then push for 2 more to finish the set!
- Glute Squeeze: The gluteal muscles are the technical anatomical term for your behind. Having strong glutes is very important because they contribute to balance of your hips and basically all aspects of walking and moving. Luckily, exercising your glutes is also a desk exercise that you can do without anybody even noticing — just flex, hold for 10 seconds, and relax. While this may seem easy at first, try doing it all day long and you’ll find yourself tired but stronger for the next time.
- Walk some more: It’s simple advice you’ve probably heard before, but how many times do you take your morning coffee up the elevator instead of up a few flights? Or, if your workplace doesn’t have staircases, could you park slightly further to get a brisk 5-minute walk in before you settle in your chair for the day? Getting a little blast of cardio helps to energize your body and keep your lungs healthy.
- Wall sits: These are pretty easy to do and inconspicuous exercises. Find a sturdy wall to lean against, then sink down until your upper legs are parallel to the floor (so, the angle of your knee is 90 degrees). Keep your back pressed against the wall and hold as long as you can — maybe enough time to check all those emails while you’re at it?
Hopefully these desk exercises make you feel a little bit more fit. Cheap and dirty tricks are excellent for your day to day but that doesn’t mean you can skip your actual workouts!