HOW TO STAY ACTIVE AT THE OFFICE

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So, you feel bad about sitting on your butt all day in front of the computer? We’ve got a few things for you to try during your work day. These activities will keep you physically active throughout your day and you’ll burn an impressive amount of calories.

Stick to your structured workouts too, but supplement your workout with activities that you can do in the office, throughout the working day. It all adds up.

SIT LESS
How often have your hamstring muscles, your hips and lower back muscles felt tight after sitting for long? Sitting too much is not good for posture or maintaining a healthy spine. These muscles eventually become weak, leaving you with lower back pain and other aches and pains.

Fact: if you break up your sitting time, you may also improve your body composition, your cardiovascular health and reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

Remember: don’t underestimate the calories you can burn just by standing instead of sitting.

In a recent study, scientists showed that, in an 8-hour desk-job day, people burnt 24, 59 and 132 calories a day if they stood up and walked around at a normal pace for 1.2 or 5 minutes every hour.

TIPS

  • Stand whenever you can, like during meetings or when you are on the phone.
    Be a fidget. Be careful not to irritate anyone, but it’s been found that fidgeting can burn an extra 300 calories a day. Okay, so you need to do a fair amount of toe tapping, talking with your hands, but the general message is: keep moving!

TAKE AN OFFICE BREAK FOR EVERY 1-2 HOURS OF STATIONARY COMPUTER WORK
This could include a trip to the bathroom, the water stations or a trip to another department. If you’re a smoker, the only benefit there must be to the habit is that you take regular breaks from your desk. If you can afford a longer break (and you can if you plan), take a short walk around the building and use the stairs.

USE WAITING TIME EFFECTIVELY
When you’re waiting for a page to download or the printer to print, why not use this time to focus on two things:

  • How are you breathing? Take a few deep breaths slowly through your nose and then exhale through your mouth.
  • What is your posture feeling like? Every time you notice bad posture, sit up straight and tighten your core by flexing your abs 3 – 5 times. This is a great way to get a bit of a core-strengthening workout. A stable core will help improve your stomach and back muscles, which may help reduce the incidence of back pain and other work-related conditions.

TRY “MICRO-BREAKS” OF EXERCISE AT YOUR DESK
Desk jobs can wreak havoc on your weight, back, wrists, eyes and neck, and can leave you with less muscle tone.
Don’t let that happen to you. Check out some these cool desk workouts.

Don’t let that happen to you. Check out some these cool desk workouts.

Neck Sit or stand upright. Slowly turn your head to the left until you feel a stretch. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat 3 – 5 times and then switch to the right side.
Shoulders Slowly roll your shoulders forward 5 times in a circular motion. Then reverse for another 5 rolls.
Chest and Arms Link your fingers behind your back (palms facing your back). Pull your shoulders down and back while straightening your arms. Hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat 3 – 5 times.
Breathing Set your screensaver as a reminder to do a few deep breaths every now and then or leave a Post-It note somewhere to remind you.
Upper back and Arms Link your fingers in front of you (arms straight and with palms facing your chest). Keeping your fingers linked, push palms away from you and straighten arms out to the front of you. Round your upper back and hold for 5 – 10 seconds. Repeat 3 – 5 times.
Back Sit with your left leg across your right leg. Rest your elbow or forearm of your right arm on the outside of the left upper thigh. Gently apply pressure with right elbow or forearm towards the right. As you apply pressure, look over your left shoulder. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times and then change to the other side.
Wrists Extend your left arm, keeping your left elbow straight. Slowly bend the left wrist downward until you feel a stretch. Use your right hand to assist with the stretch. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times and then switch to the right hand.
Do the same, but instead of bending your wrists downward, bend them upward until you feel a stretch, using the opposite hand to assist with the stretch.
Hands Make a ‘high-five’ with your fingers. Your fingers should be straight and apart. Hold for 5 seconds. Bend your fingers at the knuckles. Hold for 5 seconds. Straighten your fingers. Repeat 3 times.
Legs Sit slightly forward on the chair so your back is not touching the chair’s back. Maintain your balance by holding onto your seat. Place your feet flat on the floor, next to each other. Straighten your left leg and keep your foot a few cm off the floor. Hold for 5 seconds and return it to your other foot. Repeat on the other side.
Ankles Sit upright. Extend your left leg and lift your foot off the floor. Point your toes up and then down. Next, circle your foot in one direction, then in the other direction. Repeat each exercise 3 times and then switch to the other side.

Remember: you can track ALL of your movements, during and outside of your cycling or gym sessions. So all those little moves you do during the day? Track them right here in the Track section. It all counts!

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