Moving More in the Workplace

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Ball desk chair

Have a desk job and want to get swimsuit ready? Here are some great ways to be active in the workplace.

1. Push your chair aside! As I’m writing this now, my computer is propped on top of a box on my desk to give it extra height. There’s no chair and I’m standing and moving while I type!

2. To take that same idea a step further, invest in a mini stepper or treadmill desk so you’re actually stepping while you type. You’ll be moving so much more than you realize.

3. Commit to using a rebounder (mini trampoline) whenever you’re at your desk and need to do things that don’t require you to speak or write (for example, I bounce while watching educational videos).

4. Wear a pedometer, Nike Fuel Band, FitBit, etc. and commit to increasing your steps each day.

5. No interoffice emailing – walk your message over.

6. Set an alarm on your computer to go off every hour for a stretch and movement break. 

7. Take the stairs vs. the elevator.

8. Desk workout – you can work your entire body without any equipment. For example, grab the edge of your desk and squat down until your knees and gluts are at the same height. Your weight is pressing though your heels (as if you’re trying to sit in a chair that’s placed really far behind you). Work up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions each set.

9. Desk push-ups – walk back far enough so your hands are on the desk and feet are behind you in a push-up position. Keeping your abs tight and back flat, lower down to a 90 degree angle and push back up. Work up to 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

10. Chair dips – place your hands on both sides of your hips while sitting in a chair then bring yourself off the chair and straighten your legs in front of you. Lift and lower to a 90-degree angle while keeping your back very close to the chair as you lift and lower. You’ll be working your triceps in the backs of your arms.

11. Chair step ups – holding on to the side of the chair for support if you need it, step onto the chair one foot at a time then lower back down. So you’re going up with one foot, other foot, down with one foot, the other foot and begin again. You’ll feel your entire lower body strengthening

12. To work your core – sit on your chair and hold on to the sides. Straighten your legs in front of you and pull them into your chest and extend them out. Sit up tall, keep your back straight and tight and you’ll feel your abdominals working hard.

13. Lunges – these can be done in so many ways. One is by placing one foot on top of the other then leaning back with all of your weight on your heel. Squeeze and lift. You can also place the top of your foot on a chair placed far behind you and do a lunge with the leg on the floor, then switch. There are also moving lunges where you’re alternating legs.

14. If you can get sweaty (no immediate appointments after this workout), big plyometric movements require hardly any room, just explosive body movements. For example, combine big movements like a squat and a leap, a push-up and a squat, jumping lunges, burpees, etc.

15. Keep resistance bands in the office – they’re virtually weightless and barely take up any room but the impact can be huge. Combine resistance exercises with lower body movements (e.g., step on the bands and squat as you press overhead). Now add some movement to it (moving from side to side as you squat and lift) and you’ll be feeling it in no time.

16. Stair workout – this only takes a few minutes and it’s not for the meek. Run up and down the stairs and do 10 pushups at the bottom (regular or modified). Now run up and down and do 9 pushups, run up and down and do 8 push ups, then 7, 6, etc. This is an intense workout. Of course, not all office situations will accommodate this type of workout, but if they do, it’s a great one.

17. Commit to standing up every time you’re on the phone. You’ll be more active and you’ll also have more energy and sound better on your call.

18. Commit to never asking anyone to pass anything to you. Get up and get it yourself for an extra movement boost.

So often we think we’re active when we put in some time at the gym but here’s a thought. If after a workout, we sit in the car to go to our office where we sit all day, then sit in the car to drive home to sit at the dinner table then sit on the couch just to lie down in bed at the end of the day… are we really all that active?

Which one of these moves will YOU implement? I’d love to know, comment and share!

Photo from here, with thanks.

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January 2023