Office exercises: 8 quick & simple workouts you can do at work
This post was most recently updated on May 24th, 2018
I’ve already discussed before why sitting all day is the WORST thing you could do to your health. And I also know that you’re reading this post on your mobile screen or, most likely, on your office desktop or laptop certainly not while walking or jogging around. 😉 I’m guilty too, because I write my posts sitting for at least 2 to 3 hours at a stretch! 🙂 No doubts about why you deserve this job that you’ve slogged to earn through a very watchful & prudent interview panel. But is it giving you enough scope to workout? Or is it letting you quietly bury yourself alive into your desk &, someday soon, into a ravine of diseases that arise out of sedentary lifestyle? NO! I’m not going to tell you to quit your job, because that’s obviously your bread & butter. So, how about some quick & effective office exercises?
Now before I head over to office exercises, I want you to know a bit about the stats of diseases that happen only due to sedentary lifestyle. Because, if you’re reading this, I mostly assume that you’re quite aware of the facts already. But the numbers will definitely throw you into a reality check at least NOW!
So isn’t it time for you to take a stand about it? Well, not so literally this time. These office exercises are quite simple & doable, no matter how low you think your flexibility is. I personally recommend them as I’ve always found them helpful to me.
So roll over & you could also be doing these as you read. 🙂
Twist & Turn
While being seated in your chair, place your hands on your hips & gently twist your spine to your side. Try to twist by about 90º. Stay so for 10 breaths & then switch to the other side. Repeat this for 10 times, with 5 on each side.
This exercise greatly helps reduce & prevent the tension that builds up in the spine on continuously sitting for hours. Twisting also helps relieve lower back pain, which is quite a common complaint of desk jobs.
To do this, you could either sit or stand. For arm circles, you need to stretch both or either of the arms & move them/it in circular motion for around 10-12 circles (both clock-wise & anti-clockwise). Let the movement not be a fast-paced one, as it may lead to unexpected sprains. If the size of your cubicle restricts you from stretching your arms fully, you could alternatively try another variant of the shoulder circle. Place all your fingers of both your hands on the respective shoulders & start steadily rotating your folded arms. Do this for 10-12 repetitions, in both clockwise & anti-clockwise directions.
This exercise will make your biceps & shoulder muscles to relax & facilitate proper blood circulation to the area, while most of our day & office is spent being hunched over the computer or the mouse.
Wrist & Ankle Roll
- Ankle – Lift you foot a little off the ground while being seated or standing at the desk. Rotate your ankle to form full circles (caution not to move your leg while doing this). Repeat this at least 5-6 times for each ankle in both clockwise & anti-clockwise directions.
- Wrist – Similarly, stretch your arm forward & rotate each wrist for 10-12 rotations in both clockwise & anti-clockwise directions.
Punching the air
Strange though it may sound, it’s really beneficial for blood to flow well around your arm muscles & also strengthening your chest muscles. How you do this is by firmly punching an imaginary punching bag with your closed fists for about a minute. While doing this as one of your office exercises, try to restrict the aerial punches to small radii so as not to hit things (or people ;-)) around you or the walls of your cubicle.
I know it’s fun, but do not end up looking like this guy! You don’t have to do it this fast either.
Now, this is the easiest!
Stand up from your chair & sit back. Repeat for 10-15 times. Simple, isn’t it? This office squatting exercise will help strengthen & loosen your glutes.
Squatting often than sitting helps you prevent colon cancer. Therefore, likewise, squatting-type toilets (Indian toilets) are more recommended than the sitting ones when it comes to the talk of colon cancer.
This, generally, doesn’t even make it to the concept of office exercises because hamstrings hardly get the attention they actually deserve. Your hamstrings get terribly affected when you keep sitting for long hours.
While being seated in your chair, push yourself a little away from your desk so that you can place your leg up on the desk. Stay on this stretch for 10 normal breaths. Repeat this for your other leg.
Roll your Eyes
Your eyes are the worst sufferers of your work that wants you to stare continuously at your screens. And that’s the biggest reason behind your headaches & even migraine in pronounced cases.
I had learnt about this eye exercise from my opthalmologist. What you do here is draw an ‘8’ on your whiteboard or even on a note to pin your board with. Now just distance yourself about 20-25 cms from the board. Trace the ‘8‘ with your eyes for at least 5 times in the clockwise & another 5 times in the anti-clockwise direction. Then BLINK & close your eyes for a few seconds.
Draw a horizontal ‘8’ & repeat the same exercise for 5 times again.
Do the same with a ‘0‘ this time.
This eye exercise helps you flex your eye muscles & hence reduce the strain the continuous screen stare causes to them on a regular basis.
Tilt your head to the left & start rolling it back. Keep rolling to the right & then down. Bring your head to the initial position & then repeat in the opposite direction.
This simple office exercise helps reduce the strain in the upper spine along the neck, which often triggers spondylitis in many people over a long period of time.
HOW ABOUT THIS TAKEAWAY?
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This is pretty something that you can do to remain hale & hearty even amidst a busy work schedule. What do you say?
How do you keep fit at work? Do you have your share of office workouts too? I’d love to know from your comments & would even be glad to add up to this list! 🙂